Education and Real Estate

Report tabs Allendale among top rental rates

National study finds student housing greatly impacts market of college town.

August 23, 2019
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West Michigan is generally a more affordable place to rent compared to the rest of the country, but Allendale’s status as a college town causes its rental rates to jump above the national average.

RentCafé, a national apartment listings site, recently released the findings of its July 2019 Michigan Rent Report. The report found the average rent in West Michigan’s cities generally is lower than the national average. Nationally, the average rent went up by 3.4% year over year and reached $1,469 in July.

Apartments in Allendale are the state’s most expensive for renters, with an average rent of $1,580 and a monthly increase of 0.4%.

Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus deeply impacts the local market, said Nicky Ludean, spokesperson for RentCafé. Student housing makes up the entirety of the large-scale multifamily sector in Allendale with most apartments being near the university’s main campus.

Additionally, 82% of Allendale apartments are “high-end,” meaning they are upper-midrange and discretionary units with unit types ranging between one and four bedrooms, most of them being four-bed townhouses/apartments. The average size for an apartment is 1,283 square feet.

“Although the average rent in Allendale is high, this doesn’t necessarily mean that rental housing is expensive here, as most of these apartments are actually shared,” Ludean said.

The fastest-growing rents in July were in Grandville where rental apartment prices increased by 1.1% month over month, or $11 more per month. Holland apartments saw the second-highest monthly increase, jumping by 1%, $10 more expensive than last month, while in Wyoming, prices decreased by 0.7% or $6 compared to June.

On a national level, only eight out of the 260 cities in RentCafé’s national study saw month-over-month jumps of more than 1%, and 64% reported rents below the $1,469 national average.

Statewide in Michigan, two other cities in addition to Allendale were above the national average. West Bloomfield stood at $1,579 per month, and Ann Arbor had an average of $1,567 per month.

Grand Rapids had an average monthly rent of $1,050, Kentwood saw an average of $1,009 per month and Comstock Park stood at $846 per month.

Muskegon saw the lowest average rent at just $695 per month.

The data on average rents in the report comes from market-rate, large-scale multifamily properties via telephone survey. The study defines “large scale” as multifamily properties that are 50 or more units in size.

Data is compiled and reported by RentCafe’s sister company Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors.

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