Have you been hesitating about whether or not to buy a house or condo for investment purposes?  Well, as I’ve been telling you for months: now is the time!  While home prices may not be rising to the heights some homeowners might wish for, Orange County apartment rents are projected to continue to rise this year, with the number of empty units continuing to fall, making Orange County the fifth-best apartment market for landlords in the nation in 2012.

Experts have advised renters to brace for an average increase of 4% in asking rents and a smaller market pool, with only  3.9% of units expected to be empty by year’s end. Strong demand for rentals stem from home prices that are still too high for many Orange County families and the foreclosure crisis, which pushed many OC homeowners into the rental market.

Many project the average asking rent in Orange County to reach $1,576 a month by the end of 2012, up 4% from $1,515 at the end of 2011. Additionally, Orange County’s effective rent, or the amount landlords pocket after concessions like one month’s free rent, is projected to increase 5% to $1,545 per month.

Again, if you are considering purchasing an investment property in Southern California, do not delay!  Call Cheryl Marquis today — she will help you find the best property for you.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC!

Cheryl Marquis has been an active and successful real estate agent in South Orange County, California for more than 25 years. As a TOP PRODUCER in her company, Cheryl has received the specific accreditation of a Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and is a member of the Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate, a select network of the world’s leading luxury home agents. A member of C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors), N.A.R. (National Association of Realtors) and O.C.A.R. (Orange County Association of Realtors). To talk to Cheryl about buying or selling a home in Orange County, call her at 949.683.1501 or visit her online at www.CherylSellsOC.com.