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Yardi Matrix: Renter Demand for Apartments Held Up in Pandemic

Renter demand for apartments remained strong nationally in 2020, the pandemic notwithstanding, Yardi Matrix reported. Around 252,000 apartment units were absorbed last year, about 1.7% of total market stock and down 12% year-over-year from 2019.

“Considering the economic and social calamity that befell the U.S., in many respects due to COVID-19, the fact that demand held up as well as it did is a relief for the apartment industry,” say Matrix analysts.

Net absorption was strongest in 25 of the 30 largest metros, accounting for 158,300 units absorbed. Dallas, Atlanta and Denver saw the highest absorption rates.

Negative absorption was centralized in key gateway markets hit hard by COVID, which also struggled with average rents. The worst performers were the Bay Area and New York City, which combined for -22,100 units absorbed in 2020. However, Matrix says even markets with strong absorption—including Seattle and Austin—saw year-over-year rent declines.

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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