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'09 Prediction: Plenty of Empties

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After years of runaway rents, it looks like renters finally have some bargaining power, The Real Deal reports: "In 2009, the vacancy rate in market-rate rental apartments will rise to its highest level in at least 28 years, as mounting job losses drive renters from the city, a new report from commercial real estate services firm Marcus & Millichap predicts. The vacancy rate will reach 4.7 percent, topping the previous record of 4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003, the firm determined in its 2009 National Apartment Report." That's more than double the vacancy rate in 2007. [Real Deal]