Top Markets with Highest Rent Growth in 2021

There continues to be strong holdouts and increasing positive trends in multifamily investing. Even though several major markets saw consistent declines in rent rates and employment, other markets gained from this and produced solid growth trends throughout all of 2020. This indicator, and continued stability of multifamily as an investment vehicle, is being viewed as it always has historically – a reliable investment. Recently, CBRE even released a report forecasting a return to pre-COVID vacancy levels and a 6% increase in net effective rents” for 2021, along with an anticipated “full market recovery occurring in early 2022”.


If you weren’t already confident about multifamily investing, this is a significant insight to help you in understanding why these investments are a in a class of their own. Unlike retail or office space, multifamily addresses fundamental needs, and this is why it has continued to perform well in comparison to all other assets even throughout a global pandemic. It is one of the safest investments that can be made, respectively.


Looking towards 2021, Yardi Matrix’ also highlighted supporting trends to CBRE’s forecast. The recent National Multifamily Report of December 2020 shows detailed market analysis of year-over-year rent growth from December 2019 – December 2020, as well as forecasted rent growths into 2021. Positive trends are seen in multiple markets; those showing losses are most directly impacted from unemployment during the pandemic, that in turn resulted in increased migrations of tenants exiting more expensive primary markets and moving instead to secondary and tertiary markets with more affordable costs of living. Nonetheless, the fact remains that multifamily investing made it through 2020 with growth and positive gains and will continue to do so into 2021.


Here are the Top 15 Forecasted Markets for Rent Growth in 2021:


15. Charlotte, NC

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 2.6%

Current Unemployment Rate: 6.3%

Average Price of an Apartment: $1,284

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): 2.2%


14. Baltimore, MD

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 2.6%

Current Unemployment Rate: 7.9%

Average Cost of an Apartment: $1,312

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): 3.3%


13. Houston, TX

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 2.7%

Current Unemployment Rate: 7.9%

Average Cost of an Apartment: $1,102

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): -1/9%


12. Philadelphia, PA

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 2.8%

Current Unemployment Rate: 8.3%

Average Cost of an Apartment: $1,660

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): 2.4%


11. Orange County, CA

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 2.9%

Current Unemployment Rate: 7.4%

Average Cost of an Apartment: $2,086

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): -0.5%


10. Raleigh, NC

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 3.0%

Current Unemployment Rate: 5.7%

Average Cost of an Apartment: $1,250

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): 0.0%


9. Nashville, TN

Forecasted Rent Growth (YE 2021): 3.1%

Current Unemployment Rate: 5.2%

Average Cost of an Apartment: $1,399

YoY Rent Growth (2019-2020): -1.5%