It’s still a rental property-owner’s market!

While mortgage rates remain low, some lenders still are making it tough for first-time homeowners to purchase an entry-level home. That’s forcing them to remain in rentals. It’s still a rental property-owner’s market. If recent statements from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen are any indication of what’s to come — she said it may be time soon to pull back on its “quantitative easing” policy — mortgage rates could tick up and put even more financial pressure on first-time homebuyers, keeping them in the rental market longer.

Brevard has seen a bump in occupancy in its 90 apartment complexes, rising to almost 95 percent, up from 88 percent six years ago, according to ALN Apartment Data Inc. As the supply of rental units has decreased, prices have gone up. And just as quickly, special deals and incentives to lure tenants have diminished.

Greg Craven, publisher of the monthly Melbourne-based “Apartment Community Guide & Locator Service,” said occupancy rates are probably the highest they have been in three years. He said rental properties still are benefiting from the mortgage foreclosure crisis in which people lost their homes and had to move. But there also is an influx of new people moving into Brevard who are renting before they decide to purchase.…