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WMRE's latest multifamily survey shows a strong rebound in sentiments with respondents seeing higher rents and occupancy rates in the year ahead.

Competition, a shortage of quality buying opportunities and even a pandemic have not deterred apartment investors. The latest annual WMRE multifamily research report shows that investor appetite to hold or expand portfolios has changed very little in the past three years, despite the massive disruption in the broader markets.

Half of respondents plan to hold assets in the coming year, while 36 percent plan to buy more, and a minority, 14 percent, intend to sell. Although the share of active buyers has pulled back from a high of 55 percent in the 2014 survey, results show a strong, sustained buyer appetite for apartments that has held up for the past several years. In particular, the share who plan to buy assets has held firm at around 37 percent for the past three years. “The success of multifamily over the last 18 months or so has really highlighted the industry as, not necessarily recession proof, but an extremely attractive sector that has good risk mitigants. That is why we’re seeing a lot of capital flock to multifamily right now,” says Scott Lebenhart, director of acquisitions at Ashcroft Capital, a national multifamily investment firm that focuses on value-add opportunities.

Survey methodology: The WMRE /Ashcroft Capital research report on the multifamily sector was conducted via an online survey distributed to WMRE readers between June 28 through July 6, 2021. The survey results are based on responses from 297 participants. Respondents represent a cross-section of different roles in the multifamily sector, including investors, building owners and managers, developers, lenders and brokers. Two-thirds hold a senior management position within their firms, including 52 percent who identified as an owner, partner, president, chairman, CEO or CFO.