The annual UC Davis survey of apartment vacancies and rental rates is out. Davis apartment vacancies for 2008 remained very low, under 1%, while rental rates rose 4% in town during the last year. The findings, as reported on the UC Davis website, appear below:
The apartment vacancy rate in the city of Davis increased slightly to 0.8 percent this fall, and rental rates rose by an average of 4.36 percent, according to a survey by the University of California, Davis.
The Office of Student Housing conducts the annual vacancy and rental-rate survey, now in its 33rd year, to provide the campus and the city of Davis with information for future planning.
Last year, the apartment vacancy rate was 0.7 percent, and the average rental-rate increase was 4.18 percent.
Economists and urban planners consider a vacancy rate of 5 percent to be the ideal balance between the interests of landlord and tenant.
“The continuing low vacancy rate confirms that the university’s plan to build more housing for students is a good strategy,” said Emily Galindo, director of Student Housing.
Galindo said the university is moving forward with two projects for student housing, one of which is scheduled to add 600 beds by fall 2010.
According to the UC Davis survey, the average monthly rent this year for unfurnished two-bedroom apartments — which are the most abundant type of apartment unit and account for 45 percent of the units in the survey — rose 4.52 percent, from $1,172 to $1,225.
UC Davis Student Housing surveyed 187 apartment complexes with five or more rental units in October and November; 162 complexes responded. Out of a total of 8,469 units reported, 67 were vacant. The 25 complexes that did not respond to the survey have a total of approximately 389 units. Last year, the 172 survey respondents represented 8,634 units, and the 15 complexes that did not respond to the survey had about 194 units.
The broader region
RealFacts, a Novato, Calif.-based research and consulting service for multifamily apartment communities, reports an average vacancy rate of 2.9 percent and year-over-year rental-rate increase of 2.8 percent for Davis in the third-quarter of the year. In Davis, it surveys apartment complexes with 50 or more units.
Over the same period, the company reports the average vacancy rate and average year-over-year rental changes for the following cities in the region:
* Woodland: 4.1 percent vacancy rate and 4.8 percent rent increase
* West Sacramento: 19.9 percent vacancy rate and 0.6 percent rent increase
Among 12 types of rental units included in the survey, the highest average monthly rent increase was 9.86 percent for 184 furnished one-bedroom apartments (from $771 to $847).
Average rent decreased only for the six furnished studios, from $752 to $611, or 18.75 percent.
The overall average increase in the rental rate is calculated by considering the percentage change for each type of rental unit and the proportion of each type of rental unit among the entire rental inventory.
The survey excludes those apartments that require an income eligibility test to qualify low-income residents for reduced rent, because students typically are not eligible for these units.
Total enrollment for fall 2008 is a record-setting 31,426, up 2.4 percent from last year’s 30,685. Not all students attend classes on the Davis campus itself, and enrollment averaged over the three academic quarters is typically lower than fall enrollment.
UC Davis has about 4,585 students living in residence halls, and an additional 1,820 students live in privately managed housing on campus, such as Russell Park for student families.
Construction for new student residence halls, adjacent to the Tercero South complex at Dairy and La Rue roads, is expected to begin this winter. Three four-story buildings will add a total of 600 beds for fall 2010.
The university is proceeding with its West Village project for housing, a community college center and mixed-use area west of Highway 113, and some student housing could be available as early as fall 2011.
The first phase includes plans for 343 single-family homes for faculty and staff, and apartment housing for up to 1,980 students. At full build-out, the project is expected to offer a total of 475 homes for faculty and staff and housing for 3,000 students.
The university is scheduled to begin off-site improvements in the spring, and its development partner, West Village Community Partnership, plans to start construction of on-site infrastructure next summer.