The US Census Bureau, in collaboration with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, releases data on completions and absorption rates for multifamily buildings with at least 5 apartments. The most recent release shows that completions of nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments amounted to 73,800 in the third quarter of 2016. This is 11,700 more than the second quarter of 2016, but 9,800 fewer than the third quarter of 2015 (Figure 1).
The absorption rate (apartments rented within 3 months of completion) for rental apartments completed in the third quarter of 2016 stood at 61 percent. This is 4 percentage points higher than the second quarter of 2016 (57 percent), but essentially unchanged compared to the rate from the third quarter of 2015 (60 percent) (Figure 1).
The release also revealed that the median asking rent of apartments completed in the third quarter of 2016 was $1,507. This is a significant increase compared to the median asking rent from the third quarter of 2015: $1,346.
In the third quarter of 2016, condominium completions rose considerably to 6,100, which is 2,800 units more than in the second quarter of 2016 and 1,800 higher than completions in the third quarter of 2015. The condominium absorption rate also posted an increase to 74 percent, which is 10 percentage points higher than the second quarter of 2016 and 23 percentage points higher compared to the third quarter of 2015 (Figure 2).
Figure 3 displays subsidized and tax credit unit completions as a share of total apartment completions. In the third quarter of 2016, subsidized or tax credit units represented approximately 6 percent (5,200 units) of total apartment completions. This is about the same share seen in the second quarter of 2016 (7 percent). It important to note that starting in 2010, the share of these units completed surged, but started to decrease significantly starting in 2014.