The Multifamily Market Outlook for 2024: Navigating Uncertainty

Eric Wilson

Managing Partner

November 27, 2023

7 min read

Eric Wilson

Managing Partner

November 27, 2023

5 min read

As we approach 2024, the multifamily real estate market stands at a complex crossroads, marked by economic shifts and geopolitical tensions. I've never been a fan of making predictions because I believe in a long-term investment strategies with assets that can perform through all cycles. However, it's important to have your pulse on the market and use that information to make the most informed investment decisions possible. So let's dive into what the coming year may hold for multifamily investors.

Economic Backdrop and Market Uncertainties

Without a doubt, there are circumstances in play that can drastically change these predictions at a moments notice. Much of which revolves around two major uncertainties in today's market. The Fed's policy, and geopolitical concerns.

Federal Reserve's Monetary Policy

The Federal Reserve's aggressive stance in combating the 9% inflation surge has led to rapid interest rate hikes, a situation unprecedented in U.S. history on a percent basis. While inflation has cooled down to about 3.5%, concerns about wage growth pressure persist. The economy’s surprising resilience, reflected in the 5.2% GDP growth in 3Q 2023, juxtaposes with a consumption-driven market and the aftereffects of COVID fiscal stimulus.

Geopolitical Concerns

Global events, including the war in Ukraine, conflicts in the Middle East, and tensions in the China-Taiwan region, add another layer of complexity. These factors, combined with the 2024 presidential election year dynamics, may influence policies, potentially impacting long-term interest rates.

Predictions for 2024: A Multifaceted Scenario

Persistent High Interest Rates

Despite a slowdown in inflation, interest rates are expected to remain high, with the 10-year Treasury yield likely staying within the 3.50% to 4.50% range. The bond market dynamics, including low demand at U.S. government bond auctions, suggest that long-term interest rates may stay elevated.

The Likelihood of a Recession

While a 2023 recession was anticipated but didn't materialize, 2024 might see a different turn. Consumer spending resilience and a robust job market have deferred the recession, but with the presidential election year possibly prompting economic stimulus measures, a mild recession in late 2024, deepening into 2025, appears probable.

Strong Fundamentals in the Multifamily Market

Despite economic uncertainties, the multifamily market is expected to maintain its strength. The significant discrepancy between buying and renting, coupled with low housing supply and high mortgage rates, keeps the demand for apartments and rental homes robust. This scenario is likely to persist for years, underpinned by preferences for larger living spaces due to hybrid work models.

Slowdown in New Multifamily Development

Challenges with lending and a potential rise in defaults on expiring floating rate debts are likely to curb new multifamily developments. The lower volume of commercial mortgage-backed securities issuances signals a notable decrease in new apartment developments.

Correction in Multifamily Asset Valuations

After experiencing a 15% to 30% drop, multifamily asset valuations are expected to decline further by about 10% in 2024. This adjustment stems from stagnant or low rent growth and rising operating expenses, such as wages and insurance. This situation presents a valuation problem, especially for owners with variable-rate loans due in 2024.

Stabilization of Rent Growth

Rent growth is expected to normalize to historic averages of 2% to 4% by late 2024, aligning with pre-pandemic levels. This trend will be a recovery from the negative rent growth observed in some markets in 2023.

Emergence of Distressed Multifamily Assets

With many variable-rate bridge loans maturing in 2024, a wave of distressed multifamily assets is anticipated. This situation presents significant opportunities to acquire quality value-add properties below replacement costs.

Home Price Corrections

The housing market is poised for a correction, starting in Q3 2024. Factors like high interest rates and rising insurance costs, which have fed the demand for build-for-rent housing, are expected to gradually lead to an increase in the supply of homes for purchase.

Persistently High Insurance Rates

The trend of high insurance rates, propelled by weather-related disasters and rising replacement costs, is expected to continue. These elevated rates will impact various aspects of property ownership and management.

Industry Consolidation

A consolidation trend within the real estate investment industry is likely, with larger firms acquiring portfolios from smaller entities. This trend mirrors the post-Great Recession era, where investment capital flowed predominantly to the largest providers.

Cautiously Optimistic Amidst Challenges

Despite these predictions pointing to a year of adjustments and potential downturns, the fundamental strength of the multifamily sector remains intact. The ongoing housing supply shortage, the necessity for more apartment constructions, and the inherent resilience of multifamily investments continue to make this sector an attractive option for investors seeking stability and growth.

As we navigate through these uncertain times, it’s crucial for investors to maintain a strategic perspective, focusing on long-term gains rather than short-term fluctuations.

The Opportunity in Challenges

The projected market conditions for 2024, while presenting challenges, also open doors for strategic investment opportunities:

  • Distressed Assets: The anticipated emergence of distressed multifamily assets can provide savvy investors with the chance to acquire properties at below-market values, especially in high-growth areas.
  • Senior Debt and Preferred Equity Investments: These investment classes are expected to offer attractive returns, with the added benefit of a higher position in the capital structure, providing a cushion against market volatility.
  • Building for the Future: The current undersupply in housing presents a long-term growth opportunity. Despite the slowdown in new constructions, the demand for housing remains strong, driven by demographic trends and evolving consumer preferences.

Navigating the Market with Informed Strategies

To capitalize on these opportunities, investors need to adopt informed and nuanced strategies:

  • Focus on Market Research: Understanding local market dynamics and tenant demands will be crucial in identifying investment opportunities and mitigating risks.
  • Diversification: Spreading investments across different geographic locations and property types can help manage risk in a fluctuating market.
  • Leverage Expertise: Partnering with experienced real estate professionals and leveraging advanced analytics can provide the insights needed to make informed decisions.


As we look towards 2024, the multifamily real estate market presents a complex yet promising future. While challenges such as potential recessions, high interest rates, and market corrections loom, there remain substantial opportunities for growth and profit. Investors who approach the market with a balanced view of risks and opportunities, backed by thorough research and expert guidance, can navigate these turbulent times successfully. The multifamily market's resilience, coupled with strategic investment approaches, positions it as a viable and potentially lucrative sector, even in a year brimming with uncertainties.