Milwaukee rental housing market expected to grow

The Milwaukee metro area is expected to experience an exceptional year in terms of new apartment construction, with 700 new units predicted to come online in 2012.

That is the most in any single year since 2000, according to Marcus & Millichap. On its own, the eastern submarket will add 300 new units, more than the entire metro did during 2011. The vacancy rate is expected to grow slightly from 3.7 to 4 percent as a result, the firm forecasts.

A 1.5 percent rise in employment may contribute to higher demand, even if the supply increases faster this year. Asking and effective rents each increased year-over-year, according to the firm. Coupled with a further drop in single-family home prices, this could encourage some residents to favor becoming homeowners.

Despite this, analysts predict that the year will be a relatively good one for the area’s rental housing sector. Rental managers may or may not be able to push rents further, but occupancy and pricing levels should remain strong, for the most part. The increase in apartments, however will mean more competition for single-family rentals in the metro.