One question facing the multifamily sector amidst inflation and the Federal Reserve's push on interest rate increases and quantitative tightening has been where would rents, and therefore NOI and valuations, go. According to new data from CoStar Group's, the answer is into the slow lane, at least for now.

"Nationally, sequential monthly rents rose $2.50 or 0.15% in February, marking the second month of positive rent growth after a negative streak from August to December of 2022," Jay Lybik, National Director of Multifamily Analytics at CoStar Group, said in prepared remarks. "However, national year over year rent growth continues to decline with supply additions outstripping mediocre demand, causing instability across the rental market. If we're able to record a few more months of positive monthly rent growth, year over year rent growth could reverse course, bringing supply and demand closer to equilibrium."

As the country has seen recently, trying to monitor economic conditions month by month is an exercise in futility and confusion. There is almost constant jitter from small changes and it's the long-term trends that are important.

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