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News Release    

March 15, 2005      


Steinhaus Announces 2004 Rental Housing Survey

Poughkeepsie…County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced the release of the 2004 Rental Housing Survey completed by the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development.

According to Steinhaus, "The level of Dutchess County’s rents and a lower than ideal vacancy rate correspond to a strong local economy and increased demand for housing in Dutchess County. While in many ways these are indicators of a strong economy, they also show there are currently too few apartments in Dutchess to keep up with the natural demand."

The average apartment complex rent for one and two bedroom units, which make up 90% of the units, increased 2.8% and 2.4%, respectively. This indicates a slowing of the rate of increase from the 2003 survey. The average one bedroom rent increased from $858 in 2003 to $882 in 2004. The two bedroom rent increased $25 to $1,054.

The vacancy rate, in the 6,917 apartment complex units covered by the survey, was 2.8%. Only 193 units were reported as vacant. This vacancy rate is considered low from a market perspective. Housing experts consider a 5% vacancy an indicator of a healthy rental market where landlords have acceptable vacancies from a financial perspective and there are sufficient vacancies for tenants to move.

The multi-family housing section shows a similar trend to apartment complexes. The average rents for one and two bedroom units increased 1.1% and 2.3%, respectively. These percentages are down significantly from 2003. The average one bedroom rent increased $9 to $817 while the average two-bedroom rent increased $23 to $1,018 in 2004. The median rents confirmed this trend. Median numbers are often considered a more reliable indicator of the market as they remove the exaggerating influences of extremely high and low rents.

Steinhaus continued, "Dutchess County is working closely with local municipalities to create a full range of housing options available for our residents and our workforce. The Workforce Housing Coalition, which we created in 2003 and in cooperation with the County’s Department of Planning and Development, are working to encourage and assist local municipalities in developing models to create a range of housing which addresses the needs of their residents."

Although a vacancy rate is not calculated for multi-family housing, this year’s survey covered 455 units, which is the highest number of units since 1996. It appears there is more availability in the multi-family market than the past five years.

The condominiums and homes for rent section had a combination of moderate rent increases and even some decreases although these numbers may fluctuate more than the other data because of the smaller sample size. The section also showed an increase in the number of units available.

Subsidized housing is a continued need and homelessness information from 2004 showed that 3,489 separate individuals accessed emergency housing through Hudson River Housing and Grace Smith House.

Each year the survey calculates the annual income needed to afford the average rents using the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standard that a household should pay no more than 30% of their gross income for housing, including utilities:

 Unit Sizes

Annual Income--
Apartment Complexes

Annual Income--
Multi-Family Units

 Studio  $27,880 $27,080
 1-bedroom  $35,280  $35,680
 2-bedroom  $42,160  $44,760
 3-bedroom  $54,160  $54,000

The County’s survey is divided into four sections: apartment complexes of 20 units or more, multi-family rental housing, condo’s and homes for rent, and subsidized housing. The survey shows that Dutchess County’s rental housing market continues to be tight although rent increases have slowed and the vacancy rate has increased.

The full survey is available on the County's website or from the Department of Planning and Development, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, (845) 486-3600 for a charge of $4.00 plus postage, if applicable.

For more information contact:
     Anne E. Saylor, Housing Coordinator
     Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, (845) 486-3600



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