Grant Cardone Hunts For Multifamily Deals In Sun Belt As Market Struggles With Declining Rents

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Real estate mogul Grant Cardone is looking for multifamily deals in overbuilt Sun Belt markets, which are witnessing some of the biggest rent declines in America.

In an interview with Indianapolis-based multifamily investor Gray Capital, Cardone said he'd looked at multifamily deals in multiple Sun Belt markets, but the competition is stiff.

"We were looking at some deals in Phoenix, and I thought we were going to be able to grab them, but there's so much action on these deals," Cardone said. "We see deals right here in Miami, which is one of the hottest markets in the country — deals starting to have problems. Contractors starting to be able to not deliver, deals starting to fail or slow down. Competition determines what the price is."

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The median asking rent in nine Sun Belt markets fell year over year in April, according to a new report from Redfin. Austin, Texas, dropped 6.6%. It was followed by Nashville, Tennessee, which declined 5.9%; Jacksonville, Florida, down 5.6%; Miami, down 5%; San Diego, down 4.7%; Phoenix, down 4.6%; Charlotte, North Carolina, down 4.5%; Tampa, Florida, down 4.3%; and Orlando, Florida, down 3.2%.

"The Sun Belt has built a ton of new apartments in recent years, partly to meet the surge in demand brought on by the flood of people who moved in during the pandemic housing boom. But the boom is over, and now property owners are struggling to fill vacancies, which is causing rents to fall," Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari said. "The good news is that the uptick in housing supply in the Sun Belt has improved affordability for renters, which can be a lesson for other American cities grappling with housing affordability challenges."

Rents are dropping after reaching unsustainable levels during the pandemic, Bokhari said.

Four of the 10 metropolitan areas with the biggest rent declines are in Florida, where home prices are flat as supply surges. The state also is experiencing a housing insurance crisis because of intensifying natural disasters.

According to the Redfin report, the median asking rent in Seattle, which is not in the Sun Belt, saw the biggest drop year over year at 7.3%. Like Sun Belt markets, it saw a surge in apartment construction in recent years.

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