A recent report released by Apartment List, Inc. has revealed that cities across the nation have seen a year of lowered rent growth. Here in Turlock, however, rent rates have steadily risen since last year.
The February 2017 National Rent Report, which tracks rent growth, median prices and market trends throughout apartments across the country, shows that the average price for a two-bedroom apartment in Turlock is $940 per month – less than half the statewide average of $2,000. Though the numbers seem accurate to Hilary Leffler, vice president of residential management with Liberty Property Management, the report also states the rates in Turlock have remained constant over the past year, which both she and Senior All-Territory Manager Kristi David have not experienced.
“We’ve been seeing steadily increasing rents over the past two years, but they’ve gone up exponentially recently,” said Leffler. “I haven’t seen rents like this since before the Great Recession.”
Apartment List’s Rent Report data is drawn monthly from the millions of apartment listings on their site. This could potentially leave out some listings from Turlock, resulting in the differing data from the group and Liberty Property Management.
A quick search on the real estate internet search engine Zillow shows that listed two-bedroom apartments in Turlock currently range from $925 to $1,445 per month. Multiple apartment complexes have raised their rent in the past year for a variety of reasons, Leffler explained. Many complexes in town, such as Brentwood Apartments and Briarwood Apartments, are at capacity, driving up rent prices. Both Brentwood and Briarwood have been full for six months to a year, and Oak Park Apartments on North Tully Road tends to remain at capacity as well. The number of individuals or families looking to rent in Turlock far outweigh the number of apartments available due to a lack of new complex development.
“There are a lot of cost-prohibitive measures in place throughout the state,” said Leffler. “People generally don’t want to develop in California.”
David added that in neighboring cities like Modesto and Ripon, apartment complexes have undergone extensive renovations. Turlock has followed suit – another contributing factor to the pricing surge. According to David, two apartment communities in Turlock with which she works closely have undergone two rent increases in the past year, increasing their prices by $100.
In addition to a lack of available apartments and renovations contributing to higher rent rates throughout the city, Turlock’s desirable living conditions attract countless out-of-town apartment hunters looking for both cheaper housing and better neighborhoods, increasing demand. According to Apartment List’s report, some of the fastest rent growth is happening in smaller cities near the nation’s priciest locations. For example, rates in Stockton have gone up nearly six percent since last year, possibly as a result of San Francisco residents looking to rent elsewhere.
Turlock has seen an influx of outsiders looking to call the city home, David said. While many are looking for a cost-effective rent situation, many also come from cities and towns where they may currently be paying less, but are hoping to relocate to a more desirable environment.
“Turlock has a lot of good schools, so many people come here for the school district,” said David. “It’s a nice community where you know your neighbor – I would pay more for that security.”
David and Leffler also noted Turlock’s locale – the city has optimal freeway access and is centrally positioned between many of the state’s major cities – and size as other key reasons apartment hunters wish to call it home.
“It’s a good-sized city, but it’s still got that small-town feel, which a lot of people like,” said Leffler.
“You feel safer,” added David. “Police are going to respond a lot more quickly in Turlock than when you’re living in Modesto or Stockton.”
While rent rates in Turlock have increased over the past year, Leffler explained that prices often drop during the fall and winter.
“You’ll see that apartment prices will be cheaper during those times,” she said. “People don’t move during that time period because they’re saving for the holidays.”
In contrast, rent prices are typically more expensive in April following tax season and at the end of the summer.
Another tip for saving on rent is to commit to longer leases, said David, as complexes usually offer discounted rates when tenants sign lengthier leases. Comparing different apartments on sites like Zillow and Craigslist is always helpful, too.
Suggestions on how to save when apartment hunting may soon come in handy, as Apartment List predicts rates to continue rising in wake of Donald Trump’s election and the Federal Reserve’s increase in its target rate. Potential mortgage rate increases may affect the apartment market, their report says, as potential first-time homebuyers may decide to continue renting, adding more competition to the rental market.
To view the full Apartment List National Rent Report, visit www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/national-rent-data/.