In this economic climate, some people are still finding it difficult to purchase a home. However, they still have the desire to live in their preferred community, so renting has become an extremely popular choice.
Many buyers today want to test out a community to see if they will really like it before committing to a purchase. To these types of clients, renting for one year to “test” out the area is a very attractive option.
“I’ve already had four clients this year who have rented. They prefer to take some time to see how they will fit in with the town before they buy,” said Carol Lieberman, a licensed salesperson in Scarsdale.
These people are not alone. There are so many renters looking for inexpensive rentals in some communities, that there is now a severe drought of inventory. Many realtors are noticing a lack of rental choices in areas where there used to be options for tenants.
“I’ve never seen the rental market like this before. People are hungry for almost anything that’s out there,” said Jack Marino, a superintendent at a rental building in Rye. “I have people coming up to me all the time to see if there’s anything available, but we’re all full. It’s never been like this.”
Some renters are finding themselves in bidding wars over apartments.
“Bronxville seems like a great area, and I would love to live here and enjoy everything the town has to offer. But it’s been really frustrating trying to find a two-bedroom rental in our price range—everytime something comes on, we find ourselves bidding against so many other people,” said Laurie, a hopeful renter relocating from Florida.
During the depressed economy, demand for rental units had dropped, requiring many landlords to give special deals and incentives to attract tenants. Vacancy rates hit a 30-year high, and renters had the upper hand. Some landlords had been willing to negotiate on lease terms, price and, in some cases, parking and utility bills. They even eased their standards on renters with bad credit.
As the economy has rebounded in our neighboring communities, so has the rental market. The lowest priced available rental in Scarsdale is currently $4,000 per month.
“I was hoping to save as much money as possible towards our house purchase next year. I really didn’t want to go up too high. I’ve seen apartments in this town available before, but they’ve all disappeared,” said Laurie.
“I listed a one-bedroom carriage house two weeks ago, and it had nine showings in one day. We had several interested parties and it rented very quickly,” said Carolyn Sparano, an associate broker in Scarsdale. “I’ve just never seen it like this. Luxury rental properties are sitting longer on the market, and smaller properties, well; you just don’t have enough of them right now.”