Tennessee real estate investment trust MAA regained the top spot in an annual ranking of the largest U.S. apartment owners as the industry faces tumult with high interest rates, slowing rent growth and falling property values.
MAA lost the title it held for six years in last year’s ranking from the National Multifamily Housing Council to Starwood Capital Group. NMHC’s ranking is based on company surveys. MAA owns 99,676 units, according to NMHC’s 2023 ranking, compared to 100,002 units on last year’s report.
Starwood Capital Group, based in Miami Beach, Florida, didn’t participate in the 2023 survey, according to a spokesman with NMHC. Starwood Capital couldn’t be reached to comment by CoStar News.
Starwood Capital owned 115,056 units on NMHC’s 2022 report. According to CoStar data, Starwood Capital currently owns about 113,432 units across the country.
This year is shaping up to be a pivotal one for the industry after 2022 when rising interest rates drove up lending costs to begin curbing apartments sales.
Apartment sales started last year strong with $54.1 billion in the first quarter, the second best first quarter on record behind the same period in 2021. Second quarter 2022 sales marked another record for those three months.
But then the Federal Reserve raised interest rates rapidly to tame national inflation. Apartment sales began to slow along with rent growth and recession fears. Sales this year are at a relative trickle.
Soaring rent growth in late 2021 and into 2022 has been tamed partly by a heavy construction pipeline. More than 1 million apartment units are under construction, a historic high.
“We are building more than we have recently, but it is still not enough,” Sharon Wilson Géno, NMHC’s president, said in a statement. “A high interest rate environment, supply chain constraints, still high labor and material costs, and complex and expensive regulatory barriers continue to restrict the development of badly needed housing.”
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Alliance Residential was among those to increase its development pipeline last year. The firm rose to NMHC’s top developers 2023 ranking with 13,480 units under construction, compared to 11,739 units from the 2022 ranking.
Alliance Residential bumped Charleston, South Carolina-based Greystar Real Estate Partners to the second spot as it reduced the firm’s pipeline to 11,351 units from 14,047.