Six years after housing began its big slide, apartment vacancies in the St. Louis area were at 5 percent this summer, down from 5.9 percent in the summer of 2012, and a high of 9.2 percent in 2009.
Lower vacancies equal higher rents. They’re up an average of 2 percent over the year, just slightly more than inflation.
“We see St. Louis as generally recovering,” said a senior economist at Reis, a commercial real estate analysis firm. His forecast calls for more of the same: slowly rising rents and slowly falling vacancies. Vacancies should fall to 4.7 or 4.8 percent by 2015. While the apartment rental market was healing slowly this year, the residential real estate sales market was healing fast.