Strong Economic Numbers for November

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, November was a banner month for employment, with multiple metrics beating estimates. As reported by BLS, non-farm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November while the unemployment rate remained at 3.5%. Additionally, though the 63.2% laborforce participation rate marked only a 30-basis point increase from November 2018, those working a part-time job for economic reasons declined from 4.8 million people to 4.3 million people year-over-year.

Another interesting note included in the BLS report is a 12-month gain of 3.1% in average hourly earnings, finishing November at $28.29. The reported average workweek for non-farm employees held steady from November 2018 at 34.4 hours. This is nice to see, as wages have grown at a healthy rate without corresponding growth in hours worked.

Drilling down to multifamily, net absorption of about 295,000 units over the last 12 months led to an average occupancy gain of less than five basis points. This was largely thanks to the delivery of nearly 282,000 new units in the same period. For the month of November, almost 12,000 previously unoccupied units were rented, but this absorption was not enough to outweigh the more than 17,000 new units introduced during the month. Even so, national average occupancy closed the month just above 92%.

National average effective rent growth was flat in November but finished the month at $1,354 per unit after gaining 3.8% over the last 12 months.

As 2019 draws to a close, the multifamily industry appears poised to close the books on another solid year.

For a closer look at November multifamily results by market, visit out Market Review page.

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