Pandemic Will Inflict More Pain on Rental Housing Before Recovery Begins

The pandemic continues to burden multifamily rental housing as rents continue to fall and more pain is coming, Yardi Matrix says in their U.S. Multifamily Outlook for winter 2021.

‘After a year ravaged by a global pandemic and political division, nothing would be more satisfying in 2021 than a return to normal” … but “it will take some months to get most of the country vaccinated and get businesses operating as normal,” the report says.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, national rent growth remained relatively flat on a year-over-year basis, ending the year at -0.8 percent. There was a large divergence in performance between markets, though. High-cost gateway markets struggled the most, while many tech hub and tertiary markets thrived,” the Yardi Matrix report says. Some highlights of the report:

  • Job growth has been mostly positive since the summer, but the economy remains nearly 10 million jobs off its peak.
  • Nationally, rent growth fell only slightly in 2020, but there was a huge variation among metros. Rents and occupancy levels fell sharply in high-cost gateway markets, as renters left crowded and expensive coastal centers. More affordable markets in the Sun Belt, Southwest, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic saw modest rent growth.
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