While the struggles of mall REITs are no secret given Amazon’s increased dominance of the retail sector, real estate investors may also contemplate putting apartment REITs on their warning lists.
That’s because although apartment real estate investment trusts have done well this year — and since the end of the housing crisis, in general — rent growth is starting to slow.
To understand the current situation of multifamily rental housing, some recent history is necessary. In the lead-up to the housing crisis, homeownership in the U.S. rose from 64% to 69% at its peak in 2005 and 2006. But then, after the crisis, it started to collapse, and 5 million or so households that once owned homes (however briefly and tenuously) went back to renting. Homeownership is below 64% now.