2021 Apartment Demand Breaks Decades-Long Record

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Apartment demand is at its highest ever, breaking the previous record set more than two decades ago.

Apartment demand is at a new high despite the record-low vacancy across the nation. Net demand hit more than 673,000 units, breaking the 2000 record by 66%, according to a RealPage Analytics Blog. Demand increased 2.1 basis points year-over-year to 97.5%, both the highest numbers since RealPage began tracking apartments in the early 1990s.

More than half the demand in the U.S. came from the Sun Belt and Mountain/Desert regions; Dallas/Fort Worth combined for 7.4% of the overall demand.

Meanwhile, occupancy rates and limited availability have resulted in higher effective asking rents, up 14.4% on new leases in 2021. And new lease rent growth climbed double-digits in 103 of the country’s 150 largest metros, again with the warmer markets leading the way. There were 11 markets in Florida with at least 20% growth.

While demand, occupancy and rent growth are at record levels, the supply in the rental housing industry is increasing. There were almost 360,000 market-rate apartments completed in 2021, states RealPage. This year will be the first time since 1987 that supply hits more than 400,000.