There are usually multiple ways to look at anything. In the case of the Yardi Matrix National Multifamily Report for March 2022, you could emulate the late lyricist Johnny Mercer: accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don't mess with Mister In-Between.

But what works for an upbeat song isn't necessarily good for business planning. There is ample good news of increased asking rents and occupancy rates, but in a sense, that's all in the past. The question investors and operators must ask is what might be coming.

One big consideration is rent growth. "Asking rents increased by $34 nationally, up 2.1%, in the first three months of 2022, which is record growth for a first quarter," the report said. However, that's unlikely to continue for a few reasons. One is slowing economic growth as inflation continues to take a toll on activity. Slower growth will affect incomes, meaning the likelihood of fewer gains to cover costs of higher rents. The war in Ukraine is also an issue, according to Yardi because that could help sustain inflation, especially with the effect on energy prices.

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