Multifamily Real Estate Markets Update (November 2020)

Gateway markets are continuing to be hurt the most by the pandemic, with San Francisco taking the most significant damage in both occupancy and rent growth. Higher cost metro areas are suffering the most, while low-cost markets and low-rise apartments are outperforming.

Below are key takeaways from the following reports:

Low-Rise Apartments Outperform Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty – RealPage Link

Matrix National Multifamily Report – September 2020 – Yardi MatrixLink

Download the PDF version of this report here:

Low-Rise Apartments Outperform Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty


  • Low-rise properties with three or fewer stories are predictably seeing higher demand than mid and high-rise apartments
    • Along with the pandemic, the demand for these assets is largely driven by affordability
    • In the largest 50 apartment markets in the US, both rent growth and occupancy have seen better performance in low-rise properties
  • Low-rise properties saw rent growth of 0.8%, while other asset class saw negative growth
    • Mid-Rise saw rents fall by 4.4%, and high-rise apartments saw the steepest decline of 8.1%
  • Occupancy at low-rise properties shows a similar trend in the 50 largest apartment markets
    • At 96.3%, low-rise occupancy is higher than high rise (92.9%) and mid-rise (94.6%)
    • Markets, where low-rise occupancy outperforms the market average by more than 100 bps, are primarily gateway markets:
      • These include San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Minneapolis

Matrix National Multifamily Report – September 2020

Yardi Matrix

  • Multifamily rents increased by $1 in September, to $1463
  • Although national rent levels have not declined to the levels expected at the beginning of the pandemic, there have been significant rent variations at the metro level
  • The trend of lower-cost metro areas outperforming their high-cost counterparts continued in September
    • Higher cost metros have seen the steepest declines
    • San Jose (-6.6%) and San Francisco (-5.8%) are the metros with the largest year-over-year decline:
      • Overall rents have declined $205 and $136 respectively since February
    • The two best performing metros for year-over-year rents were the Inland Empire (3.4%) and Sacramento (3.1%)
  • The Lifestyle asset class is continuing to suffer, with 22 of the top 30 metros experiencing negative rent growth year-over-year
    • The Renter-by-Necessity asset class only has negative growth in 8 of the top 30 metros