The U.S. multifamily average asking rent gained another $7 to $1,716 in May, despite eight metros posting negative growth.
- May marked the third consecutive month of rent gains in 2023, but growth is decelerating. Some metros posted negative year-over-year growth.
- Demand is cooling; the pipeline was robust with one million multifamily units underway, almost 900,000 of which are slated for completion by the end of 2024.
- Lifestyle rents (up 0.4% month-over-month) outperformed Renter-by-Necessity rents (0.3%); occupancy flat at 95.0%.
- The average single-family unit rent rose to $2,100 in May, up 2.1% year-over-year.
U.S. multifamily performance remains steady
The average U.S. multifamily asking rent gained $7 in May to $1,716, up 2.6% year-over-year, 70 basis points below the April rate and the lowest level since March 2021. Since January, the average national rent rose $18, or 1.0%, trailing pre-pandemic growth.
The moderation in rent growth stems out of an increasing number of metros where rent growth turned negative—in addition to Las Vegas (-2.8%) and Phoenix (-2.6%)—Austin (-1.0%), Seattle (-0.9%), San Francisco, Atlanta and Sacramento (-0.4%) and Orange County (-0.2%) also posted contractions in the average rent. Slowing demand will likely continue in the short term, as the pipeline has roughly one million units underway, almost 900,000 units of which are slated to come online by the end of 2024. Yardi Matrix identified eight major metros where stock expansion through the end of 2024 will grow by at least 8%—Austin (17.1% of stock), Miami (14.2%), Raleigh-Durham (13.5%), Charlotte (12.8%), Salt Lake City (11.4%), Nashville (10.9%), Jacksonville (10.2%) and Phoenix (8.8%).
Rent growth in May was highest in Midwest and Northeast metros, with Indianapolis in the lead (7.0% year-over-year), followed by Kansas City and New York (6.0%), Boston (4.8%) and Chicago (4.6%). Occupancy remained unchanged at 95.0% in April. On an annual basis, the rate fell in all metros except New York, tight at 98.0%. Las Vegas marked the largest decline, down 1.8%.
Rent growth bucks late-cycle patterns
On a monthly basis, the average U.S. asking rent rose 0.4% in May, with growth recorded in both Lifestyle (0.4%) and RBN (0.3%) segments. The upscale segment’s stronger performance is caused in part by the diminished home sales, which restrains high-income renters from becoming homebuyers.
Of Yardi Matrix’s top 30 metros, 25 marked monthly increases in RBN and 22 in Lifestyle rents. Chicago (1.0%), New York and San Jose (both 0.9%), Denver (0.8%) and Seattle (0.7%) led in monthly rent gains. Lifestyle rents increased by 1.0% or more in May in six metros—Seattle (1.4%), Denver (1.1%) and Nashville, Chicago, New York and San Jose (1.0%).
Renewal rent growth continued to decelerate, rose 8.2% year-over-year in March, from 9.4% in February. Only six metros had the rate in the double digits—New York (16.8%), Miami (13.1%), Orlando (12.8%), Raleigh (11.9%), Tampa (10.1%) and Nashville (10.0%). Drops in renewal rents in March from February were registered in Los Angeles (4.8% in March from 12.2 in February), San Francisco (1.4% from 5.6%), Chicago (4.2% from 8.5%) and Austin (9.5% from 11.5%). New York was the only metro where the rate increased, up 60 basis points from 16.2% in February.
Single-family BTR segment expansion continues
The national average asking rent for SFRs clocked in at $2,100 in May, a $7 gain, although year-over-year growth slid by 40 basis points to 2.1%. Markets with contractions in SFR rents include Miami (-4.5%), Phoenix (-2.6%) and Austin (-0.3%). Occupancy remained flat at 95.6% nationally but was 1.0% below the rate registered the same month a year ago and 2.0% below the peak recorded during the pandemic.
The decline in home sales kept institutional SFR operators focused on build-to-rent product. Moreover, the number of homes on the for-sale market was less than half of the volume prior to the pandemic.
Read the full Matrix Multifamily National Report-May 2023.