Big Supply in the Southeast Drags Down Apartment Occupancy

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Apartment occupancy in the Southeast region of the U.S. fell to a 10-year low in 2023. It’s common for occupancy in the Southeast to run behind the national average. In fact, the only exception of late was in 2021, when occupancy in the Southeast – driven by the work-from-home shift that contributed to population increases in small beach towns – surpassed 97%. But since that peak, occupancy has declined notably. While resident retention, leasing traffic and apartment demand remain solid, however, the culprit here – like in much of the Sun Belt – is massive new apartment supply, as the volume of units delivering is outpacing absorption rates. Thus, occupancy has faded quickly back to more typical expectations, landing at just above 93% at the end of 2023. Moving forward, the question remains whether the Southeast can keep its head up as construction activity continues at a strong pace.

For more information on the state of apartment markets in the Southeast, including forecasts, watch the webcast Market Intelligence: Q1 Southeast Update.