The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA) reveals that the absorption rate of unfurnished and unsubsidized apartments (the share rented out in the first three months following completion) fell to 45% in Q1 of 2020, down from 53% in Q1 2019. The Q1 absorption rate is the lowest (on accessible records), for the first quarter since at least 1986. The SOMA decline is being linked to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. The number of apartments completed also fell, from 66,460 units in Q1 of 2019 to 59,790 units in Q1 of 2020. SOMA data also captures condominium absorption data, and like apartments, the condominium absorption rate fell, going from 73% Q1 of 2019, to 67% Q1 of 2020. Condominium completions were also lower at 3,060 units, when compared to 4,484 units in Q1 of 2019.
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