U.S. Multifamily remained the preferred investment sector in 2020, with its
share of overall transaction activity reaching 36% - its largest share since
Rents overall declined by 4.2% in 2020. However, despite the ongoing
pandemic, out of the 69 multifamily markets tracked by CBRE Econometric
Advisors (EA), 45 recorded positive rent growth in 2020.
Fundamentals weakened the most in major metros, urban cores, and Class
Major markets (San Francisco, New York) saw the largest rent declines,
while the leading mid-tier markets (Riverside, Sacramento, Albuquerque,
Tucson) saw rent growth exceeding 5%, surpassing pre-COVID levels.
The vacancy rate in urban core submarkets reached 6.1% in Q4 2020, its
highest level since Q2 2010. Suburban submarket vacancy was relatively
stable over this same period.
Similarly, vacancy rates for Class A jumped to 5.9% in Q4 2020, while Class
B and C vacancy rates remained flat.
EA expects national multifamily fundamentals to begin to recover in mid-
2022, with secondary markets leading the recovery, followed by major