Record deliveries minimally impact vacancy as rents steadily climb. A second straight year of robust job growth led by the retail trade sector will support the absorption of new rentals, holding vacancy below 5 percent. The volume of units brought online in 2017 will be concentrated in four areas: the Central West End and Forest Park neighborhoods, downtown St. Louis and the bordering city of Clayton. Vacancy will slightly increase amid this wave of construction after declining for three straight years. The wide gap between Class A rents and Class B and C rates, coupled with minimal availability in the latter rental sector, indicates steady rent growth will occur at affordable properties. A pushback in Class A rents that occurred last year may continue in 2017, with affordability of single-family home prices offering comparable pricing. Class B and C rents will record a fourth consecutive year of growth.