El Paso Occupancy Hits Recent High

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Despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, apartment occupancy in El Paso swelled to a decade high in recent months. As of June, occupancy was at 97%, marking the third consecutive month of occupancy at or above that mark. This latest showing was well ahead of the market’s five-year norm of 93.9% and notably beyond the U.S. average of 96.5%. This is new for El Paso, as occupancy here consistently ranked below the national norm throughout much of the last economic cycle. The last time occupancy ran above 97% in El Paso was in late 2010, when the market was regaining sure footing from the last economic fallout. Boosting occupancy in recent months was annual demand that, while yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, easily outpaced next-to-nothing supply volumes. Construction rates have been low, rarely exceeding 500 units annually, for several years running. In the year ending 2nd quarter 2021, El Paso absorbed about 550 units, nearly 400 of that coming in 2nd quarter alone. High and improving occupancy in East El Paso and Mission Valley/Socorro boosted the market’s overall performance.