Rising demand for apartments in New Haven is translating into rising rents, higher prices for investment sales and a busy pipeline of new developments including new construction, office conversions and industrial-to-loft projects. Stamford-based RMS Companies recently received approval for a 112-unit apartment building at 188 Lafayette St. Image courtesy of Lessard Design

A new analysis by an economist at credit ratings agency Moody’s says New Haven had the strongest performance of any multifamily market in the country in the first quarter.

The region beat out New York’s Long Island, the Wichita, Kansas metro area, Nashville, Tennessee and Greenville, South Carolina for the spot.

New Haven reported 1.5 percent growth in multifamily owners’ effective revenue per unit in the first quarter, ending the period at $1,591.65. Long Island saw 1.4 percent growth, ending the quarter at $2,334.72 effective revenue per unit, whereas Wichita clocked in 1.3 percent growth and $765.28 effective revenue per unit. Nashville saw 1.2 percent growth and $1,335.78 per unit and Greenville 1.1 percent growth, for $1,084.66 per unit.

New Haven saw a 0.1 percent decline in its vacancy rate, compared to no change on Long Island, a 0.1 percent increase in Wichita and 0.2 percent declines in Nashville and Greenville

The growth comes as the rest of the United States outside the Northeast experienced shrinking revenues per unit, thanks to a combination of softening rents amid a tidal wave of new deliveries in the Sun Belt and increasing multifamily operating costs nationwide, from wages to services to insurance.

Nationwide, effective revenue per unit shrank 0.19 percent in the first quarter, Moody’s reported.

Of the country’s five major regions, only the Northeast reported a declining vacancy rate, around 10 basis points of decline and 0.4 percent increase in effective rent per unit. The Southwest saw revenue cool slightly while its vacancy rate rose 0.1 percent. In the Southeast and Midwest, revenues and vacancy rates were largely static and in the West, the vacancy rate was static but effective revenue fell 0.6 percent.