The rental market in Chittenden County is rapidly changing due to a surge of newly constructed apartment buildings.
The Allen, Brooks, & Minor December 2017 Report identified 2,908 apartment units pending approval and permitting in Chittenden County. Although the timeline for this new inventory is uncertain, and some may not come to fruition, they do represent possible rental unit growth in Chittenden County. The majority of units are in projects such as Cambian Rise, City Place Burlington (the Burlington Town Center redevelopment project), and Bayberry Commons on Grove Street.
The following are some trends that are having an impact on the rental market:
Decline in Vacancy Rate
362 units were completed in 2017 – above the 18-year average of 258 units. In 2018, 448 units are either currently under construction or are projected to be available for occupancy. The increase is finally prompting a trend of increased vacancy rates, reported at 2.62% in December 2017.
Wider range of choices for renters
A surge in new construction and an increase in vacancy rates means renters have more options. While the newly constructed buildings typically have higher rents, some renters prefer them because of the amenities, such as parking, gyms, recreation trails, storage, and pet grooming facilities.
Healthy Growth for Landlords
Landlords report tenant demand still appears to be relatively strong. In 2017, rents increased 2.1% versus previous annual increases of 3% – a sign of healthy, yet sustainable growth in the rental market.