As occupancy falls again, apartment landlords sweeten the pot

Top markets for REIT returns include Phoenix

By Diana Olick | CNBC

Demand for rental apartments fell short of new supply by about 100,000 units nationwide, according to RealPage, a real estate analytics firm. Apartment occupancy is still high, but it is softening a bit, dropping to 94.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to 95.1 percent at the end of 2016. Occupancy has been falling for the past six months.

“There are lots of available units at just-completed projects,” according to Jay Denton, vice president of RealPage’s Axiometrics business group. “Also, top-tier existing projects are losing performance momentum for the first time in this market cycle. Some renters from established luxury projects are opting for the newest deliveries in order to take advantage of rent discounts often offered during the initial lease-up process.”

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