It's a tough hunt for apartments in Yakima

YAKIMA, Wash. -- If you're in the hunt for an apartment here in Yakima, good luck to you.

Many apartment complexes in the area are already full.

"You just need to wait, that's the thing about applying for apartments," said Maria Sosa, who lives in Yakima.

It took Maria Sosa a whole year to find an apartment that she could move into with her two young daughters.

She just recently found a place that she liked by Washington Middle school. Finding something that was both affordable and in a safe area proved to be a challenge.

"Yeah because most places they're like, where there's gangs, I don't like those kinds of areas for my kids," said Sosa.

KIMA pulled the numbers and found that as of last year the vacancy rate in Yakima county, was lower than the state wide number.

Yakima came in with only a 3.3% vacancy rate as compared to 4.5% in the state, and 4.7% in Benton and Franklin counties.

Some signs show this year, rates may be even lower

KIMA called around to some of the major property management groups in the area to get current vacancy rates. There was a pretty big gap, ranging from 1.7% on the low end all the way to 8% on the high end.

Yet most of the major apartment complexes KIMA checked with in the area, said they won't have any openings until the end of the month at the earliest.

City officials told me that as downtown starts to develop and bring in more businesses, they hope that new apartment complexes will fill the space above the new shops.

But with several new complexes currently being built in Yakima and Terrace Heights, the city is satisfied for now and isn't yet planning to bring in new developers until there is evidence of greater demand.

Which may come sooner than expected, with more people like Maria on the hunt.

Property managers tell KIMA the vacancy rate in the summer months is especially low because of seasonal workers, and tends to raise slightly during the winter.