MF Posts Best Quarter in More Than a Decade

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DALLAS—For both occupancy and effective rent growth, the second quarter was the strongest that the multifamilysector has seen more than 13 years, according toAxiometrics data obtained EXCLUSIVELY by The apartment and data research firm says both metrics exceeded expectations, with occupancy reaching levels not seen since Q1 in 2001 and rent growth posting its best quarterly showing since Q3 2000.

“The year started slowly for the apartment market, perhaps due to weather, but it experienced a major reacceleration during the second quarter,” says Jay Denton, VP of research at Dallas-based Axiometrics. Amid an unusually harsh winter in many regions of the US, “effective rent growth was soft in January and February, but the period from March through May was the one of the strongest three-month stretches we’ve seen in the 19 years we’ve been tracking apartments.”

Effective rents grew 2.4% between April 1 and the end of June, the highest quarter-to-quarter rate since the 2.9% seen between July and September ‘00. Q2’s occupancy of 95% hasn’t been seen since the first three months of ’01, when it reached 95.6%.

The second quarter’s effective rent growth was especially impressive on top of Q1’s 0.5% growth and the 0.9% decrease in the last three months of 2013. Similarly, occupancies had declined for two consecutive quarters before Q2’s 60-basis point increase. Annualized effective rent growth reached 3.3% in Q2, up from 2.9% in the previous quarter.