Along with the East Coast, Orange County is one of the fastest-growing markets for new apartments. And buying one of them is still a good investment, says Michael L. Meyer, managing partner in Newport Beach for accountant Kenneth Leventhal & Co.
While apartment construction dropped 23% nationally this year, it rose 15% in the county.
You might expect a glut from all those new apartments, Meyer told the Apartment Assn. of Orange County, but when housing prices are skyrocketing beyond the means of most county residents, lots of people will still need apartments.
Another factor: If a countywide slow-growth initiative gets on the ballot and passes next year, apartment construction could finally slow, meaning that the complexes that are already built would become more valuable, Meyer said.
In fact, the value of apartment complexes has already started rising with interest rates, and purchases are now "not as good as they were at the beginning of the year."
The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the county is $750 a month, Meyer said--about the same as the monthly mortgage payment on an $80,000 house.