Houston becoming a renter’s market

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HOUSTON, TX - Everywhere you look in Houston, apartments are leasing! And if you can afford more, you might end up paying a little less – or a little less than you would have a few years back, anyway.

“They`re all trying to get the same renters. So right now you can get a flat screen TV, you can get an Apple Watch, you can get 2 months free... They`re just doing a lot of things to get that A+ renter,” says Ty Counts, broker/owner of Apartment World.

Like here at Astor Tanglewood, in the Galleria area.

“New construction, best of everything, high ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, non-carpet floors…” Counts explains as he shows off one of Astor’s units.

Two years ago, a place like this would have cost about $1600 a month. Now after the special incentives, your net cost per month sinks down to around $1350.

Why is this happening? Oil prices. When Houston added around 95,000 jobs a year from 2010 to 2014, about a third of those new jobs went to transplants from out-of-state, and they needed somewhere to live. Investors all had the same idea at the same time. Build!

“And now all those apartments are done, so we have a real oversupply of apartments on the high end,” says Counts.

In fact, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, only about 23% of apartments built in the past year are filled.

It's definitely a renters market on the high end. For you more frugal renters, things aren`t so peachy.

“There`s no reason for people who work they`re whole life and then they can`t afford to stay in the city,” expresses resident Houstonian Edward Irving.

For rents closer to under a grand, costs are going up, and vacancies are getting harder and harder to find.

A lot of older and more affordable properties are updating, like Meyergrove near The Medical Center.

“I`d say that`s a property that was a C, that`s come back up to a B and probably the rents have reflected that,” explained Counts.

So if you`ve got money to burn, the sky is the limit. But if your budget demands a little smaller price-tag, finding home sweet home isn’t so easy these days.