2018 Best Year for Multifamily This Century

February 4, 2019
Building exterior | Multifamily real estate had one of its best since 2000: multifamily debt hit an all-time high, renters paid more for housing than ever, and deliquencies remained at historic lows.
Photo: Unsplash/Daryan Shamkhali

Multifamily real estate had one of its best since 2000: multifamily debt hit an all-time high, renters paid more for housing than ever, and deliquencies remained at historic lows.

According to a new report from CBRE, net absorption had a century high of 286,600 units, translating to 10,000 units in annual growth. Only since 2010 have net absorption rates come close to this high; 2010, 2014, and 2017 were the years closest to 2018's record growth. Construction activity hit 267,900 competed units in 2018, lower only than in 2017, which was a record year with the highest number of completions since the 1980s, HousingWire reports. As well, absorptions eclipsed completions for the second year in a row.

Beyond that, multifamily acquisitions totaled $173 billion in 2018, the highest level in 19 years and up 12.1 percent from 2017, CBRE’s report stated. According to the report, multifamily investment totaled $50.9 billion in the fourth quarter, the highest in any quarter since the fourth quarter of 2015. As CBRE notes, the significant increases in multifamily investment in both the fourth quarter and the year as a whole show that the “strong appetite for multifamily assets by investors of all types outweighed concerns over rising interest rates, possible late-cycle exposure and relatively low returns.”

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