Forecasting 2024’s Top Apartment Markets

The economy is constantly changing, affecting the housing industry in many ways. While inflation has recently decreased, it remains worrying as consumers, investors and the Federal Reserve attempt to control rising prices – which has proven to be a very difficult task. Meanwhile, the job market appears steady, and consumers have been fairly resilient. Still, these external forces impact key indicators across multifamily housing markets.

Understanding where markets are headed in coming quarters is valuable for anyone seeking to get ahead. By forecasting over 180 metro areas, we at RealPage have identified which major markets are poised to outperform in 2024.

For projected rent growth, two markets tied for the top spot. The tech hub of San Jose and Virginia capital of Richmond are both forecasted to grow rents 4.0% in 2024 – the highest rate among the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets. Next comes West Palm Beach with forecasted rent growth of 3.9%. Other top markets include Anaheim, Pittsburgh and San Francisco above 3.4%, along with Columbus, Riverside, Baltimore and Philadelphia above 3.2%. In general, robust local income growth often drives the steeper rental price increases.

For 2024 occupancy rates, Newark, New York City, Boston and Riverside are forecasted to maintain the strongest occupancy, all above 96%. Unsurprisingly, these markets all have limited housing supply and dense populations, allowing the property operators to fill units. We also expect 2024 rates above 96% in Los Angeles, San Diego and Anaheim.

In terms of new supply, Dallas leads with nearly 38,000 units underway – easily exceeding second-place Phoenix's 33,362 units. Other top construction markets include Austin, Denver, Charlotte and Los Angeles, each with over 20,000 new rentals delivering in 2024. Rounding out the top 10, Atlanta, Houston and Raleigh/Durham will each receive over 20,000 new units in 2024.

For demand, Dallas, Phoenix and Austin again rank highly for attracting residents and jobs, allowing apartment demand to remain strong through 2024. Our most recent forecast model shows Dallas absorbing almost 37,000 units, while fast-growing markets like Charlotte, New York and Denver will also see strong multifamily demand. With populations and jobs still growing in many of these market, tight conditions will likely continue.

Arben Skivjani serves as a Deputy Chief Economist and Director of Forecasting for RealPage, Inc.