San Marcos gains thousands of new apartmentsSan Marcos gains thousands of new apartmentshttps://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=67962013-07-20T12:08:00Z2013-07-20T00:00:00Z

SAN MARCOS - With renters taking their pick among an estimated 3,530 new bedrooms, many apartment managers are having an increasingly difficult time finding enough tenants, said Jason Tarr, a real estate broker who owns the Great Locations rental location service.

“This year the apartment communities are going to see their biggest vacancy rate they’ve ever seen in San Marcos,” he said. “We’re overbuilt right now.”

Tarr said the increased competition is a cyclical boon for renters in San Marcos, where nearly three-fourths of the population lives in rental properties, according to 2011 census data.

Apartment managers are reducing their prices, improving customer service and focusing on community relations, he added.

Robin Davis, who tracks apartment data for the market research company Austin Investor Interests, said San Marcos’ apartment occupancy rate was 95.2 percent in first quarter 2013, the highest first-quarter occupancy rate since 2000.

The summer is always slower for San Marcos, Davis said, but she added that she expects occupancy rates to rebound in the fall.

“The level has gone down slightly, but 95.2 percent occupancy is nothing to balk at,” Davis said.

Apartments opening in time for the fall semester include The Avenue, with 1,142 bedrooms off River Ridge Pkwy. at I-35, and Vistas San Marcos, with 540 bedrooms on North Fredericksburg St. a block south of campus.

New apartments will probably fill up because college students prefer to live in new facilities, so older apartments “are going to suffer the most,” Tarr said.

Texas State’s enrollment growth and changes to its campus housing requirements are fueling the recent multifamily construction projects. Before 2010, Texas State required students with fewer than 60 credit hours to live on campus. The requirement was reduced to 30 hours in fall 2010.

Most of San Marcos’ new and proposed apartments rent by the bedroom, which caters to college students who do not wish to be responsible for their roommates.

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