Market News

Multifamily REIT Q1 Rent Preview

Time : April 22,2021 Source:Source:

Matrix rent survey data from January and February suggests multifamily REITs’ same-store rent growth will continue to be bifurcated in the Q1 2021 reporting period and beyond. For January and February 2021, portfolios centered on expensive, high-wage coastal gateways and technology hubs returned flat to negative monthly sequential rent growth and sharply negative year-over-year rent growth. 

For these portfolios, an inflection point was reached during the summer: Rents continue to decline, albeit at a slower rate. The very worst may be behind them, but a full recovery in rate will take time. 

Conversely, lower-priced portfolios primarily located in the Sun Belt and Midwest continued to record monthly sequential and year-over-year rent growth in January and February, suggesting first-quarter reported results for these portfolios will continue to outpace their more expensive coastal peers.   


Yardi’s market coverage is broad enough to construct a portfolio rent for the following eight REITs: AIR Communities (AIR), Avalon Bay Communities (AVB), Camden Property Trust (CPT), Equity Residential (EQR), Essex Property Trust (ESS), Independence Realty Trust (IRT), Mid-America Communities (MAA), and UDR Inc. (UDR). For each of these REITs, Yardi’s data covers a minimum of 95 percent of the properties listed in each of the REIT’s publicly reported financial disclosures. 

The rents presented here are “same store.” A property is considered same store if it has been continuously owned by the REIT for the previous 12 months and has reached 90 percent occupancy during the ownership tenure before the comparison period.   

Further, the rental rates analyzed here are “street rates.” In other words, they are based on survey data of publicly disclosed rental rates. Changes in same store rental rates discussed here most closely track REIT reported new lease rates, not renewal or blended lease growth rates nor in place portfolio rent. 


Ranking the REITs by February average rent from highest to lowest also roughly predicts year-over-year and sequential month rent growth. Higher rents generally correlate with lower year-over-year rent growth. The most expensive portfolios: AVB, EQR, ESS, and AIR recorded the largest year-over-year rental growth declines and, except for AIR, are still suffering from weak sequential monthly rent growth. Conversely, more affordable portfolios such as CPT, IRT and MAA are exhibiting same store sequential month rent growth. IRT and MAA’s year-over-year rent growth has largely remained positive throughout the pandemic.