It's a combination of renters cutting costs by staying in one spot and poorly planned construction projects.
But those looking to take advantage of that in Alaska are out of luck.
Rental agencies say they are filling up at a record rate.
When it comes to renting an apartment in Anchorage, it's good news for rental agencies and bad news for renters.
"We are sitting in an unusual market today, typically in the winter we are at 92 percent. This year we are sitting at 94- 95 percent. So that's kind of an anomaly for us," said Maureen Chandler, the regional director of Weidner Apartments.
"It's supply and demand, so when there's demand, then of course the rental rates are going to go up," she said.
If you're looking for a new apartment, don't start packing yet.
"We have no vacancies at this time, which is really unusual around this time of year," said property manager Jonathan Woike.
Empty apartments are few and far between.
"However, this year, we've actually rented apartments almost at twice the rate, we usually do. Reasons personally, I can't explain," Woike said.
In the Lower 48, it's just the opposite.
According to a study by a commercial real estate information provider, the national apartment vacancy rate rose 8 percent in the last three months, bumping the nationwide vacancy rate up to 8 percent.
Last year, it stood at 6.9 percent.
"Our economy is a little more solid up here, probably because we are seeing some local layoffs, but we're not seeing it nearly to the capacity that they're seeing in the Lower 48. Folks down there that are losing their jobs and their houses, they don't even have the option to move into apartments, they are moving back in with mom," Chandler said.
Alaska rental agencies say there is more than one reason for the spike in tenants.
Some people are pinching pennies by renting instead of buying.
"A lot of people that we rent to now are actually former homeowners that have now moved on from the whole homeowner thing, or maybe have lost their house," Woike said.
Many renters are students or people moving to town hoping for a fresh start.
"A lot of people are still looking up here to stay away from the trouble that we're facing down there," Woike said.
But whatever the reason they're renting, Alaska agencies hope they keep it up.
Although most rental agencies said they were doing better than ever, one woman said renting is down for her. She says the tax credit for the first-time homeowners took away some potential renters.
Agencies say that because there are so many potential tenants, they don't need to lower the rent.
Because winter is usually a slow time, sometimes agencies will cut costs or offer incentives like discounts or they will waive the application fee.
But unfortunately for renters, they probably won't see that this year.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org