Business

October Saw Highest Houston Area Rents In Two Years

Harvey continues to leave its mark on Houston housing market

The living room of an apartment atop the new Hotel ZaZa Memorial City.

For a while, Houston's apartment market had suffered from the oil downturn and an oversupply of units. Rents were flat.

"Immediately after the storm, in September, we saw a $15 overall average bump in rents," said Bruce McClenny, president of Houston-based ApartmentData.com, "and then followed in October by another $11 overall average rent bump."

Hurricane Harvey displaced many homeowners who consequently rented apartments. In addition, more than 15,600 units were damaged by the storm, according to ApartmentData.com, further reducing vacancy.

The average Houston area apartment rent is now between $1,010 and $1,105 a month – depending on which data service you consult. Either way, it's the highest in two years.

McClenny said net absorption since the storm is 17,000 – that's how many more units were leased than vacated.

But he doesn't expect this to be the new norm.

"Those people will be moving back and we will see those 17,000 units or thereabouts all moving out, starting now and throughout 2018," he said.

As for the current month, McClenny expects rents to flatten out just a little bit.

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