Wednesday, December 16, 2009


University of California, Davis
December 16, 2009
The apartment vacancy rate in the city of Davis increased fourfold since last fall to 3.2 percent, while rental rates rose by an average of 1.05 percent, according to a survey by the University of California, Davis.

The UC Davis Office of Student Housing conducts the annual vacancy and rental-rate survey, now in its 34th year, to provide the campus and the Davis community with information for future planning.

Last year, the apartment vacancy rate was 0.8 percent, and the average rental-rate increase was 4.36 percent.

Economists and urban planners consider a vacancy rate of 5 percent to be the ideal balance between the interests of landlord and tenant.

During the last 10 years, the vacancy rate has varied from as low as 0.2 percent in 2002 to as high as 4.2 percent in 2005.

"The changes in the vacancy rate and the rental rate this year confirm that a better balance produces a benefit for our students as they seek housing in the Davis community," said Emily Galindo, director of Student Housing.

According to the UC Davis survey, the average monthly rent this year for unfurnished two-bedroom apartments -- the most abundant type of apartment unit, accounting for 45 percent of units in the survey -- rose by $1, from $1,225 to $1,226.

The student housing office surveyed 187 apartment complexes with five or more rental units in October and November; 166 complexes responded. Out of a total of 8,720 units reported, 278 were vacant.
The 21 complexes that did not respond to the survey have a total of approximately 245 units.

Rental rates

Among 12 types of rental units included in the survey, the highest average monthly rent increase was 28.81 percent for 23 furnished studio apartments (from $611 to $787).

Only one type of rental unit -- one-bedroom furnished units -- saw a rent decrease. Average rent fell from $847 to $746, or 11.92 percent, for the nine one-bedroom furnished units reported in the survey.

The overall average increase in the rental rate is calculated by considering the percentage change for each type of rental unit and the proportion of each type of rental unit among the entire rental inventory.

The survey excludes those apartments that require an income-eligibility test to qualify low-income residents for reduced rent, because students typically are not eligible for these units.

Campus housing.

Total enrollment for fall 2009 is a record-setting 32,153, up 2.3 percent from last year's 31,426. Not all students attend classes on the Davis campus itself, and enrollment averaged over the three academic quarters is typically lower than fall enrollment.

UC Davis has about 4,520 students living in residence halls, and an additional 1,155 students living in privately managed housing on campus, such as Russell Park for student families.

Construction for new student residence halls, adjacent to the Tercero South complex at Dairy and La Rue roads, is expected to be completed by fall 2010. Three four-story buildings will add a total of 600 beds.
Construction is also under way on the West Village mixed-use community that, at full build out, will provide housing for an estimated 4,350 people: 475 new homes for UC Davis faculty and staff and housing for 3,000 students. West Village Community Partnership, the developer, has broken ground on the first 130-acre phase and plans to have the village square and apartments for 600 students ready for occupancy in fall 2011.

Help for the housing search

To help students in their search for housing for the next academic year, Student Housing offers workshops in the residence halls beginning in late January. The sessions offer information on the local rental scene, provide search tips and address topics from budgeting to leases.

The Associated Students of UC Davis will host its annual Housing Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, in Freeborn Hall.

Students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from local apartment complexes and to gather other information and tips for renting apartments.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world.

Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 32,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $600 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges -- Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools -- Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

To receive a copy of the survey, please e-mail through Dec. 16 and after Dec. 16.

Media contact(s):
* Emily Galindo, Student Housing, (530) 752-2034,
* Julia Ann Easley, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-8248,, through Dec. 16
* Claudia Morain, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9841,, after Dec. 16