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Record Rent Growth, Occupancy Entice $53B In Multifamily Investments


The multifamily market is flying as high as it ever has, which means that bushels of investors are betting it won't come down for a long time.

Effective asking rents in the U.S. jumped 2.2% from June to July, which was 8.3% higher than effective asking rents were in July of last year, according to RealPage's monthly report. That represents the largest year-over-year jump on record, while the national average occupancy rate was 96.9% in July, also a record.

In smaller metropolitan areas, the rent growth was truly eye-watering. The Boise, Idaho, market has seen a 24% year-over-year bump, RealPage reports. In 65 of the country's largest metros, rents have increased by over 10% year-over-year. Effective asking rents in San Francisco and New York are still lower than where they were a year ago, but both markets have been closing that gap in recent months.

Players in the capital markets seem unconcerned about how sustainable this run will ultimately be, spending $53B on U.S. multifamily assets in the second quarter, setting a Q2 record, according to Real Capital Analytics data reported by Bloomberg. Among the factors that give investors confidence is the expiration of pandemic-driven leases with heavy concessions, as well as the ongoing supply chain issues slowing down construction of single-family homes and apartments alike, thereby holding down the supply side of the equation.

Year-over-year effective asking rent growth in the U.S. on a scale of 0% to 10%, according to RealPage

Desperate to deploy capital on properties that often have upward of 30 bidders, investors have been sweetening their offers by waiving inspections and shortening due diligence periods, Bloomberg reports. Of course, the most common strategy in separating oneself from competing bidders is to raise the offer, which has been happening with enough frequency for multifamily to drag overall commercial real estate prices to above pre-pandemic levels

The two most active buyers in multifamily since the year began have been Blackstone Group, which has placed huge bets on both affordable housing and single-family rentals in the past two months, and Morgan Properties, which never slowed down its pace of acquisitions, Bloomberg reports. The suburban-focused landlord now owns the second-most apartments of any company in the country.