U.S. apartment vacancy rate edges up in second quarter: Reis

File photo - The downtown Los Angeles skyline is seen behind apartment buildings in Little Tokyo, in Los Angeles, California, United States, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - The U.S. apartment vacancy rate increased in the second quarter and rents were higher, according to a report from Reis Inc REIS.O.

The national vacancy rate rose slightly to 4.4 percent in the second quarter from 4.3 percent in the first quarter, the real estate research firm said.

Asking rent rose 1.3 percent and effective rent grew 1.1 percent in the most recent quarter. They increased 3.5 percent and 3 percent respectively year-over-year, according to the report.

“Total inventory is expected to increase significantly in 2017, however, construction in the second quarter was lower than expected in a quarter that tends to see the highest activity,” the company said.

New construction totaled 36,477 units in the quarter, down from 57,586 units added a year earlier.

This was the lowest quarterly addition in more than two years, the report added.

Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Edited by Martina D’Couto