ALBUQUERQUE, NM — The rental market in Albuquerque’s metro is tight — prices are higher than they’ve ever been and there aren’t many affordable places to rent.
The apartment store near Montgomery and Louisiana has been helping renters find housing for decades. Properties in need of occupants paid locators to rent them, but now The Apartment Store is closing that side of their business.
“Thank you Albuquerque for 36 years… However, due to market conditions and with saddened hearts, The Apartment Store has closed the apartment rental side of our business and currently we only work with private rentals.”
Owner Bobbie Burkdoll said it was another sign of the times.
“The last two years have gotten really tough,” she said. “Stocks were falling, prices were rising. We were losing property, we had no inventory.
According to Rent.com, the average price for a two-bedroom is $1,486, an increase of 22% over the same period last year. Burkdoll saw people selling out, which also caused it to shut down.
“That’s why we closed,” Burkdoll said. “It was extremely depressing when they came to my office and even cried because they had no place to go. It was always the people your heart goes out to and when you can’t help them anymore, it’s kinda, why bother?
Burkdoll had to pivot. Instead of finding apartments, it helps landlords list their properties for rent.
“Inventory is still low – when we have something available, it rents out almost immediately,” she said.
So what is the answer? Burkdoll said more rental properties need to be built. Even though the metro is seeing more and more apartments being built, Burkdoll said many are being billed as “luxury,” with not enough affordable housing on the horizon.