Renter Nation Is Alive And Well
"Renter Nation" is alive and well. Apartment REITs reported reaccelerating rent growth in 2019, as robust employment and wage gains have powered growth in both renter and owner household formations.
Millennial-led gains in the homeownership rate did not come at the expense of the rental markets. Apartment occupancy rates remain near record highs, while turnover rates dipped to new record lows.
Jobs, jobs, jobs. Apartment REITs returned 26% in 2019 and are off to a hot start in 2020, as the employment outlook remains resilient. Sunbelt markets performed particularly well last year.
Renters actually enjoyed a brief reprieve from rising rents over the prior two years as landlords competed to fill a record number of newly completed high-end apartment units.
The 2010s will be remembered as a decade of historic underbuilding. Despite a US population nearly double the size of the 1960s, the US produced 30% fewer housing units.