After COVID-19 upended the apartment rental market for more than two years, things finally appear to be returning to normal in 2023. The six largest public apartment REITs saw rents decelerate from the end of 2022 into the first quarter of 2023 as the winter slowdown returned to the multifamily business.
However, REIT executives were far from dour. In fact, many companies increased their 2023 guidance as signs pointed to strong leasing momentum heading into the always-important spring and summer months. Further buoying their spirits was the expiration of eviction moratoriums, which will eventually free up apartments for paying customers.
Still, there are lingering issues to grapple with as 2023 progresses. Expenses, particularly property taxes and insurance costs, continue to be a drag on profits. And some key downtown areas like San Francisco and Seattle continue to struggle in the recovery from the pandemic.