Top Western Markets by Investment Activity
US multifamily investing is riding a wave of expansion and despite ongoing global issues, the sector’s steam continues. As the country’s economy shrinks by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022 for multiple reasons, such as inflation, supply chain issues and the ongoing pandemic, Yardi Matrix expects a deceleration of this growth.
Nationally, asking rents rose $34.0, up 2.1% in the first quarter, a record increase for the first three months of a year. Increased demand in the Sun Belt and the West has started to show signs of slowing down. Year-over-year occupancy rates through March fell in four U.S. metropolitan areas, led by Phoenix (-0.5%) and Las Vegas (-0.4%).
The list below highlights the major Western markets that saw the highest trading volume in the first quarter of 2022, based on Yardi Matrix data. During the same period, prices have increased in all the markets mentioned here, compared to 2021 levels.
|Rank||Market||Sales volume Q1-2022||Price per unit Q1-2022||2021 sales volume||Unit price 2021|
5. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
In Western markets, Colorado Springs had the fifth-highest sales volume in the first quarter of the year, with a total of $254.9 million traded in the first three months. For comparison, during the same period in 2021, the volume reached $230.7 million.
The second most populous city and largest city in the state of Colorado has seen a healthy increase in population, gaining more than 100,000 residents over the past decade, according to 2020 U.S. Census data. February 2020 and the same month in 2022, Colorado Springs added 13,844 new jobs, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The largest transaction in the metro multifamily investment market recorded by Yardi Matrix was the $97 million sale of a 12-building garden-style community in Monument, Colorado. A private owner has sold the 267 Vistas units of the Jackson Creek property to an affiliate of Equus Capital Partners.
4. Reno, Nevada.
One of the nation’s top emerging multi-family markets, Reno saw a 15.3% increase in population between 2010 and 2020, according to U.S. Census data. The city’s unemployment rate in February 2022 hit 2.8%, below the rate two years ago when it was 2.9%. During this same period, the labor force increased by 7,443 people.
In the first quarter of the year, multifamily investment volume in Reno reached $319.8 million, significantly higher than the $252.7 million recorded in the first three months of 2021. Total sales volume l last year reached $700.1 million, nearly double the total volume recorded in 2020.
Prices in Reno have risen significantly over the past two years – while the average price per unit reached $214,661 in 2020, that figure rose to $246,510 the following year. As for the first quarter of 2022, the average price per unit was $308,687, considerably higher than during the first three months of 2021.
In the first quarter of 2022, multifamily sales in Las Vegas reached $979.5 million, the third highest among the Western markets listed here. In 2021, a total of $4.59 billion in multifamily products were traded in Las Vegas. Even though the Metro unemployment rate has declined since hitting an all-time high in April 2020, the rate has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. In February 2022, unemployment reached 5.3%, 1.8% more than two years earlier. Las Vegas led the nation in year-over-year job growth in December 2021, hitting 8.8%.
Of the five major Western markets listed in this article, Las Vegas was the least expensive, reaching an average price of $267,905 per unit in the first quarter of the year. Prices were low in 2021 and 2020, averaging $217,022 and $169,899, respectively.
Logan Capital Advisors made one of the biggest purchases in the first quarter of the year, with a $97.5 million purchase in the Summerlin/Spring Valley area of Las Vegas. Seller, Capital Griffinbought the 220-unit South Beach Apartments community in 2018, for $62 million.
Despite the omicron and economic issues, Denver’s recovery is still underway and is expected to continue through 2022. In March, year-over-year Metro rent growth reached 14.1%, while expected year-end rent growth was 6.4%, according to Yardi Matrix.
The Metro’s sales volume in the first quarter of the year hit $1.32 billion, the second-highest number on our list, while also hitting the highest unit price for that period, $409,475. Denver’s total multifamily sales volume in 2021 reached $9.96 billion, while the unit price that year was also the highest among the five markets, averaging $322,151.
In February 2022, Denver’s unemployment rate hit 4.0%, its lowest point in two years, since March 2020, close to the national average of 3.8% that month.
In January, MG property group closed on one of Denver’s biggest buys in the first quarter of the year. The company scooped up the 564-unit 3300 Tamarac Apartments for $141 million from Gelt inc. The buyer backed the purchase with a $91.7 million Fannie Mae loan.
Phoenix has become one of the hotspots for commercial and residential development over the past year, experiencing exceptional growth across the board. Metro’s first-quarter 2022 multifamily investment volume was $2.53 billion, outpacing Denver’s figure by more than 92%. During the same period, Phoenix recorded the second highest unit price on the same list, reaching $312,430.
Through 2021, the Phoenix multifamily market has seen $14.76 billion in multifamily product transaction, more than double the volume of transactions in 2020. In November 2021, rents increased by 25.9% on an annual basis, to reach $1,607, exceeding the American rate, which marked a rise of 13.5% to $1,590.
The Metro unemployment rate reached 3.1% in February 2022, down 1.2% from the figure provided by the BLS in the same month of 2020. In these two years, employment also increased of 91,810.
Early March, Tides Actions—one of the most active players in the market in 2021—has partnered with CIM Group for the purchase of a 1,012 unit property in Phoenix. The partnership acquired Del Mar Terrace in an off-market transaction for $255 million from the original developer, Heers development.