Data indicates Humboldt rental prices up, more people housed

In the next episode of Humboldt Last Week: Compared to this time last year house rental prices have increased and the vacancy rate has decreased in Humboldt County, according to a new quarterly report from Real Property Management Humboldt and RentRange.

A release on the report notes the data indicates the average rent for a three-bedroom house in the county right now is $1,350 a month, a 5 percent increase from last year. Nationwide, rent has gone up 7.2 percent. Also for comparison, they noted “much of California” has average rents of over $2,000 a month.

They say they expect rent prices to continue to rise due to legal recreational cannabis, increased admittance at HSU, and other economic factors.

Also, the data suggests 4.8 percent of homes are unoccupied in the county, which is down 0.2 percent from last year. That means more people are now housed in Humboldt.

After receiving the release this reporter asked: “I think while a lot of people -- especially property owners -- see this as good news, there are still a lot of families that need a three-bedroom house, but $1,350 is not feasible for their budget. Is there a way even they can look at this as good news?”

The response from Real Property Management Humboldt Marketing Manager Brittany Stuckey: 

Thank you for your response and great question. It is intended as a statement of statistical data, but we were intrigued by the decrease in vacancy. 

Renters might see this as good news considering our market rents are much lower compared to national rates and astoundingly lower than the rest of California which has rents of $3,500 and higher for comparable properties. With increased minimum wage, our rents would be increasingly affordable. 

Although it isn't popular to rave about housing, any drop in vacancies is amazing, as it is a typically stagnant datapoint.  

A decrease in vacancy rates and increase in rent could mean increased confidence in investing in properties (such) as rentals, which adds available housing. If there is a substantial increase in investment, and thus a larger supply of properties available, demand and thus prices could gradually decrease. 

I am an example of that investor confidence due to this increased rent and decrease in vacancy -- I am a renter, but I am now also a first time home buyer. I cannot afford a home in California, but the wonderful resident in my home helps to make ends meet. If market rent was lower, I couldn't afford that mortgage. That would be one more vacant home, one more houseless person, and me -- far from reaching my dream of owning a home. 

Beyond that, with the need for additional housing and this new data exposing the decreased vacancies and increasing rental rates may create interest in the development of more housing.

And here's the full press release from Real Property Management Humboldt:
[Eureka, CA] – 1/23/2018 – Humboldt rental home rates are rising according to Real Property Management Humboldt, part of the nation’s leading property management franchise organization, and RentRange, the nation’s leading provider of Rental Market Intelligence™. 
The quarterly “Rental Statistics Report” found that the average monthly rent for single-family homes in Humboldt was $1,350, representing a 5 percent year-over-year increase. Nationally, year over year rent increases for single family three-bedroom homes jumped by 7.2% during the fourth quarter of 2017 to $1,467.  However, the change from the end of the third quarter was minimal – only a slight change from $1,473 to $1,467, indicating that rental rate increases are starting to moderate despite the appearance of a large gain.  The data used rents on three-bedroom single-family homes only to insure comparability across markets. 
“Considering increased admittance at HSU, the enactment of Proposition 64, the overall economic health forecasted for the year, and a multitude of other economic factors that impact Humboldt’s housing market, we expect rental prices will continue to rise” said Darus Trutna, President of Real Property Management Humboldt. 
Humboldt vacancy rates, the percentage of homes considered unoccupied, fell to 4.8% percent through the second quarter. This represents a 0.2% percent decrease since last year at this time. Nationally, vacancy rates now average at 5.4%, the same as last year. 
“We are pleased to see that our market rates are not dramatically increasing, adversely affecting the residents in our community; unlike much of California where median rents for single family homes are upwards of $2,000 and it gets even more difficult to afford housing. It is especially thrilling to see a decrease in vacancy rates, a typically stagnant data point. It is motivational to see that more people have homes and gives us pride to know we may have played a part in moving people into those homes.” Brittany Stuckey, Marketing Manager of Real Property Management Humboldt. 
As leaders in the rental housing industry, Real Property Management and RentRange have an ongoing strategic business relationship. Real Property Management relies on RentRange’s proprietary rental housing data to provide investors with accurate, current information about local rental properties and rental markets. 

Submitted by Real Property Management Humboldt
The next episode of Humboldt Last Week will be released on Sunday in partnership with Riders in the Sky in Ferndale Feb. 23, Bongo Boy Studio, Mazzotti’s, and Primal Decor.