CBRE predicts the overall multifamily vacancy rate in the U.S. will rise by 20 basis points to 4.5 percent next year, still below the long-term average of 5.1 percent. Meanwhile, rent growth will dip to about 2.4 percent, slightly under the long-term average of 2.6 percent.
Next year’s best multifamily opportunities will be found in suburban markets and smaller metro areas, as well as in major metros like Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Boston and Phoenix, according to CBRE research.
Thanks to solid market performance and robust investment returns, suburban markets will reign as the best bet in 2020 for multifamily investors, the firm’s data shows. In making that assessment, CBRE cites lower vacancy rates and higher rent growth in suburban markets compared with their urban counterparts.
On a metro-wide basis, several regions stand out.
A 2018 report from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) ranked Las Vegas, Phoenix and Sacramento, Calif. among the top five metro areas for outperformance in the multifamily category in terms of annual investment returns. That trend could continue into 2020. Real estate data provider Yardi Matrix expects Las Vegas (7.3 percent), Phoenix (6.4 percent) and Sacramento (5.9 percent) to wind up being among the leading markets for year-over-year rent growth for 2019. Other cities making the top tier included Seattle (6.4 percent); Boston (6.2 percent); Charlotte, N.C. (6.0 percent); Raleigh, N.C. (5.8 percent); and Austin and Nashville, Tenn. (5.4 percent each).