Rents rise, occupancy dips in ABQ; market ‘very tight’ in Santa Fe

Apartment rents in the Albuquerque metro area continued to climb even though occupancy levels dipped slightly in January.

That’s the assessment of commercial real estate services firm CBRE New Mexico’s January apartment survey.

The average rent increased 2.25 percent over the year, from $808 in January of 2017 to $818 in January of this year.

The new numbers come from CBRE’s latest apartment market survey, a report that looks at rent prices from 194 apartment complexes across town, which account for more than 40,000 units.

The occupancy rate of the Albuquerque apartment market was 94.51 percent in January, which is down from 95.02 percent the prior year. The report said historically, January is the low point for the apartment market, with September being the highest.

Studios, one-bedroom and three-bedroom/one-bath units led the pack with rent gains of 3.7 percent, 2.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

The report predicts that Albuquerque will see 1,200 market-rate units delivered between 2018 and late 2020. About 400 affordable units will come on line in the next 12 months.

The apartment market is even stronger in Santa Fe. With so much demand, the occupancy rate in Santa Fe was 96.69 percent in January, compared to 97.79 percent the prior year. Rents dropped 0.97 percent from the prior January, according to the report. The CBRE survey didn’t list an average price for particular unit types in The City Different. “While Santa Fe occupancy softened slightly, it continues to be a very tight market,” the report reads.

According to a recent study by RentCafe, the average rent for an apartment in Santa Fe is $1,043, a 2 percent increase compared to the previous year, when the average rent was $1,019.

Little relief is on the horizon. CBRE said only the 58-unit market rate Railyard Apartments are scheduled to open this spring, and a 188-unit apartment complex is expected to be built some time between 2019 and 2020 by Titan Development.

Titan also is building two luxury-oriented apartment projects in Albuquerque. One is the Broadstone Northpoint, which recently started leasing units. Located in the north I-25 district of Northeast Albuquerque, the 226-unit project has transformed what had long sat as a vacant 10-acre site.

Monthly rents start at $1,145.

Titan is also behind the first phase of The Broadstone Highlands, a market rate 74-unit apartment project that will feature studio, one- and -two-bedroom apartments. Envisioned as a 228-unit apartment complex at full build-out, The Highlands are located north of Central Avenue near Presbyterian Hospital.

While Albuquerque’s rents rose moderately over the past year, many cities nationwide also saw increases, including Phoenix (+3.3 percent), Atlanta (+2.3 percent), and Seattle (+2.1 percent), according to research compiled by Apartment List.

Renters will find more reasonable prices in Albuquerque than in many cities, according to Apartment List. For example, San Francisco has a median 2 bedroom rent of $3,040, which is more than three-and-a-half times the price in Albuquerque. The Duke City’s median two-bedroom rent of $860 is below the national average of $1,160.

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