March 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. apartment vacancy rate continued its steady climb, rising marginally in the first quarter from the fourth, real estate research firm Reis Inc said in a report.
The national apartment vacancy rate rose to 4.7 percent in the first quarter from 4.6 percent in the previous quarter, with 49 of 79 metros reporting a rise in vacancy, Reis said.
"The apartment market slowed at the end of 2017 and then remained muted in the first quarter as it frequently does in winter months," Reis said in a statement.
The national average asking rents edged 0.9 percent higher and effective rent grew 0.8 percent for the quarter, the Reis report said.
However, net absorption fell 12,054 units to 27,875 units in the first quarter. Construction was also low at 39,917 units, trailing the 2017 quarterly average of 58,824 units.
Reis said many metros are expected to see considerably higher levels of completions in 2018 but expects the increase in vacancy to not exceed 2.5 percent in any market. (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)