The multifamily housing sector has enjoyed an unprecedented boom in 2021, with a new report from real estate firm Walker & Dunlop proclaiming this year is the “golden age for multifamily”.
It’s likely to continue. High rents in the apartment sector are expected to continue making gains in the new year as demand remains strong. The rental market is seeing unprecedented demand as prospective home buyers who’ve been shut out of the for sale housing market turn to rentals in their droves.
It means property owners can expect to see record profits in 2022, according to a forecast by Green Street, a commercial real estate analytics providers.
The strong demand has meant building owners have been able to steadily increase their rents. According to data from realtor.com, rents in the multifamily sector rose by almost 20% in November compared to one year before.
The rise in rents is expected to result in a 13.5% increase in net operating income for building owners in 2021, which would outpace profit increases in the office, retail, lodging and student housing sectors, Green Street revealed.
However, questions persist over how long tenants can continue to weather the higher costs.
“In a lot of these places, minimum wages have been rising but not by enough to keep pace with the rent growth,” Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
If rents become unaffordable, more people could end up moving in with their family members or adding roommates. But to date, property owners say they haven’t seen much sign of that.
“We see people staying put,” said Mid-America Chief Operating Officer Thomas Grimes Jr. in an October earnings call. Mid-America specializes in renting middle-income buildings in the Sunbelt area and has reportedly raised its rents by 13% for all renewing tenants.
According to realtor.com, landlords will likely continue to try and squeeze as much money as they can from their tenants. It expects rents to rise by more than 7% throughout 2022, with the biggest increases likely to be seen in cities such as Austin, Texas; Miami; Memphis, Tenn.; and Jacksonville, Fla.