Supply Rose in April, Apartment Demand Did Not

Since the start of 2022, national multifamily deliveries have far surpassed net absorption, and the result has been sustained downward pressure rent growth in the face of falling occupancy. 2024 is set to be another year of unusually high new supply – making improvement in apartment demand of utmost importance. After encouraging signs in the first quarter, April was a step in the wrong direction.

All numbers will refer to conventional properties of at least 50 units.

New Supply

Nearly 57,000 new units were delivered nationally in April. This level of new supply was 30% higher than in March, 45% higher than in April of 2023, and was the high-water mark for monthly deliveries in recent years.

Charlotte, New York, and Nashville led the way in April deliveries – each added more than 2,300 new units. The Sunbelt was well-represented with other markets such as Atlanta, Dallas – Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin also cracking the top ten. While the construction boom is not just a Sunbelt phenomenon, sixteen of the top twenty-five markets for new supply so far in 2024 were Sunbelt markets.

2024 will be the third consecutive year with national deliveries above 400,000 units. In just the first four months of the year, nearly 180,000 new units were delivered. Not every month will reach the April total, but the new construction pipeline will continue to deliver units at a blistering pace.

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Apartment Demand

A streak of four straight months of improvement in apartment demand came to a halt in April. Net absorption totaled just more than 23,000 units. This was below the March total, but by a margin of less than 1,000 units. April therefore was not a major regression so much as a pause in the progress that had been made in recent months. Despite the setback, net absorbed units did surpass the total from April of 2023.

Class A apartment demand fell by about 10% month-over-month while Class B suffered a decline of 23%. At the same time, Class C net absorption improved by 21% month-over-month and Class D improved by 39%. Too much should not be taken from one month of data, but demand by price class will be worth watching in the coming months. Struggles at the top of the market and improvement in the workforce housing segments would represent a reversal in the dynamic observed in 2022 and 2023.

Four markets near the top of the list for monthly deliveries were also near the top of monthly net absorption: Atlanta, Houston, Dallas – Fort Worth, and Nashville. Other noteworthy markets with relatively robust demand in April included Phoenix, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas.


New supply pressure will continue to be a reality for multifamily in the near term. While new supply is certain to be high in 2024, the apartment demand picture is murkier. April did not bring with it further improvement after an encouraging first quarter, but it remains to be seen whether this was a one-month blip or something more. Apartment demand in the next few months will be key for industry performance in 2024.

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