In the 30 years RealPage has been tracking the U.S. apartment market, demand has never been higher than it was in 2021. The market absorbed more than 673,000 units in the calendar year, blowing away previous records for apartment demand. When compared to the annual demand tallies from the past five years, a stark contrast emerges. The demand figure for calendar 2021 is almost twice as large as the volumes seen in the past five years. Even the five-year absorption peak from 2018 was about half of today’s tally at nearly 345,000 units. In 2020, when the market suffered from the rippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand eased to 300,000 units before skyrocketing in 2021. Solid absorption in the past year has led to very low vacancy rates and record high rent growth, and developers are scrambling to feed new apartment supply to the market at a rapid pace.