For the first time in over 15 years, apartment occupancy in Memphis is ranking ahead of the national average. As of October, occupancy in Memphis was at 96.2%, topping the U.S. norm by 50 basis points (bps). While that’s not a lofty lead, it’s a lead, and Memphis occupancy hasn’t been ahead of the national norm since a brief moment in 2004, which the market’s rate was 10 bps beyond the U.S. average. Helping Memphis push ahead of the national norm in recent months was the market’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the U.S. overall lost 40 bps of occupancy between March and June, Memphis apartment occupancy performed differently, gaining 90 bps during that time frame. When the U.S. saw recovery of 50 bps between June and October, Memphis continued to log gains – of 80 bps. Helping Memphis maintain occupancy strength, average monthly rental rates are some of the most affordable among the largest 50 apartment markets, at $964. This market also saw one of the nation’s strongest effective asking increases in the year-ending October at 4.4%.