LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — As the weather heats up, apartment rental rates usually do as well.
The Nevada State Apartment Association says that trend might be on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The economic engine that fuels the housing market is now losing steam.
"Normally we see about a 6 to 7 percent year-over-year increase in rents," said Suzy Vasquez, director of the association.
Since the COVID-19 crisis hit the Las Vegas valley, Vasquez says rent is down half of a percent, "which is significantly down from 1.4% that we were reporting last week."
The drop is attributed to many renters staying put due to either a job loss or a decrease in pay.
Fortunately, the association says a lot of renters were able to pay April rent.
Though many have filed for unemployment and stimulus checks are being deposited, May and June look to be a different story.
"We're anticipating an increase in vacancy. People will be moving back home with their parents or finding roommate solutions. Families moving in with families until they're able to recover from, you know, this pandemic," Vasquez said.
As summer picks up and new construction continues to rise, apartments will need to start filling units.
"Where you'll start seeing a lot of 'two weeks free' or discounts, $500 off your rent, [those kinds] of deals out there, versus actually decreasing the amount of monthly rent that you pay," Vasquez said.
The COVID-19 crisis is shaping the future of how people rent, starting with virtual tours. Apartment renters will be able to do a significant amount of research before visiting an apartment complex.
For now, Vasquez says they are bracing for the next few months to come, but so far, the forecast shows it won’t take long to recover.
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