Multifamily rents followed a traditional seasonal pattern and did not increase in September for the first time in eight months as the average U.S. rent dropped $1, according to Yardi Matrix.
The $1,412 national average for the month represented a $1 drop from August and a 3.1% year-to-date increase; year-over-year rent growth remained unchanged at 3%, according to a survey of 127 markets by Yardi® Matrix.
Overall multifamily outlook remains bright
The report presents an overall bright outlook for the multifamily sector.
A slight decline in rents is normal at the start of fall “when rent growth traditionally begins to hibernate for winter,” the report says.
Strong demand countering the steady wave of new supply is another positive sign. “Long-term demand for rentals is likely to remain high for a variety of demographic and social reasons,” the report notes.
Year-over-year rent growth leaders for September were:
- Orlando, Fla.
- Las Vegas
- Tampa, Fla.
- California’s Inland Empire
“Overall occupancy rates of stabilized properties bottomed at 95.0% in late 2017/early 2018, but since then have slowly climbed back up to 95.4%.,” the report says.
“Renter-by-Necessity properties have an even higher rate, at 95.6%, reflecting demand for units that working households can afford.
“This is encouraging for a couple of reasons. One is that it confirms our view of market fundamentals: Long-term demand for rentals is likely to remain high for a variety of demographic and social reasons. The renter-age population is growing, the economy is strong and there is demand from retirees downsizing from single-family houses.
The other encouraging sign is at the metro level. Some metros with a robust delivery pipeline that had the biggest declines in occupancy rates have bounced back. Basically, demand was strong and the market has been able to absorb the excess units over time.
The apparent takeaway: Multifamily fundamentals are in balance in most markets. Despite continued new supply, rents and occupancy appear well positioned for steady growth in the coming year.
View the full Yardi Matrix Multifamily National Report for September 2018 for additional detail and insight into 127 major U.S. real estate markets.
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