As we move deeper into 2019, there are several trends in the local real estate market and general property management industry that we think you need to pay attention to if you’re an investor or thinking about investing. At Spotted Properties, we are always monitoring the rental market and the greater real estate market carefully. We’re your best resource for information on how to navigate any market highs and lows.

Vacancy Rates are Low

One of the most important things that we’re seeing is that vacancy rates are low. Tenants are moving quickly to rent high quality, well-maintained properties, and once they find a home, they’re staying there. This is excellent news for landlords and investors because it means a lower vacancy rate for you. With tenants competing for good properties, you can be highly selective when choosing a resident for your property. Make sure you’re screening carefully and placing tenants who have adequate income and an excellent record of prior residencies. At the end of 2018, the vacancy rate was 3.1 percent, which is lower than it’s been in 10 years. We expect it will stay close to that number at the end of this year.

Rental Prices are Going Up

Another trend in 2019 is the continuing climb in rental values. At the end of last year, the average rent for a Hamilton property was just below $1,100. We don’t expect that rental prices will begin dropping, and we think that the tight market and lack of inventory will continue to demand higher prices. Again – this is good news for investors and landlords. With tenants unwilling to go anywhere, you can make modest rent increases that match the market and remain competitive for your location, property size, and condition. Make sure you’re doing a proper rental analysis before you list your home so you can be sure you’re asking for the correct rental amount.

Tenant Expectations are High

Another trend that many landlords have been slow to notice is that tenants have high expectations. Even with inventory low and rental prices high, good tenants are going to expect good service. You need to be prepared to deliver it. While it may seem like the market is taking care of your tenant retention plans for you, it’s still easy to find yourself with a vacancy. That’s going to be expensive, so do everything you can to avoid it. Respond quickly to your tenants when they have a maintenance need or a repair request. Keep communication open if rent is late, and make sure they know that you appreciate them, especially when they’re following the lease terms and taking care of your investment.

What we have in 2019 is a stable rental market that’s very friendly towards landlords and investors. We are watching the trends carefully, and you can be assured that when you work with Spotted Properties, your investment will be prepared for any change in the market or the economic forecast. We are proactive and prepared.

If you have any questions about what to expect, or you’d like to talk about buying an investment property, please contact us at Spotted Properties. We’d love to tell you more.