Apartment rent growth has slowed somewhat from the stout pace seen last year, but the multifamily sector nonetheless had another strong month in March, Yardi Matrix reported.
Year-over-year rent growth dipped 50 basis points to 14.8% during the month, but average asking rents nationwide still increased $14 monthly, reaching an all-time high of $1,642. Asking rents nationally are now an astounding $212 higher than they were in March 2021. Quarterly, asking rents grew $34, or 2.1%, in the first three months of the 2022, more than in any previous first quarter in Yardi’s records.
Rent growth remains geographically broad-based, with asking rents up by 10% or more in 87% of the markets tracked by Yardi. Even those that didn’t cross that threshold, like Baltimore (9.9%), San Francisco (8.7%), Kansas City (8.1%) and Minnesota’s Twin Cities (5.1%) saw considerable rent increases from last March.
Markets in the Southeast and West that have served during the pandemic as cheaper destinations for residents fleeing pricey coastal cities continue to see heightened rent growth compared to the rest of the country. Of the cities tracked by Yardi, the top five metros for rent growth — Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Las Vegas and Phoenix — all posted year-over-year rent increases of at least 23%, topped by Miami at 26.3%.
According to Yardi, however, signs are pointing to some softening of demand in the Sun Best and West. Deliveries have outpaced demand in many markets in those regions over the last year, leading to occupancy rates seeing decreases over 12 months. Phoenix saw the largest decrease (-0.5%) in occupancy in March, followed by California’s Inland Empire and Las Vegas (both at -0.4%).