Rental housing stays relatively strong in spite of economy

If you pay attention to the media, you might think that the real estate market has gone completely into the toilet and that nearly anyone who's invested in real estate is in serious trouble.

But the truth is that investors who own conservatively financed residential rental properties are actually doing just fine, in spite of the recession.

Ken Harney writes that
"During the second and third quarters of this year, demand for rental apartments as measured by net absorption, increased by more than 89,000 units nationwide. Rental building owners have done particularly well in keeping vacancies low, with rates in some major metropolitan markets in the five percent range. . . The national vacancy rate stands at about 7.4 percent -- well below where it was in previous recessions and remarkable in view of an unemployment rate just under 10 percent."