A “For Rent” sign posted in front of an apartment building on June 02, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Apartment rent growth and occupancy set new records in November, yet another sign that the nation’s housing market isn’t following seasonal patterns this year. Rent growth and occupancy usually cool heading into winter.

Apartment occupancy hit a new high of 97.5% in November, according to RealPage, a real estate technology platform. The rate is up roughly 250 basis points from the long-term norm of about 95% going back over the past three decades.

The annual increase in asking rents for new move-in leases hit 13.9% in November. Renewal lease rent growth usually climbs more slowly than when there’s turnover in a unit’s occupant, but it has still been growing at 8% even during the later part of the year.

“The demand from renters is really strong, especially for the luxury product. As the economy has recovered we’ve done a better job in high- paying employment than we have in the lower paying jobs,” said Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage.

This is usually the time of year that landlords see lower occupancy and therefore offer incentives or cut lease prices. Demand, however, continues to outstrip supply in the rental market, as it is also in the for-sale housing market.

“The rental market is actually stronger than the for-sale market right now. The rent increases are something like I’ve never seen before in my life, so we are definitely pulling forward a lot of household formation,” said John Burns, CEO of John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

November rent prices were up 0.6% from October. While that is below the growth seen in the spring and summer months, it is notable because rent prices usually decrease in the fall months.

What’s driving demand

(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)

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