Hurricane Florence Recovery Challenged by Low Apartment Availability

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The Wall Street Journal ran an article highlighting one of the challenges faced by cities like Wilmington and Fayetteville as they start the recovery process after Hurricane Florence – a tight apartment market:

Places like Wilmington and Fayetteville have fewer than 1,500 empty apartment units each, according to apartment research firm RealPage Inc.

The figure is less than half the number of vacant units in a larger center like Charleston, S.C. Houston, which was suffering from a rental glutbefore Hurricane Harvey hit last year, had some 70,000 available units just before the storm. Fewer available units in North Carolina could lead to a severe apartment crunch.

Making matters worse, much of the rental inventory in places like Wilmington and Fayetteville is in single-family homes, analysts say. This type of housing is more vulnerable to storm damage than higher-rise apartment complexes…

Cindy Clare, chief operating officer for Greensboro-based Bell Partners Inc., said it is difficult to assess the damage to the company’s four properties in the Wilmington area because all roads into the area are closed and most of the properties still don’t have electricity.