Greg Willett forecast DFW’s 2.8% rent growth marks the first time since 2017 where North Texas rent growth outpaces the US norm.

FORT WORTH—The US multifamily market is beginning 2020 in great shape, says Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage. Peaking in the third quarter, the occupancy rate got as high as 96.3% in 2019, in line with all-time highs.

While late-in-the-year seasonal cooling took the occupancy figure to slightly under 96%, that result is still well above the long-term norm. Demand for some 280,000 market-rate units in the April through September timeframe ranked among the biggest blocks of prime leasing season absorption ever recorded. Annual rent growth held at a healthy level around the 3% mark throughout the year. Class-A product rent growth, which had been lagging earlier, gained momentum to perform in line with the price increases for the class-B and class-C stocks, Willett says.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.

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