New Haven, CT - Lowest Vacancy Rate in Nation, Thoughts?

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New Haven, CT has had the lowest renter vacancy rate in the nation for a few years now. Currently around 2-2.1%. Here is a great article (and most recent I've found) from Yale News discussing the state of the marketplace and the issues the city is facing.

It seems like a great opportunity for investors to not only get multi-family units, but to focus on the low and middle-class family earners as renters. Due to the low vacancy rate, rents are already higher, which is a plus for investors. But if investors can offer decent, fair living conditions based on the areas/class of neighborhood, it seems like the problem can be turned around without the need for big corporation buildings and constructions. 

Any local Greater New Haven area investors or real estate professionals have any thoughts? For those outside of the this area or out of state, what thoughts do you have about the subject having fresh eyes and not directly in the New Haven market?

I've been told by many prospective tenants that they felt the high rental rates in New Haven were being driven by the abundance of people in the area with housing vouchers as the housing authority pays top dollar (over market in most cases).

I'm not sure that is accurate or not but there are many (C/D level) rental properties available for rent in New Haven and a few of the surrounding towns.

@Rick Bassett I could see how that comes into play. I also felt that that there is a large student population with Yale, SCSU, Quinnipiac, Univ of New Haven and Albertus Magnus all in  and around the immediate area of New Haven. 

What I've notice as a new-ish resident of New Haven (and not originally being from here), that there is not a lot currently in the city to attract permanent, working young professionals/families like myself. 

As an investor, do you see it changing?

Hey all I'm a new investor with little experience but I am a New Haven native and I've been traveling the past 7 years. I returned home about 2 years ago and want to get into an investment in the greater new haven area.

What you may, or may not know is that this year, a new section of the highway leading into the downtown area that has been under construction sine I left 7 years ago opened up and has relieved a lot of traffic pressure.  

Also 3 major players are opening up there doors for business this year bringing hundreds of jobs into the city.

Aside from the densely student population New Haven does a good job keeping people employed, and as a Yale employee you receive plenty of housing assistance. 

All in all I too see the prosperity in the future of New Haven, even in lower income family homes.   

We rent SFH's in the burbs surrounding New Haven and every time that we put one up for rent the vast majority of inquiries come from voucher holders who currently live in New Haven and are trying to get their kids into better school systems and live in safer areas.

There are some desirable areas of New Haven but like most cities, there are some very tough/depressed areas as well. The quality and pricing of rentals seems to be reflexed accordingly.