Rent Growth Resumes: Multifamily Market Ends 5-Month Decline Streak
New data shows that nationwide multifamily rents increased in January, marking the first rise since August of 2022.
Good morning. Nearly half of Americans would give up a work holiday to have the Monday after the Super Bowl be declared its own holiday. So, if you're feeling a little rough around the edges and still manage to open this newsletter, we raise a (virtual) glass to you.
In today's edition, we dive into the current events shaping the multifamily rental market. Apartments.com reports a 0.4% rise in nationwide multifamily rents in January, the first increase since August 2022. Meanwhile, LA City Council introduced a historic tenant protection law to shield renters from excessive hikes.
Multifamily Rent Growth Ends 5-Month Streak Of Declines
Nationwide multifamily rents in January rose by 0.4% for the first time since August 2022, according to new data from Apartments.com. This jump comes after rents decreased during Q4 across all 40 of the top markets tracked by Apartments.com.
Trend reversal: The recent increase in rents is a reversal of the trend seen throughout the pandemic, but executives say it remains to be seen whether this growth continues this year. Despite the positive start to the new year, year-over-year rent data continues to decline, highlighting the market's weakening position.
Regional variation: Midwestern markets led the nation in percentage rent growth, with Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus among the top five, along with Miami and Orlando. On the other hand, Sun Belt cities continued to fare the worst, with rent growth slowing dramatically in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Atlanta and Austin may also follow similar trajectories, with absolute rents dropping by double digits so far in 2023.
➥ THE TAKEAWAY
The bottom line: If the positive rent growth trend persists, year-over-year data may change course, signaling a return to equilibrium between supply and demand. However, a record number of apartment units are due to come online in 2023 across 13 markets, potentially increasing competition and bringing rents down.
LA Landlords Must Pay to Relocate Tenants Facing Hefty Rent Hikes
The Los Angeles City Council has just passed a landmark protection for renters. Under this new legislation, landlords who raise rent by 10% or more will be required to provide relocation assistance to tenants who are impacted. This is a significant win for renters in Los Angeles, as they now have a safeguard against excessive rent hikes.
Hefty fees: According to the ordinance, landlords who raise rent by more than 10%, or CPI plus 5%, will be slapped with a hefty bill—three times the Fair Market Rent plus $1,411 to cover moving costs. To put this in perspective, hiking rent on a one-bed apartment with a fair market rate of $1,750 per month could result in a grand total of $6,661 in fees for the landlord.
Time is of the essence: Despite containing an urgency clause, the legislation didn't go into effect immediately due to pushback from two Councilmembers: John Lee and Traci Park. Lee argued that the relocation assistance favored tenants too much and put landlords in a tough spot. The debate continues on the best approach to tackle the housing affordability crisis in Los Angeles.
➥ THE TAKEAWAY
Ushering in a new era: Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who has been a champion for renters' rights, sees this as the final piece of a transformative package for the city. The ordinance will cover an additional 84,000 units that were built after 2008, and not currently protected under rent-stabilization laws. Raman even committed to working with dissenting Councilmember Lee on creating more housing in LA.
📰 Editors' Picks
Weak sauce: Banks are experiencing weaker demand for all types of CRE loans, with a negative outlook for delinquencies and charge-offs in the near future.
Renting > Buying: The number of affluent households in the US opting to rent rather than buy has skyrocketed, particularly in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and Seattle.
Invest in the fundamentals: Markets like St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and Minneapolis may present buying opportunities for distressed RE investors.
Who's hungry?: Grocery giants Kroger Co. (KR) and Albertsons Cos. (ACI) are selling 300 stores for nearly $1B as part of their merger, which the FTC is heavily scrutinizing.
Under wraps: The SEC is investigating the mysterious world of the Mormon Church's hidden investment empire, which has amassed a staggering $100B in holdings.
Land grab: A new player is bringing its casino dreams closer to reality—the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota bought the former White Sands Motel for a whopping $10.25M.
Politics as usual: Polish Prince Philip Radziwill invested millions in the Mennica Legacy Tower in Warsaw, but, despite the tower's success as a moneymaker, the investment continues to go south.
Sunshine & rainbows: Colliers (CIGI) is seeing a drop in revenues, but expects to recover thanks to pent-up CRE demand in the second half of the year.
Moving in silence: Red Mountain Group bought 20 vacant Big Lots stores for $47.5M, while completing 8 major leases before the close of escrow.
Does it pencil?: D.C. is attempting to revitalize downtown by offering a 20-year tax break to investors who convert offices into apartments through a new tax abatement program.
Office apocalypse: Maturing fixed-rate loans and expiring leases in NYC could spell doomsday for office building owners, who are being squeezed at both ends.
Pimpin Ain't Eazy: Rapper Kodak Black is jumping into the CRE game with his recent purchase of a 0.7-acre property in Pompano Beach that he plans to redevelop into luxurious retail space.
Last Week's Highlights
📈 Chart of the Day
The group of high income earners, those earning $150,000 or more, renting their homes grew by 82%, becoming the fastest-growing category of renters.
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