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Category: Multifamily Tags: multifamily trends

Multifamily Topics

The multifamily industry continues to evolve with the commercial real estate landscape thanks to the growing demand for affordable housing, the rise of urbanization, and the changing lifestyles of younger generations. As investors navigate fluctuating market conditions, the landscape of multifamily investment reflects these transformations.


Several trends have emerged in the last few quarters and are shaping the future of this sector.


Pros of the Multifamily Sector

The multifamily sector offers several benefits for real estate investors. One of the most significant advantages is the economies of scale, as owning multiple units in one building can lead to lower operating expenses and potentially higher returns on investment. Additionally, multifamily properties offer a steady rental income, especially since the rental income can be adjusted more frequently.


Furthermore, multifamily properties are often considered recession-resistant due to increased demand for rental properties during an economic downturn. Shorter lease terms and diverse income streams from multiple units can help mitigate risk. At the same time, government programs that support affordable housing can provide investors with additional opportunities for stable returns through rental subsidies or tax credits. Overall, investing in multifamily properties offers the potential for stable returns, diversification, and long-term wealth generation.


Challenges Facing the Sector

Multifamily development faces ongoing challenges amidst a record-breaking supply pipeline of over 900,000 units as of Q3 2023, raising concerns about demand alignment and affordability. Despite a recent uptick in absorption rates, the sector continues to grapple with supply excess, leading to rent growth moderation and operational hurdles. Notably, the delivery of Class A properties exacerbates the affordable housing crisis, with rents expected to be 3.1% higher than Class C assets.


While primary and secondary markets in the Midwest and Northeast outperform the national average in statistics like supply and operational costs, regions like the West struggle due to regulatory constraints and process delays. Creative strategies, including mixed-use developments and repurposing existing structures, are emerging to navigate these challenges.


Rising insurance costs further strain owners and operators, prompting investments in milder climates. According to a report by the National Multifamily Housing Council in 2023, property insurance costs have increased by an average of 26% over the past year, with certain cases showing year-over-year gains as high as 120%. Looking ahead to mid-2024, forecasted lower interest rates offer potential relief, but until then, the multifamily market remains in a downturn, albeit with resilience and opportunities in select markets.


Multifamily Market Outlook 2024

In Q4 2023, signs of a slowdown in multifamily development activity persisted, aligning with forecast expectations and leading to a relatively unchanged Q1 2024 forecast. Various indicators emphasized this trend, including Yardi Matrix construction start data, which was 12.5% lower than the same period in 2022, and the Architectural Billing Index recording sub-50 readings for 17 consecutive months. Despite these signs, a record level of new supply is expected to be delivered in 2024 and 2025, suggesting ongoing robust activity in the multifamily sector. However, challenges lie ahead, including slowing national rent growth, driven by factors such as slower job growth, increasing supply, and diminishing affordability.


Despite these signs, a record level of new supply, forecasted to be delivered in 2024 and 2025, suggests continued robust activity in the multifamily sector. The forecast anticipates a year of challenges, including slowing national rent growth, as headwinds such as slower job growth, increasing supply, and waning affordability persist.


While demand for multifamily remains healthy, rent growth is expected to be restrained, with a tepid 1.5 percent rent growth forecasted nationally for 2024. Regionally, Midwest metros are expected to lead rent growth, while Sunbelt and West markets may experience stalling rent growth due to high levels of new supply. Additionally, sluggish multifamily sales are expected to continue in 2024, influenced by interest rates and pricing uncertainty. These factors paint a complex picture for the multifamily market in 2024, and stakeholders must navigate evolving tenant preferences, technological advancements, sustainability initiatives, and the emergence of build-to-rent homes, which collectively reshape the multifamily landscape and present both challenges and opportunities for property owners and investors alike.


Up and Coming Trends

Owners are incorporating new features into their properties to provide tenants a better living experience while attracting renters who also value these amenities.



Sustainability is a significant trend in the multifamily industry. Many developers are now focusing on building eco-friendly properties with low carbon footprints. These properties utilize energy-efficient appliances, green roofs, rainwater harvesting systems, and other sustainable features that reduce energy consumption and promote a healthy environment. Additionally, properties with a sustainability focus appeal to younger renters who value eco-friendliness and are willing to pay more for sustainable housing options.


Property Technology

Property technology allows tenants to control various aspects of their homes, such as lighting, temperature, and security, using their smartphones or other smart devices. Property managers can also use this technology to manage their properties more efficiently, track maintenance requests, and reduce energy usage.


Community Spaces

Community spaces are an essential part of multifamily properties. These spaces provide tenants a place to socialize, work, and relax outside their apartments. Developers are now incorporating more community spaces in their properties, such as co-working spaces, gyms, outdoor lounges, and game rooms, to enhance the overall living experience.


Health and Wellness

As people become more health-conscious, multifamily developers are incorporating health and wellness features. These features include fitness centers, yoga studios, wellness rooms, and outdoor spaces designed for exercise and relaxation. Additionally, some properties now offer health and wellness programs, such as cooking classes, nutritional counseling, and wellness workshops, to promote healthy living among tenants.



With changing work and lifestyle patterns, tenants seek housing options that offer flexibility in lease terms and apartment layouts. Owners are now offering more flexible lease options, such as month-to-month or short-term leases, to accommodate the changing needs of renters. Additionally, many properties now offer adaptable apartment layouts that can be easily reconfigured to suit tenants’ changing needs.



The multifamily sector is constantly changing and reacting to the current volatile environment. However, housing needs remain prevalent despite the inflation rate or rent growth trends. As time passes, the multifamily sector will continue evolving and adapting to consumer preferences.

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