Is it a tight rental market?


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Photo by Matt Dell

Yesterday’s blog about the unusual rental at Ala Wai Plaza Skyrise prompted some questions (and comments) from readers: Is it a tight rental market? It seems like people looking to rent right now are frantic, and you almost have to snap up a desirable listing as soon as it’s available.

“Yes, many units go pretty quickly now,” says Lucy Inouye of Inouye & Associates. “July is usually a tight market; all people who work in schools, have kids in school, or go to school are now competing for the units that we couldn't give away in May and June!

“Nice units that are priced properly go very fast any time of year,” Inouye adds. “The (clean) ‘dumps’ go fast if they're priced right, too. Our biggest problem this year is that many of the applicants have horrible credit or simply can't afford the unit they want.”

Jacob Coash of Sachi Hawaii had also been looking for a place earlier this year and found he had to compete to be the first call if he wanted to get what he wanted.

“The competition was so fierce for units in our desired building that we were literally sitting on Craigslist and refreshing the list of rentals in real-time,” Coash recalls. “Within five minutes of the listing being up, we secured a showing where we put a deposit down and ultimately rented the unit.”

Others, like Aaron Landry, just get a streak of good luck. “I knew I was going to move at the end of June, so I started looking in early May. I found a guy who wanted to split a lease for six months before he's deployed in January 2012,” Landry says.

“We met, hit it off right away, and agreed I’d move in July. On June 2 was a fire in the building I was already living in, so he let me move in almost a month early,” Landry adds.

He didn’t have to be as competitive as Coash for this rental: when Landry contacted the landlord for a unit at the Marco Polo, she wasn’t friendly, so he cancelled his meeting with her.

If you’re looking to rent in this market, not everyone is as lucky as Landry or as competitive as Coash. Tomorrow, I’ll share some tips from landlords on how to stand out from the rest when competing for a rental.

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