The Best Cities to Buy Multifamily Property in 2023

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There’s no doubt about it; multifamily properties are in high demand. In today’s market, many investors and developers are reaping the rewards of investing in this asset class. With double-digit rent increases and historically low vacancy rates in many markets, it’s no wonder why multifamily properties are so sought-after.

If you’re considering entering the apartment investment space, you may wonder which markets are the best cities for multifamily investing. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cities to buy multifamily property in 2023, according to Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2023 from PwC and supplemental data from the Crexi platform. These cities offer a combination of strong economic fundamentals, growing populations, and favorable real estate investment conditions that make them ideal.

10 Top Cities for Multifamily Investing in 2023

Keep reading to learn more about each city’s market outlook and investment opportunities. All demographic information comes from CensusReporter.org and DataUSA.io, while median rent, occupancy rates, and rent growth statistics come from Zumper.com for 2-bedroom units, except where noted. Pricing and comps data come from Crexi Intelligence.

The New York City, NYC, USA skyline at sunset.

1. New York City

New York City comprises five boroughs – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island – and is home to nearly 9 million people. The city is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world coming to live and work there. NYC is also an important financial center, with Wall Street located in Lower Manhattan.

Multifamily properties are a good investment in New York City because there is always a high demand for housing. New York City’s multifamily market is also very stable, even during economic downturns. 

Known as a city of renters, 67% of households in the Big Apple rent rather than own. Rents have increased 27% year-over-year, offering a predictable rental income stream that any real estate investor would seek. Median rents for 2-bedroom units are running at $4,450 per month.

On Crexi, asking prices for NYC multifamily properties rose nearly 13% so far in 2022 compared to the previous year, with average occupancy levels climbing to approach 79.1% on average versus 74% in 2021.

A look at downtown Raleigh's skyline with crepe myrtle trees blooming.

2. Raleigh/Durham

Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, and Durham is one of the state’s largest cities. Raleigh/Durham is known for being a research triangle because of the three major universities there: Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. The area is also home to numerous technology and life science companies.

The population of Raleigh/Durham has snowballed in recent years due to the strong economy and job market. The population has increased by 2.3% yearly, while employment has grown by nearly 2.6% over the same period. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in both cities is at historic lows. Median rents for multifamily in Raleigh/Durham are over $1,500 per month, and nearly 50% of the housing units are renter-occupied.

Per Crexi comps data, Raleigh multifamily has transacted at a median $221 per square foot closing price, up from $193 per square foot overall in 2021.

Nashville's downtown bridge at sunset

3. Nashville

Nashville is located in the southern part of the United States and is the capital of Tennessee. Nashville’s metro area is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US. The city is known for its music and entertainment industry, as well as its healthcare and education sectors.

Its population and employment growth rates are great growth indicators, with both metrics increasing by nearly 2% year over year. This growth has increased demand for real estate, especially in the Nashville multifamily market. Over 40% of Nashville housing units are occupied by renters, with annual rents growing 9% year over year and 2-bedroom units earning a median rent of $1,845 per month.

On Crexi, the occupancy rate of new listings added in 2022 jumped to over 84%, up from 78.4% in 2021. Year-to-date, CRE stakeholders have transacted over $1.42B in Nashville multifamily property value, with last year closing $2B .

A sculpture garden in downtown Charlotte, NC.

4. Charlotte

Charlotte stands in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The city has seen a rise in migration patterns due to its beautiful weather and more housing square footage compared to other regional metros. Additionally, Charlotte offers affordable living, which has seen an increase in multifamily demand post-pandemic.

Rent growth has been strong, with multifamily buildings for sale in Charlotte seeing high demand. Renters occupy about 47% of the housing units in the metro area. Median rents for 2-bedroom units are $1,656 and have steadily increased yearly. 

The median age in Charlotte is 38.1, which is just under the state’s median age of 39.4. Over 40% of people living there are between 20 and 49 years old – a group that generally prefers renting to owning property.

Crexi’s data reported a 11.9% increase in average asking prices in 2022 compared to the previous year, with these listings’ occupancy boasting a strong 86% average.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

5. West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a city located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The city is situated on the east coast of Florida, about 65 miles north of Fort Lauderdale and 95 miles south of Orlando. West Palm Beach is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the Everglades and many beaches. The city has also experienced increased migration recently because of its inviting climate, pro-business government, and no state income tax.

With its increasing employment and population growth rates, West Palm Beach is an ideal city to buy multifamily properties in 2023. Palm Beach multifamily for sale offers investors and developers an excellent opportunity to profit from the city’s growth. Rents have increased by 13% over the past year, with 2-bedroom units renting for nearly $2,300 per month. Over 50% of multifamily households are occupied by renters, with some apartments renting for more than $12,000 each month.

Brokers in West Palm Beach have already reported $609M in multifamily value closed on Crexi in 2022, following a 2021 total valuation of $665M. Median asking prices for multifamily also rose from $185 in 2021 to $212 per square foot year-over-year. 

Broad Street Panorama in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

6. Charleston

Charleston, SC, is a beautiful coastal city with a rapidly growing population of about 800,000 in the metropolitan area. Multifamily properties in Charleston are in high demand due to an influx of new residents and limited housing availability. Median apartment rents for 2-bedroom units run $2,167 per month.

Population and job growth are robust, with median household incomes and property values on the rise. About 45% of the housing units in Charleston are renter-occupied, helping to ensure a strong demand for rental properties and the potential for high returns on multifamily investment. Charleston’s year-over-year rent growth of 27% is among the highest in the country, making it a great place to invest in multifamily properties.

Per Crexi data, the median closed price per square foot for Charleston multifamily properties rose from $219 in 2021 to $256 year-to-date in 2022. 

Downtown San Diego's convention center and harbor.

7. San Diego

San Diego is one of the most desirable places to live and invest in the United States. The city has a Mediterranean climate, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant culture. Multifamily properties in San Diego are a promising investment because the city’s population is growing, and there is strong demand for rental housing.

The metro area is home to over 3.3 million people, with 53% of housing units occupied by renters. The median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in San Diego is $3,195 and has increased by 10% year over year. With a per capita income of $48,380 and a median age of 35.2, San Diego might be the best city in coastal California for apartment building investments. On Crexi, more than $2.95B of multifamily property in San Diego transacted in 2021, with another $2.01B sold year-to-date in 2022.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA skyline with Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market at dusk.

8. Boston

Boston is a city rich in history with a bright future. The city’s diverse population and vibrant culture make it an inviting place to live for families and professionals alike. As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is home to some of the country’s best hospitals, schools, and recreational facilities.

The city’s strong economy and growing population have resulted in robust demand for rental units, driving up rents and making Boston one of the most attractive markets for multifamily investors. Renters make up 65% of the households in the metro area, with 2-bedroom units recording a median rent of over $3,400 per month, increasing by 17% yearly. Annual average asking prices on Crexi for Boston multifamily are up 16.6% year-to-date, with asking cap rates compressed to 4.43% from 5.36% in 2021.

Downtown Denver, CO, skyline with mountains in the background.

9. Denver

Denver is a rapidly growing city with a diverse economy and a population that should continue to grow in the coming years. Population, employment, median household incomes, and single family home values in the Denver metro area are all rising. The city is home to a wide range of businesses and industries, as well as several prominent healthcare providers, helping to create a consistent demand for rental housing.

Denver’s multifamily real estate market has been strong recently, with prices rising and sales volume remaining high. Multifamily commercial properties have been desirable as investors seek to take advantage of the city’s growing population and robust economy. The median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Denver is $2,250, and renters occupy 50% of the households in the metro area.

Per Crexi Intelligence, median closing price per square foot for Denver multifamily properties increased from $328 in 2021 to $365 year-to-date in 2022, with $1.7B in sales completed. 

Greenville, South Carolina town cityscape

10. Greenville

Greenville, SC, is a city with much to offer its residents. The cost of living is reasonable, the weather is mild, and there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep residents busy. More and more people are moving for Greenville’s quality of life and opportunities.

This growth has led to increased housing demand, making now a great time to invest in multifamily properties in Greenville. The market is strong, and there is potential for long term high returns on investment. 

On Crexi, we’ve observed median closing prices per square foot for Greenville multifamily properties jump from $142 in 2021 to $152 in 2022, with about $270M in value closed this year. Median rents in Greenville are relatively affordable at $1,200 per month for a 2-bedroom unit, which may be one reason why 57% of households in the city rent rather than own.

Get more multifamily property data at your fingertips with Crexi Intelligence.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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