'Soft' apartment market means sweet deals for renters

There are deals to be found out there.

HOUSTON - All over Houston, you’ll find apartments complexes trying to lure new tenants through their doors.

Places, like Willowick Park near River Oaks, are offering 2 ½ months free rent, plus a $1,000 gift card for those who sign a lease within 24 hours of looking.

Experts say you’ll find deals like that at roughly 500 complexes in town right now.

Realtor Spencer Moore specializes in helping people relocate to Houston.

“The specials are getting bigger and bigger and better, so it’s a great time to be a renter in Houston,” said Moore, who also created HoustonFancyApartments.com. “A lot of properties are giving away iPads, cruise ship tickets, TV’s. This luxury apartment in Downtown Houston was offering six months of rent half off.”

The trend is something the Greater Houston Partnership is keeping a close eye on too.

“Last year was one of the worst years on record for job growth. We only added about 15,000 jobs, but we added 21,000 apartment units. That math just doesn’t work,” said Patrick Jankowski, Senior Vice President, Research for the Greater Houston Partnership.

According to Apartment Data Services, apartment occupancy rates are currently at about 90%, which is down from 93% in the summer of 2015.

In addition, another 16,000 apartment units are currently under construction, with 12,000 of those units expected to open in 2017.

Until Houston’s job market picks up, which could take a couple years, experts say the apartment perks will keep on coming.

“If you walk into your manager’s office and you need to resign a lease, you should ask for something. You should ask for some sort of deal, because if not, you could go down the street and get a better deal,” said Jankowski.


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