Apartments hold steady despite uncertainty

The pandemic years have created a winning trifecta of high rent, occupancy and demand in the multifamily sector. Vacancies dropped to 5.8 percent, their lowest level since the mid-1980s, rents reached record highs while favorable interest rates and ready access to capital drove a vibrant transaction environment.

But what goes up must eventually come down. The final month of this year’s third quarter marked the end of this accelerated multifamily growth run, thanks to the headwinds stirred up by the Federal Reserve’s incremental increases in its benchmark interest rate as a hedge against inflation.

As apartment demand and rent growth move to levels more in line with historic averages, industry pundits have declared a return to normalcy from the unprecedented rent growth of the past 18 months, which was greater than any previous period in the apartment market’s history.