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Austin Rents and Occupancy Up

Excerpted from Austin American-Statesman story by Shonda Novak

With rents at an all-time high and occupancies rising, the Austin-area apartment market is among the healthiest in the nation right now and it could stay that way for a while, national and local real estate experts say.

Thanks to the area’s job and population growth and the limited number of apartment units under construction, the Austin market is performing at a level similar to cities like San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle.

Across the Austin area, rents soared to a record high in June, averaging $772 a month for a one-bedroom unit and $1,043 for a two-bedroom, according to Capitol Market Research.

The occupancy rate was 96 percent and could reach 97 percent by the end of the year, Heimsath predicts. That’s because only two new apartment communities brought units to market in the first half of 2011, and only three new projects with 839 units combined are scheduled to be completed in the second half of the year, Heimsath noted in a midyear report. Five projects are under construction, with 1,623 units that are expected to be ready next year, Heimsath said.

For the full Austin American-Statesman story by Shonda Novak , click here.