This week’s roundup takes a look at U.S. rent growth in 2019, factors impacting apartment investment and U.S. pricing trends. First, CityLab examines an emerging effort among cities on the East Coast to build denser housing to help curb the affordable housing crisis, following in the footsteps of several cities on the West Coast. Next, Abodo reveals its review of the U.S. rental market in 2019, noting that strong multifamily price increases were driven by a healthy economy and robust demand for apartments, among other forces. Arbor’s Chatter blog compares rent growth trends in different property types, with small multifamily seeing the highest rent growth due to its larger unit sizes and relative affordability. Then, MBA reports that the Freddie Mac Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index rose in the third quarter as record-low mortgage rates drove apartment investment. Finally, Real Capital Analytics offers an analysis of U.S. investment activity in the major property sectors, with apartment and industrial seeing increased interest.

Denser Housing Is Gaining Traction on America’s East Coast

CityLab – January 3

“Virginia became the first eastern state to see a proposal to prohibit bans on duplex housing across the state, among other housing fixes. Not to be outdone, Maryland will weigh a upzoning bill in 2020, plus a sweeping experiment to build European-style social housing across the state.”

America’s 2019 Rental Market in Review: Did Renters Pay More?

Abodo – December 30

“Fueled by an economy that refuses to weaken, one-bedroom US median rent prices increased by 4.1 percent, while two-bedroom prices rose by 5.5 percent.”

Small Multifamily Rent Growth Leads All Other Property Types

Arbor Chatter – January 3

“Small multifamily rent growth is fueled by the asset class’ proximity to job centers, larger unit sizes, and relative affordability to other rental property types.

Falling Rates, Increasing NOIs Boost Apartment Investment

MBA – December 30

“The Freddie Mac Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index rose 5.5 percent during the third quarter as mortgage rates dropped 39 basis points, their largest quarterly decline in five years.”

Chart: US Monthly Volume and Pricing Trends by Sector

Real Capital Analytics – December 30

“Investors have been ramping up activity in the U.S. apartment and industrial sectors over the last five years while moving away from the retail sector.”