(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

TAMPA, FL-The housing crisis along the Gulf of Mexico coastlineappears to present an advantage for apartment landlords. Asunderwriting on home mortgages becomes more restrictive, the longertenants have to stay put and continue writing monthly rentchecks.

This trend will likely benefit owners of class A apartmentcomplexes in Tampa, St. Petersburg and surrounding cities,according to a research report by Marcus & Millichap. However,the firm forecasts an areawide vacancy rate of nearly 10% thisyear, while asking rents are expected to fall a full percentagepoint to $834 per month.

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