The percentage of apartment units with signed leases shrank a little in 2016, and will shrink a little more in 2017, but not by much.
“We’re anticipating that the occupancy rate backs off by 60 basis points in 2017, but that shift still leaves the rate very healthy at 95.5 percent,” says Greg Willett, chief economist with RealPage Inc., and head of MPF Research. Marcus & Millichap anticipates a slightly stronger, but similar national occupancy rate of 96.0 percent by the end of 2017.
At the same time, developers will complete 363,000 units in 2017, up from 289,000 in 2016. The number of new apartments under construction has increased in almost all metro areas, according to MPF. Marcus & Millichap anticipates a similar 371,000 units of new construction.