For the seventh-straight quarter, annual effective-rent growth eclipsed 4% in 2016’s first quarter, according to Dallas-based Axiometrics. That streak of growth has happened only one other time (the fourth quarter of 2010 through the second quarter of 2012) in the company’s 21-year history.
But annual effective-rent growth did dip in the first quarter. It was 4.1% in Axiometrics' most recent report, 52 basis points lower than the 4.6% reported in the fourth quarter of 2015, and 89 basis points lower than the 5.0% growth one year earlier.
Occupancy remained strong, at 94.8%, in the first quarter, tied for the highest first-quarter rate since 95.7% at the start of 2001, according to Axiometrics. This year’s first-quarter rate was essentially the same as last year’s but 16 basis points lower than the 94.8% in 2015’s fourth quarter.
Miami had the highest first-quarter occupancy rate, at 96.8%, followed by Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York (96.6%), New York City (96.5%), and Los Angeles (96.3%).
Average national rent jumped $49 year over year, to $1,248 in the first quarter of 2016, Axiometrics states, as annual effective-rent growth was positive in 49 of the company’s top 50 markets, based on number of units. Oklahoma City was the lone metro on the wrong side of zero (-1.1%), while Sacramento, Calif., edged out Portland, Ore. (10.68% to 10.66%), ending the latter city's two-quarter run on top.
“Even though rent growth is moderating, as Axiometrics forecast, 4.0% growth is still well above the long-term average,” said Jay Denton, Axiometrics’ senior vice president of analytics, in a release. “The significant declines in primary metros such as the Bay Area, New York, Denver, and Houston are being somewhat offset by robust gains in secondary markets like Sacramento, Orlando, and Salt Lake City.”