Occupancy Winners and Losers

  in   Insights

While most of the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets surrendered some occupancy during the worst months of the pandemic, there were some holdouts. Between March and July, occupancy improved across 17 markets, with the top two performances recorded in the South region. Virginia Beach led the way, with occupancy increasing by 120 basis points (bps) between March and July, while Memphis wasn’t far behind with a 100-bps upturn. Five other markets recorded gains of roughly 100 bps or more, including Detroit (90 bps), Indianapolis (90 bps), Greensboro (70 bps), Las Vegas (70 bps) and Sacramento (70 bps). On the other hand, nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 50 largest markets posted downturns in occupancy from March through July. The steepest declines were recorded across some of the nation’s gateway markets, with the weakest performance hitting in San Francisco, where occupancy dove by 350 bps. Neighboring San Jose also saw notable decline, of 200 bps. Six other markets recorded occupancy drops of at least 100 bps, including Seattle (-150 bps), Los Angeles (-130 bps), Boston (-120 bps), Miami (120 bps), West Palm Beach (-120 bps) and New York (-100 bps). In comparison, the U.S. average setback since March was much milder at 20 bps.