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March vacancy rises slightly

Turnover rate and vacancy are completely different terms. The turnover rate is the rate our inventory becomes available, where vacancy rate is the percentage of our inventory that is vacant. The vacancy rate can never exceed the turnover rate. Currently our turnover rate is 6.5% and our vacancy is right at 3%. Since we receive most of our notices to vacate 30-days in advance, we can predict that our vacancy rate in April will not exceed 6.5%.

Last week I posted that I saw a lot of notices from tenants buying homes. That certainly was the prevailing reason for notice, but only accounted for about 60% of the notices received. We preleased a good number of our properties in February, so if that trend continues, I anticipate our vacancy to remain low in comparison to the market.

Also, as a reminder, our turnover rate is very predictable. January turnover rate is low, mostly due to the cold weather. Then as the weather improves the turnover rate increases each month. Around June or July, depending on when school gets out, the turnover rate explodes. In September, the turnover rate slows down as the weather cools down and school goes back in session. The end of November and all of December has a very low turnover rate.

The vacancy rate is always less than the turnover rate, but during super slow times like December and January, the vacancy rate can match the turnover rate. The other time vacancy rate is close to turnover rate is in the summer months and I think that is mostly influenced by the volume, not so much the market.

Tony Drost
Boise Area Rental Market

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