Despite a stagnant transaction market and a more challenging operational environment, many REITs still had positive news, such as declining expenses for Memphis, Tennessee-based MAA, to report on their recent second-quarter conference calls.
At a high level, the results were robust as rents and net operating income and bad debt showed signs of improving in the future for AvalonBay Communities, Equity Residential and Essex Property Trust, according to Haendel St. Juste, managing director of REITs for investment bank Mizuho Securities in an analyst note.
Coming out of the calls, Equity and other REITs that own on the East Coast seemed to be in the best position, but things are improving on the West Coast..
“Sun Belt rent growth is decelerating more meaningfully in the first half of 2023 and now lagging East Coast and Midwest as supply and tougher comps offset the benefits of less regulation and favorable employment and population growth in the region,” St. Juste wrote. “And the West Coast is still behind the East Coast given delayed return to offices, though showing signs of improvement.”
Still, all apartment REITs posted blended rent deceleration in the second quarter, showing a weakening market. St. Juste thinks rent growth looks relatively modest in 2023 at 1%, which puts revenue in the 2% to 3% range.
“It is also clear that apartment rent and net operating income growth is slowing across the board, a bit sooner (July) than in prior (non-Covid impacted) years and at a faster rate than we are seeing in single-family rentals,” St.Juste wrote.
Here, Multifamily Dive rounds up recent earnings releases and news from the country’s major apartment REITs.