Mixed Performance in Stock Market as Yields Increase at the Beginning of Q2 Trading

Mixed Performance in Stock Market as Yields Increase at the Beginning of Q2 Trading

Spring is looking more competitive for the rental market. But the bigger forces bringing down rent inflation remain intact.

New data from Apartment List published last week showed that median rent costs nationwide rose by 0.6% in March, the second straight monthly increase after six consecutive monthly declines. The median cost of rent now stands at $1,388.

Over the last 12 months, however, rent costs are down 0.8% and look set to continue easing inflation pressures.

March saw monthly rents rise in 81 of the top 100 cities, though only 42 cities recorded year-over-year growth. Regionally, the Sun Belt has logged notable rent declines as an influx of multifamily units cooled off the market.

The surge in new apartment supply has also pushed vacancies up, with the national index hitting 6.7%, the highest since July 2020. The figure solidifies the two-year trend of easing multifamily occupancy, and supply isn’t set to slow.

In its report, Apartment List noted 2023 saw a record number of multifamily units completed “and an even greater number of new units are expected to come on the market this year.”

Rent has been a major influence on inflation, with the cost of shelter, while moderating on a monthly basis, still accounting for about two-thirds of the annual increase in consumer prices seen in February.

However, the slowdown in rent prices that began back in 2022 is still feeding through the data and is expected to bring inflation pressures down later this year.

“The Apartment List National Rent Index has proven to be a strong leading indicator of the CPI housing and rent components, since our index captures price changes in new leases, which are only later reflected in price changes across all leases (i.e., what the CPI measures),” the report said.

“And while rent growth as measured by our index was cooling over the course of 2022, the CPI measure continued to rise. But as we had long been predicting, the shelter component of CPI finally turned the corner last spring and has been steadily cooling off ever since. As the official measure of shelter inflation continues to trend down, it will help ease overall inflation as well.”

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