The number of apartments added to the market hit a 27-year high in 2015; however, most of the new units were rented quickly and the market remained tight. According to the Freddie Mac Multifamily Outlook 2016, it'll be a similar story in 2016. Although some areas are starting to see more availability, the national vacancy rate will stay below the historical average. Landlords will take the opportunity to keep raising rents.
Given the amount of construction planned or in the works this year, new apartments will come onto the market at a rate not seen since the 1980s. Construction activity will remain elevated over the next few years. At the same time, steady economic and jobs growth, demographics, and increasing household formations will keep demand for apartments high.
It'll take a few years until new apartment supply more broadly catches up with demand.
Freddie Mac Multifamily is dedicated to promoting rental housing affordability. In 2015 alone, we provided $47.3 billion to finance more than 650,000 apartments across more than 3,500 properties nationwide. About 90% of these apartments are affordable to renters earning low and moderate incomes.