The long anticipated slowdown in rent increases from record numbers of new multi-family projects opening for business has yet to materialize as rental demand drove rents to record levels in the first three quarters of 2015, sending the national apartment market soaring to its strongest year in a decade.
According to data from Axiometrics, a specialist in apartment market research and analysis:
- Annual effective rent growth of 4.7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 represented a 7-basis-point (bps) increase from the figure of one year earlier (also rounded to 4.7%), though it was 35 bps lower than the 5.2% of the third quarter of 2015. The fourth-quarter rate is the highest year-end figure since 2005, when effective rent growth was 5.8%.
- Rent growth has been 4.7% or above for five straight quarters, even though a three-quarter streak of at least 5.0% growth was broken. Never in Axiometrics’ 20-year history has annual effective rent growth been at 4.7% or above for such a long period.
- Quarter-over-quarter effective rent growth was -0.6% in the fourth-quarter, continuing a trend of negative rent growth at the end of the year. That rate was a 32-bps decrease from the 0.3% reported in 4Q14 and marked the only quarter of 2015 in which the rent-growth rate decreased from the corresponding quarter of 2014. It should be noted that quarter-to-quarter rent growth is normally negative in the fourth quarter due to seasonality.
- Average national rent was $1,244 for the fourth quarter of 2015, a $54 increase from the average of $1,188 in the fourth quarter of 2014.
|QUARTERLY EFFECTIVE RENT GROWTH|
|Source: Axiometrics Inc.|
“Quarters 1-3 were the most robust period we have seen since before the Great Recession,” said Jay Denton, Axiometrics’ Senior Vice President of Analytics. “Much of the fourth-quarter moderation can be attributed to several Western markets that experienced double-digit rent growth for most of the year but could not sustain that pace.”