Washington D.C. – As reported in CBS News, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new analysis of the ten largest publicly traded apartment companies by number of units, finding that they all raised rent prices and collectively saw their total 2021 fiscal year net incomes soar by 57% to nearly $5 billion. The top executives of these same companies also reported that their total compensation in the same period swelled by nearly 23% to over $66.5 million, helping them maintain lavish homes valued at a total of almost $103 million.
When you see the nation's largest apartment companies leaning into inflation and banking nearly $5 billion while their top executives' pay soars by over 22 percent from last year, it’s obvious the punishing rental prices on our most vulnerable populations are driven by corporate greed. Big apartment companies have joined the long list of industries using inflation as cover to charge working families far beyond any new cost of doing business.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
The new analysis follows Accountable.US’ previous research over the last several months on how clear pandemic profiteering and corporate greed from the big oil, meat packing, shipping, retail, clothing, food, trucking and railroad companies are making inflation/supply chain problems worse for everyday consumers.
Corporate landlords’ profits have surged despite eviction ban fears
By Irina Ivanova
“Property owners that opposed a federal ban on evictions in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic claimed the restrictions would leave them on the hook for billions of dollars in losses. For many corporate landlords, however, 2021 tuned out to be a year of record profits, according to a watchdog group.
The largest publicly traded property groups in the U.S. saw their combined earnings surge more than 50% last year to nearly $5 billion, government watchdog group Accountable.US found in a new analysis. During that time, their top executives saw raises of more than 20%, the group calculated.
Take Mid-America Apartment Communities, the largest multifamily housing owner in the U.S., with 100,000 units under its purview. Mid-America’s profits more than doubled in 2021 to $550 million. And Starwood Property Trust, a major real-estate investment company, boasted of a ‘record’ year in 2021, during which time its net income rose by one-third, to $492 million.
Speaking to investors on a call in February, Starwood’s CEO noted that ‘tenants seem capable and willing to pay these rent increases’ and called inflation ‘an extraordinary gift that keeps on giving’ for the company’s affordable housing properties in Florida. (Starwood’s parent, Starwood Capital Group, says it controls 220,000 housing units and 380,000 hotel rooms, among other assets.)
AvalonBay Communities, the No. 4 property owner in America, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council, saw its bottom line shoot up 21% last year. Equity Residential, the No. 5 property owner, saw profits jump 45%, to $1.3 billion. Equity’s chief operating officer touted the company’s ‘pricing power’ in a February earnings call. Camden Property Trust, the No. 12 property owner, saw income more than double, to $183 million, as did UDR, the No. 19 landlord, whose earning climbed to $160 million, according to the analysis.
A spokesperson for Equity Residential said the company’s rents reflected a rise from a ‘steep drop’ during the pandemic.
‘Our portfolio attracts an affluent renter that is not rent stressed. Our residents pay us, on average, approximately 19% of their income in rent,’ spokesperson Marty McKenna said in an email.”