More people are looking for rentals this year in West Palm Beach, according to a report released this morning that showed about a 12 percent increase in rental demand in August compared to the same time last year.

The jump in rental demand put West Palm Beach in the eighth spot nationally, while Port St. Lucie was ranked first nationally for an increase in rental needs with a demand that was up about 35 percent from last year.

The report from housing analysis firm CoreLogic says areas hit the hardest by foreclosures are also seeing the biggest increases in rentals as displaced families look for other places to live.

Following Port St. Lucie for the highest demand was Riverside, Calif., and Tucson, Ariz.

“Single-family rental has been a neglected segment in the past,” the report notes. “However, a weak labor market, tight underwriting for owner-occupied properties and elevated foreclosures will ensure continued strong demand for single-family rentals.”

The months’ supply of rental inventory fell to 2.6 months in August, compared to 3.2 a year ago and more than 5 months in 2007.


by Kimberly Miller - Palm Beach Post