Apartments & Rental Homes Filling Up Fast - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Apartments & Rental Homes Filling Up Fast

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.--  Apartment complexes and rental homes in the Tri-Cities are filling up.  Some say this is due to the economy, both nationally and locally.

The Tri-Cities has remained somewhat immune to the high foreclosure and unemployment rates the rest of the county has seen, which adds to the number of people here who need housing.  However, tighter lending standards have made it harder to buy a home.  

David Ager lives in an apartment, but he is ready to buy a home.  He says he has always lived in apartments because he couldn't afford a home, but now his job is secure and he's making enough money.  He knows buying a home in this economy won't be easy.  He explains,
If I wasn't making as much as I am currently, it probably wouldn't be possible to get a house due to the economy."

  The economy is keeping many people from buying.  Instead, they've having to rent.  Glen Clark, President of the Tri-City Association of Realtors, says he's been getting more calls about rental properties.  He says, "There's very much a shortage of available apartments and houses.  I'm getting several calls from people looking for houses for rent."

The assistant manager of Centerpointe apartments in Kennewick, Ana Mercado, says the complex is more full than they've ever been.  Mercado gives specifics: "We are probably at 98% full.  I think we only have two vacancies."  She says most of her clients cite the economy as part of the reason they're moving in.  "The economy is just not helping at all, so people are not really buying anything.  They prefer to move into an apartment complex."

Clark also talks about how the number of jobs and the salary amount people are making affects housing.  He believes the stimulus money given to the Tri-Cities will bring more jobs, and thus, increase the demand for housing.