SOURCE: Axiometrics Inc.

Axiometrics Inc.

October 21, 2013 10:00 ET

Effective Rent Growth Continues Deceleration in September

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwired - October 21, 2013) - Axiometrics Inc., the leading provider of apartment data and research, reports that national effective rent growth, which has been moderating at the national level for the last two years, continued that trend in September. For the month, annual effective rent growth measured 2.99%. Occupancy remained at Axiometrics' forecasted rate of 94.9%.

"The year leading up to the peak in mid-2011 was incredibly strong, with the apartment market moving from terrible to terrific in the blink of an eye. Since then, it has been in a period of moderating rent growth," said Jay Denton, vice president of research for Axiometrics. "Right now it is somewhere between the two extremes, depending on the particular area, and by historical standards is still strong. It is simply not faring as well compared to the very strong results of the recent past."

Effective Rent Growth and Occupancy

At the national level, annual effective rent growth slowed from 3.17% in August to 2.99% in September. One year ago the growth rate measured 3.63%, and it has slowed in nine of the last 12 months with increases only in November 2012, May 2013, and June 2013. 

Despite the overall slowdown, 17 of the top 88 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported an annual growth greater than 5% in September. California and Florida continue to dominate for effective rent growth, comprising seven of the top 10 performing MSAs. A sampling of MSAs with annual effective growth of greater than 5.0% in September included: Oakland (9.04%), San Francisco (7.39%), Seattle (6.95%), and Boulder (5.78%). At the other end of the spectrum, Washington, DC ranks as the second weakest MSA out of 88 measured with an annual growth rate of -1.50%. Other MSAs with negative growth were Little Rock (-2.28%), Bethesda (-0.17%), and Philadelphia (-0.23%).

Nationally, the occupancy rate held steady at 94.9% in September, which is up 28 basis points (bps) from September 2012 and 77 bps from September 2011. Currently, 54 of the top 88 MSAs have an average occupancy rate greater than 95.0%. 

Class C properties continued to generate the strongest annual effective rent growth in September, as well as the highest occupancy growth. For the month, Class C properties increased to a growth rate of 4.32%, as compared to 3.73% in September 2012. In addition, occupancy for Class C increased 82 basis points to 93.56%. Class A properties generated the lowest annual effective growth rate in September at 2.55%, yet maintained the highest occupancy rate at 95.38%. Class B properties slowed from a growth rate of 3.53% in September 2012 to 3.20% in September 2013, though their occupancy over this period increased by 10 bps to 95.22%.

Market-specific Growth Varies

Performance continues to vary according to specific market conditions. In particular, Axiometrics reports that the Mid-Atlantic region is struggling to generate rent growth. In addition to the previously noted metros of Washington, DC, Bethesda, and Philadelphia, Virginia Beach (1.16%) and much of the Carolinas are also weak. Specifically, Charlotte's annual effective rent growth has steadily slowed from 7.06% last September to 2.08% this year. Raleigh dropped from 4.73% to 2.68% over the same period. Likewise, the South Carolina MSAs of Charleston (2.49%) and Greenville (0.58%) also underperformed the national average in September.

While Miami (3.77%) and West Palm Beach (4.17%) rank in the top 30 for rent growth, other Florida markets have struggled a bit. Tampa and Orlando, both of which generated growth of 2.27% in September, have underperformed the national average throughout most of the recovery period.

Bright spots for effective rent growth outside of the West Coast MSAs include the Texas MSAs of Houston (5.28%), Austin (4.86%), and Dallas (3.60%), all of which are above historical averages despite escalating deliveries of new units. Denver remains among the nation's strongest growth markets for the fourth consecutive year with a rate of 7.04% in September. Atlanta, with new supply well below the long-term average and an improving job picture, has improved its rent growth rate throughout the year, measuring 4.94% this month. 

The following table lists many of the top and bottom performing markets in Axiometrics' survey for September:

Top and Bottom Performing MSAs  
Rank* MSA Annual Effective Rent Growth   Occupancy Rate   Revenue Growth  
Sept-12   Sept-13   Sept-12   Sept-13   Sept-12   Sept-13  
1 Santa Rosa, FL 6.50 % 10.97 % 97.4 % 97.8 % 7.57 % 11.15 %
2 Naples, FL 9.03 % 9.51 % 96.5 % 96.8 % 12.03 % 9.85 %
5 Oakland, CA 7.21 % 8.91 % 96.6 % 96.8 % 7.52 % 9.07 %
6 Corpus Christi, TX 7.71 % 8.19 % 95.8 % 96.1 % 9.54 % 8.38 %
7 Portland, OR 4.01 % 7.80 % 95.3 % 96.0 % 4.02 % 8.51 %
8 San Francisco, CA 10.37 % 7.39 % 96.1 % 96.2 % 9.93 % 7.44 %
9 Denver, CO 6.81 % 7.04 % 95.4 % 95.8 % 6.99 % 7.38 %
11 Seattle, WA 5.35 % 6.95 % 95.1 % 95.4 % 5.65 % 7.41 %
13 San Jose, CA 8.18 % 5.78 % 95.8 % 95.7 % 7.59 % 5.77 %
  National 3.63 % 2.99 % 94.6 % 94.9 % 4.00 % 3.17 %
54 Charlotte, NC 3.01 % 2.27 % 95.6 % 95.4 % 4.14 % 2.13 %
60 Tampa, FL 7.06 % 2.08 % 93.8 % 94.3 % 7.60 % 2.45 %
61 Chicago, IL 3.06 % 2.02 % 95.0 % 95.2 % 2.63 % 2.26 %
87 Washington, DC 2.25 % -1.50 % 95.5 % 95.1 % 2.25 % -2.04 %
*Rank is based on annual revenue growth in Sepember 2013. Only the top 88 MSAs were used for the ranking. Axio tracks properties in more than 400 MSAs around the country.  
Source: Axiometrics Inc.  

About Axiometrics

Axiometrics is the only multifamily research provider to survey every property in its database at the floor plan level every month. Every property. Every month. Only Axiometrics. Learn more at www.axiometrics.com or by calling 214-953-2242.

Contact Information