The National Apartment Association recently published the results of their 2018 Income & Expense Survey, and offered some key takeaways in an Executive Summary:
- Operating expenses increased by 2.1 percent, the slowest rate of growth since 2013.
- Net Operating Income (NOI) grew by 5.8 percent, up 2 percentage points over 2016, impressive amid slowing rent growth.
- Increases in payroll expenses were in line with wage growth in other private sector industries, averaging 2.4 percent.
- The number of market-rent garden-style units per full-time employee increased for the third consecutive year to 44.3. The challenges of an ongoing labor shortage within the industry likely kept some communities understaffed throughout the year. Increased pressures on wages can be expected in 2018 and should be evident in next year’s survey results.
- Once again, property taxes were responsible for the largest increase in expenses, up 5.3 percent year-over-year. The average property tax bill was $1,833 per unit and represented one-third of expenses. Fifteen years ago, property taxes comprised less than one-quarter of operating outlays. Contesting assessed values has become commonplace for many owners feeling the squeeze from skyrocketing taxes.