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National Multifamily Market Report – September 2023

National Multifamily Market Report September 2023
Image by Mindaugas Dulinskas/

Short-term rent growth turns negative, down $6 in September to $1,722, while year-over-year gains soften to 0.8%.

Report highlights:

  • The average asking rent rose 0.8% year-over-year through September, marking a $6 decline from August. Northwest and Midwest metros continue to lead in rent performance.
  • Headwinds include the slowing economy, rising energy prices and prolonged high interest rates; much of the rent declines are caused by strong deliveries in some metros.
  • Renter-by-Necessity rents decrease 0.2% month-over-month in September, Lifestyle rents drop 0.5%. Occupancy still at 95.0%.
  • Single-family rents mark second straight months of contraction, increasing 0.4% year-over-year in September, to $2,104.

Rents turn negative, market endures

The average U.S. multifamily asking rent rose 0.8% year-over-year through September to $1,722, which is $6, or 60 basis points below the August rate, a substantial 490 basis points below the rate registered at the beginning of the year. It’s also the first time since the global financial crisis of 2009 when national rents mark a decline in September. However, the market remains healthy, with the slowdown in rent growth stemming from the slowing economy paired with a heavy delivery pipeline in some metros.

Northeast and Midwest metros remained strongest by rent growth: New York City (5.6% year-over-year), New Jersey (5.2%), Chicago (4.0%), Indianapolis (3.8%) and Kansas City (3.6%). National occupancy remained flat at 95.0%, rising in just four of Yardi Matrix’s top 30 markets: Chicago (up 0.5% year-over-year), Boston (0.1%), Denver (0.1%) and New York (flat), while in six it dropped by one or more percentage points, the largest decline registered in Denver (-1.3%). The highest occupancy rates were recorded in New York (98.1%) and New Jersey (97.4%), thanks to low completions and steady demand.

Rents fall across asset classes

On a month-over-month basis, national rents fell 0.3% in September—down by 0.2% in the Renter-by-Necessity segment, and by 0.5% in the Lifestyle segment. Just six of Yardi Matrix’s top 30 metros posted increases in the RBN class and five in the Lifestyle component. New Jersey (0.8%) led in monthly gains, followed by Miami (0.2%) and Twin Cities (0.1%). All other metros posted declines in overall asking rents. Negative rent growth reflects the robust supply expansion, especially in the Lifestyle segment. This increased competition caused upscale rents to fall by 1.0% or more in six metros, with the largest decline registered in Indianapolis (-2.5%).

Renewal rent growth decelerated to 6.4% year-over-year through August, 60 basis points below the July rate. The peak of this metric was recorded in August 2022 (11.1%). Miami led all metros with renewal rents at 10.3%, followed by Raleigh at 9.9%. Most metros posted normalized rates, with two thirds of the top 30 markets posting growth between 5.2% and 8.0% year-over-year. San Francisco’s growth was lowest, at 3.3%. Austin’s 7.5% renewal rent growth came as a surprise, especially since asking rents are declining. Meanwhile, national lease renewal rates softened further to 60.4% in August. New Jersey (80.7%), Philadelphia (76.2%) and Detroit (70.5%) posted the highest rates.

SFR investors resort to new tactic

Average asking rates for SRFs marked a 0.4% year-over-year increase in September, the equivalent of a $4 drop from August, to $2,104. The occupancy rate remained at 95.9% in August. Reduced transactions pushed investors to come up with new plans for SFR growth. Specifically, they look for land zoned for SFR or with approvals granted where development is postponed by owners lacking other means to begin construction. These including lack of capital or owner disbelief that the respective deal will materialize.

Read the full Matrix Multifamily National Report-September 2023.

About the author

Anca Gagiuc

Anca Gagiuc brings more than a decade of experience within the real estate industry. She is a senior associate editor with Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News who also writes monthly multifamily reports at Yardi Matrix.

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