U.S. apartment vacancy rate edges higher in third quarter: Reis

(Reuters) - The U.S. apartment vacancy rate inched up in the third quarter, real estate research firm Reis Inc said in a report on Tuesday.
The national apartment vacancy rate rose to 4.8 percent in the third quarter from 4.7 percent in the second quarter and 4.4 percent a year earlier, with 45 of 79 metros reporting a rise in vacancy, Reis said.
"The passing of the Tax Reform and Jobs Act in December that doubled the standard deduction and cut the deductibility of state and local taxes reduced the incentive to buy a home. This has helped the apartment market, especially in high-taxed localities," Reis said in a statement.
Occupancy is expected to remain positive, although vacancy rates are likely to increase, as new supply will outpace demand growth, according to the report.
Both the national average asking rent and average effective rent rose 1.2 percent, compared with the preceding quarter, the Reis report said.
Net absorption fell 24.4 percent to 35,683 units in the third quarter from a year earlier, while new construction dropped 23.9 percent to 50,475 units.

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