Manchester is the Nation’s Tightest Apartment Market

  in   Insights

Apartment occupancy is tight almost everywhere right now, but nowhere is it higher than in Manchester/Nashua/Concord. This New Hampshire market recorded an occupancy rate of 99.2% as of August 2021, a rate that indicates vacancies are virtually nonexistent. That August rate was the highest among the nation’s top 150 markets and well above the national average of 97.1%. It comes after rising 60 basis points (bps) over the past year and 180 bps since the pandemic-era low in June 2020 of 97.3%. Manchester has historically been a tight apartment market, with occupancy averaging 96.4% over the past decade. But occupancy of late reflects solid demand that likely benefitted from the market’s proximity to Boston, as many renters have left high-priced metros for their more affordable neighbors throughout the pandemic. But Manchester has also received very little new supply in recent years, bolstering occupancy. With occupancy remaining at elevated levels, operators have had pricing power. Rents in Manchester climbed 13.1% over the past year. While not a top performer nationally for annual rent growth, Manchester’s recent hike, which was a record high for the market, lead the top 21 markets in the Northeast and was above the U.S. norm of 10.8%.