Residents in Orange County, Fla., recently voted in favor of a rent stabilization ordinance that could limit rent increases over a one-year period for certain multifamily rental units to the average annual increase in the consumer price index.
Litigation is preventing the ordinance from going into effect for now. The Florida Apartment Association and the Florida Association of Realtors filed a lawsuit in September to challenge the validity of the ordinance, claiming the local county commission failed to prove that the situation meets the "extraordinarily high bar" set forth by a 1977 state law that heavily dissuades local governments from imposing rent controls.
6 REITs potentially affected
A half-dozen public real estate investment trusts own multifamily properties in Orange County, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of U.S.-based REITs that trade on the Nasdaq, NYSE or NYSE American.
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Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. owns the most multifamily units in the county, with 3,839 spread across nine different properties. Camden Property Trust follows in a close second at 3,516 units.
UDR Inc. and NexPoint Residential Trust Inc. own 1,823 and 1,172 multifamily units, respectively, while Independence Realty Trust Inc. and Safehold Inc. each own a single multifamily property in the county.
Recent rent increases significantly outpaced the index
Rent rates in Orange County started ramping up in mid 2021, according to data tracked by Zillow Economic Research. The Zillow observed rent index for the county shows consistent double-digit growth year over year, peaking this April at 25.4%.
The broader Zillow observed rent index for entire U.S. has also risen over the same period, but not to the level observed in Orange County.
Increases for both indexes were well above the consumer price index even with inflation rates hitting multidecade highs.