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Rent And Operating Trends – Week Of March 10th 2024

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Rent And Operating Trends – Week Of March 10th 2024

Picture of Chris Nebenzahl

Chris Nebenzahl

Despite a significant downward revision to the January numbers, the February jobs report provided further evidence of an extremely robust labor market. 275,000 jobs were added last month, and more than half a million jobs have been added so far this year. The unemployment rate ticked up modestly but remains low by historical standards. Wage gains increased 0.1% last month and 4.3% from February of 2023, providing further evidence that inflation is slowing. Fed chair Jerome Powell gave a very measured statement last week in his testimony to Congress, saying that he expects rates to come down in 2024 but is not ready to say when the first rate cut will be.

Key Takeaways – Data as of 3/10/2024

Traffic and Leases:

  • Traffic and leasing both increased modestly last week, and the closing ratio held at 32% nationwide.
  • The largest gain in traffic came in Orlando, where average properties added nearly a full tour last week. The gain pushed Orlando into the top five markets for overall traffic. Florida and Texas remain the highest states for apartment demand, as four of the top five traffic markets are in either the Sunshine State or the Lone Star State.
  • San Jose led all markets in new leases signed, picking up more than half a lease per property compared to the week before.
  • Baltimore also had a very strong week from a leasing perspective, and now leads the nation both on an absolute leasing basis and a closing ratio basis.

Occupancy and ATR:

  • Occupancy gained another basis point last week, as it slowly rises from its recent bottom. On an annual basis, nationwide occupancy is down only 55 basis points.
  • Another reason for optimism is that the top markets for weekly occupancy growth are geographically dispersed and many of the worst performing markets of 2023 are starting to grow.
  • Wilmington, NC led all markets, followed by Portland, OR, Columbus, OH, San Antonio and Nashville. All posted occupancy increases of at least 10 basis points.
  • Conversely, the largest occupancy declines were concentrated in the Carolinas and Florida. Greenville, SC lost 20 basis points of occupancy last week, followed by Columbia, SC, Charlotte, and Jacksonville.

Net Effective Rent:

  • Net effective rents increased 7 basis points nationwide last week, and the national average net effective rent in $1,805.
  • Las Vegas topped the weekly growth rankings for the first time in a while, another indication that oversupplied southwestern markets are beginning to recover from their development issues in recent years. Occupancy in Las Vegas is up both on a weekly and annual basis.
  • Chicago and Denver also posted strong rent growth last week. The prime rental season is typically later in these two markets, but the early growth is a good sign. Both Chicago and Denver were two of the better performing markets last year and they look to keep their momentum going, as demand remains steady, and supply abates.

Revenue Per Available Unit:

  • With both occupancy and rents rising, RevPAU is on the road to recovery as well.
  • Las Vegas also led the RevPAU rankings last week, followed by Midland, TX and Minneapolis. Property fundamentals driven by the growth in the oil market continue to rise in the small west Texas market. RevPAU is up 7.7% in Midland, nearly doubling the second leading market.
  • 22 of the 45 markets tracked by Radix Research saw revenue increase last week, and 18 markets have experienced annual revenue gains.
  • After a weak year in 2023, the multifamily market seems to be well on its way to a strong year of steady recovery.

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Picture of Chris Nebenzahl
Chris Nebenzahl
Chris Nebenzahl is the Director of Economic Research at Radix, where he oversees all macroeconomic and multifamily market analysis. Chris has 15 years of multifamily experience in data analytics, research, asset management and acquisitions. Prior to his time in the multifamily industry Chris was a portfolio manager at Bank of New York, focusing in the government and commercial fixed income sectors.
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