Apartment Rent Growth Has Slowed But Is Still Above Pre-Pandemic Levels
After a banner year for rent growth in 2021, increases so far this year are happening at a slower pace, reflecting upticks in vacancy rates.
Though national rents are up 7.2% so far in 2022, year-over-year rents grew 10% in August, down from a nearly 18% annual increase at the beginning of the year, according to an ApartmentList report.
Though renters will likely welcome the slowdown, rent growth is still well above pre-pandemic averages.
The year has also seen a rise in apartment vacancies. Apartment List’s index shows national vacancy at 5.1%, up from 4.1% a year ago but still below the pandemic norm, the company said in its report.
Slowing rent growth and the uptick in vacancy are happening as transactions are slowing, at least for now. Berkadia’s 2022 Mid-Year Powerhouse Poll, which surveys 123 Berkadia investment sales agents and mortgage bankers across 65 offices, found that 75% of the respondents said transaction velocity had slowed since the beginning of the year.
Berkadia Executive Vice President and Head of Production Ernie Katai told GlobeSt that while there was a summertime pause (the survey was conducted in July) due to uncertainty about inflation and interest rates, he expected transactions to pick back up after Labor Day, provided that larger economic issues are kept at bay.
“Owners were feeling things out, and now we have some headwinds, but job growth and wage growth remain, so it’s debatable whether we’re in a recession,” Katai said. “What would disrupt all of this would be a deep recession.”