Apartment Markets Where Occupancy Persisted in 2023

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While most apartment markets saw occupancy decline in calendar 2023, a handful of metros held their ground, relatively speaking. In the U.S. overall, apartment occupancy dropped 80 basis points (bps) year-over-year, coming down from 2022 peaks and returning to its long-term normal range. Decline was widespread across the U.S. and in fact, among the nation’s largest 50 apartment markets, San Francisco was the only market to see occupancy increase during the year, with the rate inching up 10 bps, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. San Francisco was one of the worst-hit markets during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and occupancy dropped as low as 92.2% in 2021. As of December, the rate was back up to 95%. Some other markets saw occupancy nudge down modestly in 2023. The setback was negligible at 10 bps in San Jose and Chicago, while markets with a 20-bps decline in 2023 included West Palm Beach, Richmond and Minneapolis. A modest 30-bps decline was seen in Seattle, Virginia Beach, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. Among those markets, December occupancy is still above 95% in San Jose, Chicago and Virginia Beach.