Back to Blog

Thrive Lending’s Perspective on the Multifamily Market

December 28, 2023
Thrive Lending’s Perspective on the Multifamily Market

Apartment Vacancy Rates are Rising – But it’s Short-Lived

Apartment vacancy rates are a critical measure for the health of multifamily investments, directly impacting revenue generation potential. In 2023, we've observed an increase in vacancy rates from 5.6% in mid-2022 to 6.6% at the end of 2023. However, at Thrive Lending, we view this trend as a temporary shift rather than a cause for concern.  

This post delves into why we believe this increase in vacancy rates is likely a fleeting phenomenon and what it means for our borrowers.

The recent uptick can largely be attributed to a surge in multifamily construction, a pandemic-era trend that peaked in October 2022. This influx of new developments has introduced more inventory to the market, contributing to the rise in vacancy rates. Yet, there's an observable slowdown in construction starts, indicating an impending shift to a more sustainable growth rate. For borrowers, this suggests a forthcoming balance in supply and demand, making it an opportune time for investing in multifamily properties.

Lease renewal rates have also been on a steady rise, demonstrating the sector's fundamental stability.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, 83.1% of tenants are choosing to renew their leases, a notable rise of 11.3% since 2010. Surveys, including the NMHC Renter Preferences Survey, show that 85% of renters are happy with their current communities. Additionally, many renters are expected to keep renting in the future, likely due to the high costs and challenges of homeownership. This ongoing preference for renting suggests that vacancy rates may continue to decline.

The Implications for Borrowers and Thrive Lending's Role

At Thrive Lending, we see these converging factors – increasing lease renewals and a normalization in construction starts – as a compelling case for the transitory nature of the current vacancy uptick. Furthermore, the diminishing buying power of potential homeowners, coupled with escalating homeownership costs, is likely to keep more individuals in the rental market. We expect these dynamics to counterbalance the recent vacancy rate increase, presenting a favorable environment for multifamily developers.

Thrive Lending is prepared to support multifamily developers aiming to capitalize on the resilience and growth potential of this sector. With our extensive experience and over $500 million in loan originations, we offer industry-leading financing solutions for acquisition, refinance, value-add and new construction projects. Our expertise positions us to guide borrowers through market fluctuations and leverage opportunities arising from current trends.

For developers seeking tailored financing solutions for their multifamily projects, Thrive Lending is your ideal partner. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you realize your project's potential.