Fewer Places For Rent in Jacksonville | News

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Fewer Places For Rent in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Looking for a rental?  You're not alone. 

The vacancy rate in Jacksonville dropped to 9.1 percent.  That's down 1.9 percent from this time last year. 

Real estate firm Reis tracks the numbers, and they say rents are also on the way up.  The average rent in Jacksonville is $798 per month. That's up $2 from this time last year.

Sue Ann Ogden started Suncastle Properties twelve years ago.  She specializes in rentals. 

"For the first time in 12 years, I can tell homeowners the rents are actually going up," she said.

Great news for landlords, but bad news for renters.  So if you're looking for a new place, you need to be prepared. 

"Come with references. Come ready to show available funds to rent," Ogden said.  "Don't wait too long to make a decision, because rentals are not staying on the market very long."

Of course, you want to make sure you're not paying too much for rent.  If you're not working with a realtor, try figuring out what the market rent should be by checking some online rental sites like Craigslist and Rentals.com, where you can compare prices with similar properties.

"Anytime sales fall off, rentals pick up.  I've never seen that sort of cause and effect take hold like it has over this last year," Ogden said. 

There are also a lot of former homeowners who faced foreclosure are now in the rental pool, and Ogden said many people are just scared to buy right now. 

"They don't want buy today and pay one price and see the same type of property worth less."

Let's say you're happy with your rental now, and not looking to move.  Your rent could still go up when your lease expires. 

Some of the larger complexes use software called YieldStar, or similar programs, that calculate rent based on supply and demand.  So if your complex is full, your rent could be headed way up.



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