Apartment vacancy rates are important to incoming and returning UC Davis Students. Below is an article that was published in the Davis Enterprise.
Also available for review are additional articles published in the Davis Enterprise, our local Davis newspaper, and vacancy reports shared on the UC Davis website.
By DAVID WEINSHILBOUM Enterprise staff writer Once again, rental apartments in Davis are about as scarce as can be. A UC Davis student housing survey revealed that rental vacancies in Davis nose dived to 0.7 percent in 1998. Economists say an ideal vacancy rate -- one that allows renters plenty of choice and landlords an opportunity to turn a profit -- is about 5 percent. When there is competition for rental units, apartment owners are more inclined to maintain their buildings. "Five percent allows renters some choice and at the same time it deters landlords from making the rents too high," said Emily Galindo, the UCD student housing office employee who compiled the vacancy statistics. However, Davis rental vacancies haven't seen the 5 percent mark since 1993. Since then, the market has favored apartment owners, with the most glaring lows this year and in 1996, when vacancy rates plunged to 0.5 percent. Last year's vacancy rate was 1.4 percent. Galindo said this year's low vacancy rate was not altogether unexpected. "I'm not surprised, based on the fact that it's been quite low (in recent years)," she said. Despite the numbers, Pat Kearney, executive director of student housing, said she expected the rate to increase over the next few years. "The reason we aren't concerned is because there are a number of apartments that have received approval for building," she said. "In the next couple years, we see nothing that suggests there will not be sufficient housing," Kearney said. She noted the approval of a LaRue Road apartment complex on the UCD campus and the construction of another apartment complex in West Davis. Further, UCD dorms closed for seismic renovation will open over the next couple years and further increase housing options. Kearney said several factors made rental housing scarce in the past few years, including high lending rates for builders and city construction fees. Now, with lower rates, Kearney said the contractors she has spoken to are more inclined to build in Davis. Bill Emlen, interim director of planning and building in Davis, did not return repeated messages left by The Enterprise. Of the 7,482 rental units included on the UCD survey, only 49 were reported vacant. Furnished apartments were even more scarce. Of the 538 furnished rentals, only two remained vacant. The UCD student housing office compiled the vacancy information by sending out surveys to apartment complexes with five or more rental units in Davis in October and November. The reports, provided by student housing since 1075, are intended to provide the city of Davis with information for future planning, Galindo said.