January 11, 2010. Retrieved online: January 11, 2010 from Brook Stockberger, Las Cruces Sun-News
LAS CRUCES — The rental occupancy rate in Las Cruces is down slightly, but the number of projects to build rental properties has risen.
Chris Erickson, who teaches economics at New Mexico State University, said there is anticipated growth in Las Cruces.
“When you’re building apartments, you better have population growth,” he said. “We have population growth.”
Plus, despite the fact that White Sands Missile Range will not be getting the Heavy Brigade Combat Team as originally planned, Las Cruces will continue to draw the kind of people who will look to rent instead of buy.
“Enrollment at the university has been up,” Erickson said.
For renter Adrian Cruz, who works and takes classes at New Mexico State University, the answer is simple: He’s not at a place in his life where he’s ready to buy a house and renting is more convenient.
“The main reason I like it is whenever we have a problem with anything, you can just call (the landlord),” Cruz said.
John Hadley, president of the Building Industry Association of Southern New Mexico, said he believes the reason for the increase in permits for rental properties is twofold: The Las Cruces area is growing and it is easier for builders to get funding for multi-family projects than for spec houses.
“Banks will not loan money on specs, but they’ll loan you all kinds of money on a multi-family unit,” Hadley said.
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