Apartments Becoming More Expensive, Scarce

POSTED: 12:58 pm MDT June 3, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The housing market is still struggling and these days many people are choosing to rent rather than buy, so rent is going up in several parts of Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.Just a year ago, it seemed like apartment complexes couldn’t fill their units, with some offering three months free rent with a yearlong lease. But now, those concessions are gone and rental prices around the metro area have gone up due to high demand and the shoddy housing market.
“It’s no longer the American Dream to own a house. People are trying to free up that equity and do other things with it. The Baby Boomers are competing with the Generation Y’ers for apartments,” Todd Clarke, with the New Mexico Apartment Association, said.According to economists, the apartment boom is happening all over the country because people are changing their minds about whether it’s worth it to own a home.“It’s all conspiring to drive up the demand for apartments,” economist Mark Lautman said.
In Rio Rancho, there’s another reason contributing to the increased demand.“Probably the most significant factor has been (that) Rio Rancho has done a fabulous job at growing its job base,” Lautman said.In the past two years, major projects and jobs at Hewlett Packard and Intel have brought more people to the area. Rio Rancho needs 5,000 new apartment units just to keep up with the demand.“This year we’re going to see that same double digit rent growth because there aren’t enough apartment units,” Clarke said.

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