Occupancy rates have increased since last year in all but one of the 29 major metropolitan areas studied by RealFacts, a research company that tracks the multifamily housing industry.

Rent prices also showed gains “across the board,” RealFacts reported.

“The strong occupancy and rents recently seen in Southern California, Las Vegas, and Phoenix remained on pace, while every other (metro area), except Fresno, joined them with positive annual occupancy growth, with none below 90 percent,” according to the report.

Northern California lead the way with the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area recording 9.1 percent annual rent growth and occupancy at about 96 percent; San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont had 5.9 percent rent growth and 96.1 percent occupancy; and Vallejo-Fairfield followed at 2.6 percent rent growth and occupancy of 94.9 percent — up 2.6 percent from a year ago.

In Southern California, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana had 6.8 percent annual rent growth and 95.9 percent occupancy; Riverside-San Bernardino slowed slightly with 5.7 percent rent growth and 94.9 percent occupancy; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos had 3.1 percent rent growth and 95 percent occupancy (down 0.1 percent on the quarter); and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura had 7.3 percent rent growth and 96.3 percent occupancy.

In the Tucson, Ariz., metro area, occupancy grew annually by 3.1 percent to 95.4 percent and annual rent growth is at 2.3 percent; Denver-Aurora, Colo., had 1.4 percent occupancy growth to 93 percent and slight rent growth of 0.5 percent; Indianapolis, Ind., reached 91.1 percent occupancy with rent growth at 0.6 percent; the Kansas City, Mo., metro area had an annual occupancy gain of 2.3 percent to 94.5 percent and rents at 2 percent; and Oklahoma City, Okla., recorded a 3.7 percent occupancy gain since last year to 95.8 percent, and annual rent growth at 2.6 percent, RealFacts reported.

Colorado Springs, Colo., was the only metro area tracked by RealFacts that saw a year-over-year decline in average rent. The rental rate fell 0.4 percent in that area, while occupancy improved 3 percent.

Twice as many metro areas had more than 3 percent annual rental growth compared to a year ago.

Occupancy for the entire RealFacts database stood at 94.3 percent, up 0.7 percent for the quarter and 2 percent annually, while rents were up 1.1 percent for the quarter and 3.7 percent annually.

One year ago four metro areas tracked by RealFacts had occupancy levels below 90 percent; 21 metro areas were between 90 percent and 95 percent; and four were above 95 percent.

This year none is below 90 percent; 15 are between 90 percent and 95 percent; and 14 are above 95 percent occupancy.

Last year, nine metro areas had annual rent growth rates below 1 percent; 14 were between 1 percent and 3 percent; and six were above 3 percent.

This year seven are below 1 percent; nine are between 1 percent and 3 percent; and 13 are above 3 percent, including three metro areas with more than 7 percent annual rent growth.

The RealFacts database includes about 11,800 investment-grade, market-rate rental communities of 100 units and larger, covering markets in 15 states. RealFacts conducts quarterly telephone surveys to obtain current rents and occupancy levels.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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