Apartments a hot commodity in Austin

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by QUITA CULEPEPPER / KVUE News and photojournalist SCOTT McKENNEY

kvue.com

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 11:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin has one of the hottest rental markets in the state.

According to ALN Apartment Data, Inc. it's tougher to find an apartment here than pretty much any other city and you'll pay more for it here too.

Just a few years ago, apartment complexes would give away everything from a free TV to three months rent just to get someone to sign a lease.

That’s all changed.

“It's very different out there now,” said Natalie Young, manager at A Plus Apartment Locators. “The days of free TVs and free months, they're not there as much because they don't have to give that away they're able to fill them without that."

Young says in this market, renters have to move fast.

“Just last week I went to a place for something that we had found and by the time we got there it had already been rented,” she said.

Companies including Visa, Apple and General Motors are bringing more than 2,200 new jobs to Austin and the flood of people moving to the area means apartments are a hot commodity.

“When you see an apartment, if you like it you need to rent it. Because if you don't the next day or even that same day, it could be gone,” Young said. “At anytime, a place might only have 10 empty apartments. It's a tight market.”

The good news is new complexes are going up quickly, especially in North and Northwest Austin.

Right now there are 135 apartment properties in that area; that's 37,000 units.

Austin added 848 units in the past 12 months. At least another 2,100 will be built within the next two years, and these new places to live won't come cheap.

“We need them faster than they're even building them right now,” Young said.

“I'd say on average a two-bedroom apartment would lease for around a thousand dollars, that's average of course, and it's all based on what part of town you're in,” Young said.

According to Young, Central Austin, the 78704 area and downtown are the most desirable places that renters want to live and the most expensive. 

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