As a result of the recession, local realtors said Wednesday more Fort Collins community members and students have opted to live in apartments rather than houses because of comparatively lower rental prices and that the number of available apartments is quickly diminishing.
The vacancy rate currently sits between 4 and 5 percent for apartments and housing representatives said students should make final housing plans before the end of the spring semester.
“The recession definitely affects the rental market in Fort Collins,” said Leasing Coordinator for the Evergreen Real Estate Group Rosanna Hardesty, who was among over 60 housing representatives and realtors at the 2009 Housing Fair in the Lory Student Center. She explained the increased demand for apartments consequently lowered the vacancy rate.
Many property managers, however, said the recession was not influencing their business because the majority of their tenants are college students, who will need a place to live near campus regardless of the economic situation.
They said because of the high demand for housing in a college town, the local housing market has been spared the decrease in sales the national market is experiencing.
Freshman Equine Science Major Megan Chartier said the recession has affected where she will live next year saying, “(It’s) a lot harder to find a place to afford.”
She said though that, “It’s kind of all my parents’ decision,” explaining that they are willing to pay for her to live off campus and that they will determine how much they will spend.
In addition to offering students general housing resources, vendors gave insight on how and where students could live in a more “green” way in accordance with the fair’s theme: “Going Green with a New Home.”
“We wanted to encourage vendors . to start thinking about how they can go green,” said Off-Campus Student Services and Resources for Adult Learners Director Jeannie Ortega of this year’s theme.
“(With) the university itself, it’s definitely a year of going green,” she said, adding that CSU hoped to encourage vendors to develop and support green initiatives.
The majority of vendors said their properties use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. They claimed students too could go “green” by taking advantage of local bus routes in close proximity to a majority of the residences.
“It’s pretty important,” said sophomore Biological Sciences major Christina Garcia of the significance of green services. “It’s a big money saver.”
Garcia, though, did not place as much of an emphasis on green services as other factors when shopping for a home.
“It’s not in my priority list, definitely not the top at least,” she said, noting that price, security, and amenities of housing were of more importance.
Ortega said she has noticed that more property managers are recycling and using green products in order to better the environment.
Ortega suggested that students secure their housing arrangements for next year before the start of the spring semester, saying students who wait until June to finalize their plans will have to forfeit some of their preferences.
Though it’s important for students to now be looking for a place to live off-campus, she said, students should not rush into signing leases.
She said there are more options for students who are willing to live with others because people are always looking for roommates.
Ram’s Crossing property manager Leslie Ashford encouraged students to find a place to live soon. She said, “Get out there and lock it in.”
Staff writer Natasha Pepperl can be reached at email@example.com.
Ram’s Crossing: http://RamsCrossing.com 224-3008
Brookview Apartments: firstname.lastname@example.org 493-4250
Aspenleaf Apartments: email@example.com 226-5477
Campus Crossings Ram’s Pointe: www.campusapts.com/ramspointe 416-7610
River Glenn Apartments: Riverglenn@amcllc.net 226-4980