Inland Empire Multifamily Report – March 2024

While crosswinds persist, the market remains a Southern California bright spot.

Inland Empire rent evolution, click to enlarge
Inland Empire rent evolution, click to enlarge

The Inland Empire, traditionally Southern California’s most affordable major area, has seen its growth stunted as the overall multifamily market slowed down in 2023. Rent growth on a year-over-year basis was tepid, at 0.4 percent as of January, while the average plateaued on a trailing three-month basis. Despite that, rents actually fared better than the national rate, which saw its fourth consecutive month of -0.2 percent movement. Occupancy in the metro was down 110 basis points year-over-year, to 94.7 percent, still 10 basis points higher than the U.S. rate.

Inland Empire sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge
Inland Empire sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

Anchored by a strong, albeit slowing, industrial sector, the metro added 30,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in November. The employment growth rate was 1.3 percent, trailing the U.S. by 90 basis points. Despite recording a 0.6 percent contraction, the trade, transportation and utilities sector is still the area’s economic cornerstone, accounting for more than a quarter of all nonfarm employment in the two counties. Short- and medium-term prospects remain positive, with an industrial pipeline of more than 10 million square feet and infrastructure projects such as the Ontario Airport Tunnel poised to keep the sector going.

Inland Empire. Photo by MattGush/iStockphoto.com
Inland Empire. Photo by MattGush/iStockphoto.com

Notoriously slow to add inventory, the Inland Empire had 7,228 units underway as of January, with another 39,000 in the prospective and planning phases. On the sales front, the market had its slowest year in more than a decade, with $422 million in assets trading.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.

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