JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New apartment complexes are popping up all over town -- more inventory to fit a growing demand.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of empty apartments in Jacksonville dropped from 19.5 percent at the start of 2010 to 12 percent at the end of 2012.
"The renting market is going to continue to stay strong for a while," said Realtor Lesley Vitel.
Vitel tells Action News rentals are booming because some families don't have another choice. Those forced to foreclose or short-sell their homes can't buy again right now.
"There's two to three years before they're going to be able to buy again," she said. "Their credit may have not even been that horribly damaged, they just need that recovery time."
And she says finding a house to rent right now is nearly impossible. Homes that have gone into foreclosure aren't going back on the market as rental properties -- they're selling them too quickly.
"What they don't realize is first of all they're probably not owned by the bank yet which means the bank can't rent it to you. The people that do own the property are in the middle of foreclosure you probably don't want to rent it from them."
She says the good news is this is a transitional period. And in a few years, those restricted families can OWN a home again.
"We have another influx of buyers coming in -- those groups of people who short-sold two, three, four, five years ago because it started that long ago are now ready to buy again."