Oklahoma City Rent Growth Tops U.S. Norm
After holding on to rent growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma City is now pricing well ahead of the U.S. norm. Average effective asking rents in Oklahoma City grew by 3.8% in the year-ending April, at a pace well beyond the national average of 1.7%. It’s not typical for Oklahoma City to raise rents ahead of the U.S. norm. In fact, in the past five years, national rent growth averaged at 2.3%, well ahead of the Oklahoma City norm of 1.3%. Helping inspire rent growth, Oklahoma City apartment occupancy has been steadily on the rise in the past four years. While still lagging the national norm, occupancy has increased over 400 basis points (bps) since bottoming out in 2017. Oklahoma City’s job base has also recovered nicely in the past year. The employment base in Oklahoma City did see the big drop many other markets witnessed last year, when the pandemic took hold of the country, but recovery has been steady. As of March, this market is 4.8% away from returning to pre-pandemic levels. This is the best showing among the energy-dependent economies. Tulsa and Houston are 5% to 6% away from full recovery, while the Midland/Odessa job base is still suffering, with a workforce that is still behind by about 17%.