Austin Logs Strong Monthly Rent Growth Performance

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Although Austin’s annual rent cuts are still deeper than the national average, the monthly performance in the Texas capital ranks among the nation’s best. In March, Austin recorded a 1.4% increase in effective asking rents, which was a top-five performance among the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets. In fact, Austin has seen at least modest improvement in each of the past four months. Despite recent improvements, however, rents were still down by 2.1% year-over-year as of March. While still deeper than the national norm, annual cuts in Austin were still better than the 5.2% downturn this market saw just five months earlier, which was the weakest performance since RealPage began tracking the market. Austin’s improved rent performance in recent months coincided with an upturn in occupancy. After trending downward for five months in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, apartment occupancy in Austin inched up 40 basis points between January and March, taking the rate to 94%. Still, that remained one of the worst readings among the nation’s major apartment markets.