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Demand for apartment rentals surges unexpectedly as home sales slump

December 21, 2018 / Diana Olick

Surging demand and strong occupancy in the nation's apartment market is "surprising" experts who say the continued strength is "unexpected." Just a year ago, as dozens of cranes swarmed over major U.S. cities, there was concern that the rental apartment market was overheated and overbuilt. Apartment absorption, which is the rate at which new units are rented out, is now at the highest level in three years, according to the U.S. Census. Apartment construction took off in 2012 and reached a 20-year high in 2017. It remained elevated this year, despite warnings that demand would slow as more millennials aged into their homebuying years.