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Rent and Operating Trends Week of March 14th 2021

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As we continue to report Rent & Operating Trends Data and leading indicators traffic, occupancy, leasing, and net effective rent (NER), we are happy to share that we’ve expanded our sampling and added Jacksonville, Raleigh, and Salt Lake City into the regular rotation of markets.


After last week’s surge in leading indicators, weekly leases and traffic fell to more sustainable but still-healthy levels in the most recent seven days. While occupancy held steady on a week-over-week basis, both leased percentage and NER continued to push higher. 

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Covid-related lockdowns that rapidly gripped the nation. As a result, expect to see a transitioning of trends. Alternately, in the coming weeks and months, the nascent and slowly building recovery in NER may appear as out-sized rent growth when viewed against acutely depressed year-ago NER levels, especially during the volatile month of April last year.



Key Takeaways – Data as of 3/14/2021:


  • Traffic and Leases: National traffic increased 8.5% in the past seven days to 11.09 visitors per week. Meanwhile, the number of leases advanced 9.9% to an average of 3.57 executed agreements per week.
    • The conversion rate stood at 32.2% last week, up from 29.5% a month ago. The rising leading indicators, in concert with the ascending conversion rate, support the notion that prospective renters are beginning to feel more comfortable with in-person property tours. 


  • Occupancy and Leased Percentage: U.S. occupancy held steady at 94.36% in the past seven days, though the leased percentage rose 20 bps to 95.65%
    • Chicago, Raleigh, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., were among the top-performing markets last week with regards to occupancy and leased percentages. Each market notched a 30 bp or higher increase in occupancy and a 40 bp or higher improvement in leased rates.


  • Net Effective Rent: NER advanced 0.4% last week to $1,616 per month. With occupancy unchanged, revenue per available unit (RevPAU) rose by the same 0.4% last week, reaching $1,525 per month.
    • Last week’s NER gains were relatively consistent across floor-plan types. National NER for studio units appreciated 0.3%, while all other floor plans registered a 0.4% rise in NER.
    • Apartment communities in the Chicago and San Antonio metro areas noted an average NER increase of 1.4% over the past seven days, leading all other markets.


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