April figures point to return of sustainable apartment rent growth

Strong demand keys second straight month of strong rent gains

April marked the second straight month of solid apartment rent gains, Yardi Matrix’s latest Multifamily National Report revealed.

Per the real estate analytics company’s data, the average asking rent nationwide grew 0.3%, or $6, to $1,725 month over month in April. The increase moved rents just $2 below the all-time high set last summer. Year-over-year growth was flat from March at 0.7%, while year to date, rents are up $12.

April’s figures are an encouraging sign for the multifamily market, especially on the heels of the strongest rent gain in nearly two years one month prior. Absorption remains far below the peaks encountered in 2021, but this year’s start suggests a pace more similar to an average pre-pandemic year and moderately ahead of the absorption levels seen during the down years of 2022 and 2023.

According to Yardi, there are signals in the rent growth pattern that suggest some sustainability. Demand, for example, is broad-based, not concentrated within a geographic region or market size. Large coastal renter hubs like New York and San Francisco, which had dealt with disproportionate outbound migration (and consequently a drop in renter demand) during the height of COVID-19, have now posted positive apartment absorption for two years. Metros in the Midwest have maintained positive momentum through the post-pandemic era thanks to more affordable rents and strong job markets. And in the Sun Belt, while rents and occupancy rates have diminished of late in cities like Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte because of a surge of new deliveries, demand remains robust.

Because of strong demand, while annual rent gains are in the red for those three cities, they’re all once again seeing positive short-term rent growth. In fact, according to Yardi’s figures, just four markets among the top 30 renter hubs have had negative rent growth over the past three months: Austin (-0.3%), Atlanta (-0.2%), Raleigh (-0.1%) and Tampa (-0.1%).

Meanwhile, while an abundance of new supply was partly the cause of rent growth deceleration over the past 12 months, Yardi’s data indicates that the pipeline of multifamily development is soon slated to slow. The under-development pipeline remains stout currently, leading to a strong near-term forecast of deliveries. But as new construction activity continues to dwindle, new supply looks set to bottom in 2026.


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