Salt Lake City, the Inland Empire and Orange County are emerging as strong options for multifamily investors looking for less competition and solid returns rivaling Sun Belt markets, according to a new analysis from CBRE.

Overall, private investors' share of total multifamily investment increased to 30% in 2022 from 23% in 2019, while institutional investors' share rose to 10% from 7%. And while the share of capital being invested in garden-style and mid-/high-rise properties has stayed steady, CBRE's experts say "multifamily investors have redirected their geographic focus."

In the past, six gateway markets have comprised roughly half of mid-/high-rise investment. However, "since 2018, Sun Belt markets have captured a growing share, peaking at 47% of all mid-/high-rise investment in 2021," they say. "The balance was mostly in gateway markets, but the trend reversed slightly this year. For garden-style apartments, the shift has not been as pronounced. Prior to the pandemic, the Sun Belt accounted for 58% of garden-style multifamily investment, which has increased to 65% today."

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