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So, I’m reading this Wall Street Journal article about apartment vacancy rates and it’s telling me how easy it is find an apartment these days: rents are down 3 percent nationally. The vacancy rate is 8 percent. In New York City, “60% of rental buildings dropped their rents in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter.” Building managers are tossing Starbucks cards at tenants to get them to stick around for another year.

The article also reported that 120,000 new units came on the market in 2009—”the most new construction since 2003″—-including a number of buildings that were originally slated to be condos. That sounds like D.C.!

And yet…everyone that I know here in Washington has struggled to find a decent place. It takes hours of mind-numbing clicking on Craiglist, months of pounding the pavement.

And then, I get 12 paragraphs down:

Marcus & Millichap is to release a separate report on Friday that forecasts a further 2% to 3% drop in apartment rents over the next year, most of which will be concentrated over the next six months. The report forecasts Washington, D.C., will be the healthiest rental market in 2010 for the second straight year.