Baton Rouge is the Nation’s Worst Apartment Occupancy Performer
Located along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana is the nation’s worst apartment occupancy performer. Occupancy in Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana and home to Louisiana State University, plunged to 90.8% in July, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. That was the worst performance among the nation’s largest 150 apartment markets and the worst showing this market has seen since June 2018. In fact, over the last five years, very few markets nationwide saw weaker occupancy rates. The only exceptions were Midland/Odessa in 2020 and 2021, Myrtle Beach in 2020, College Station in 2019 and Champaign-Urbana in 2018. Weak occupancy is nothing new for Baton Rouge, as this market typically registers below the U.S. norm. Except for a brief stint following the flooding in August 2016 that temporarily displaced residents into the multifamily market, apartment occupancy in Baton Rouge has trailed the national average over the course of the past decade. Just since January 2022, occupancy in Baton Rouge has fallen 600 basis points, the deepest contraction nationally during that period. With historically weak occupancy, it’s no surprise that apartment development remains modest in Baton Rouge. Inventory has only expanded roughly 1% annually over the past decade, taking the existing unit count from around 44,000 units to nearly 50,000 units.