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2024 Property Management Outlook
Rental Resilience: Trends & Forecasts in a Changing Landscape

The U.S. property management industry stands at a pivotal moment with both challenges and opportunities ahead in 2024. From shifting financial conditions, to expanding prospects, to community maintenance and eco-leadership, property managers face an array of issues that can be resolved with ingenuity, resilience and adaptability.



Financial Trends & Forecasts

The rental housing sector has long been intertwined with broader economic trends, and 2024 is no exception. Recent years witnessed a surge in demand for apartment living, driven by factors including a lack of inventory (NerdWallet) and post-COVID resurgence of multigenerational households (Generations United). As pandemic-era safety nets disappear and credit availability tightens, property managers continue to deal with moderate inflation and rates.



Acquisition Activity

These moderate rates have made value-add acquisition deals less lucrative to potential investors. As a result, planned interior renovations have been scaled back significantly. Exterior paint is a cost-efficient way to freshen up the appearance of your property and make it more attractive to potential buyers without the expense and time needed for a full interior upgrade. In short, consider a new paint job as it has the ability to improve the image and value of your property, enhancing curb appeal and enticing residents.



Supply & Demand

One of the biggest challenges facing property managers in recent years is the imbalance between housing supply and demand. The industry faces an uphill battle in tackling the long-standing inventory crisis, which, according to We Are Apartments, requires building 4.3 million new apartments by 2035 in order to meet rental needs.


In the last few years, the effort to expand apartment inventory has been front and center. From 2020 to 2022, a total of 1.2 million apartments were built (RentCafe), and 2023 added about 573,000 additional units — a 40-year record. While building is beginning to slow down, approximately 443,000 new units are expected to be in place by the end of 2024. (Matthews Real Estate Investment Services).


RentCafe U.S. New Apartment Deliveries by Year

Source: Yardi Matrix


That’s good news, right? But here’s where it gets complicated. The influx of new housing has dampened rental prices, as we’ve seen in the last few months. Case in point: the vacancy rate in February 2024 was 6.6% (the highest since September 2020). This means that it’s possible — if not probable — that vacancies will continue through the end of the year (Apartment List), providing renters a wider array of housing options.


In response, properties are beginning to extend accommodations. For example, in January 2024, Zillow reported that nearly 32% of its listings offer concessions – or financial incentives for the renter – a trend that is expected to continue through 2024.


On the other hand, a recent slowdown in new construction permits is expected to reduce 2024 apartment build starts by 20% to 50% (Multi Pro+), which points to a return to lower inventory, renewed demand, and higher rents in 2025.



Drawing & Keeping Quality Residents

Understanding target demographics and each of their evolving preferences is key to thriving in the property management landscape. From Gen Z poised to become the largest percentage of renters, to millennials starting families, to the growing number of older renters, these groups are the core of the rental market. This creates opportunities for property managers to draw high-quality prospective residents and retain current ones by meeting their wants and needs, such as:


  • Personalization — Every resident wants to feel a sense of home. Helping them to personalize their space will not only make them feel more comfortable, but they will also be more likely to rent your property long-term. Try offering new renters the option to choose a new paint color from a range of pre-approved hues for a room or an accent wall. For current residents, provide the same offer when they renew or after one year of tenancy.





Featuring Watery HDC-CT-26 & White 52


Featuring Morning Zen S380-2 & Cracked Pepper PPU18-01


Featuring Iron Mountain N520-5 & Lunar Surface N460-3



Behr Paint offers a comprehensive Property Owners & Managers Program, providing on-site job walks, specification services, project submittal packages, job-site delivery, and color services such as digital color rendering, color boards, and full-size drawdown samples to help you and your residents better visualize paint colors.




The Road Ahead

As we navigate through 2024, the property management industry must embrace change, from leveraging financial forecasts to catering to evolving resident needs. While uncertainties abound, the rental housing sector remains a strong pillar for continued growth in the commercial real estate landscape.


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