When COVID-19 emerged in Spring 2020, the nation’s apartment operators (rightly) prioritized occupancy over pricing power, so they hesitated to push rents when initial leases expired for their existing customers.
U.S. apartment rent growth is back in a big way, now that the country’s reopening local economies are fueling household creation and stimulating robust demand for all types of housing.
At the end of 2020, annual effective asking rents for the nation overall were cut by 1.1%. Moving forward, however, pricing is expected to reach the breakeven point in the last half of 2021, and then growth could return, getting higher than 3% by the end of calendar 2022
It may sound like bad news for the apartment sector: rent growth may stay relatively flat in the second half as vacancies and interest rates climb. But multifamily analysts insist the sector is going to remain strong over the long-term as investors search for properties to buy.