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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Unbalanced Growth — The Disparity Between Apartment Supply and Demand


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing disparity between supply and demand among many of the apartment markets nationwide. The effects of the pandemic are still being felt over 5 years later in many different aspects, but especially over the last year in the apartment market. Supply has increased drastically nearing record levels across the country.

RealPage has tracked 150 apartment markets and among them, only 17 saw cumulative demand exceed supply from Q2 2019 through Q1 2024. However, the majority were generally smaller secondary and tertiary markets. Of the 17 markets that saw demand exceed supply, only one of them ranks among the 50 largest markets nationwide, Chicago.

Over the last 5 years since the pandemic, demand in Chicago has totalled 41,902 units exceeding completions of 40,068 units according to data from RealPage Market Analytics. Chicago has also experienced excess demand of 1,800 units over the previous 5 years ranking #1 nationally. Occupancy rates have stayed at a constant rate of 95% or higher, only dipping below that number slightly during the pandemic. Chicago registered at 95.1% occupancy as of Q1 2024 which is well above the national average of 94.1%.

On the contrary, Atlanta experienced the largest deficit between supply and demand over the last 5 years with demand totaling 49,134 units and supply totaling 67,371 units. Atlanta’s occupancy has dropped to an 11-year low with a 92.2% occupancy rate as of Q1 2024. This low occupancy rate is not a good sign for investors working in the Atlanta apartment market and is definitely something to be considered when looking at future investment opportunities in the apartment market. 


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