Independence Realty Trust Boosts Occupancy to 95.7%

IRT, a real estate investment trust, has reported strong performance across key operating metrics, with a 100 basis point increase in occupancy from 94.7% as of December 31, 2023, to 95.7% as of May 31, 2024. The company's same store highlights for Q1 2024 include a 3.4% year-over-year revenue growth, a 54.3% resident retention rate, and a 1.5% average rental rate increase to $1,551.

The focus on resident renewal and retention has supported occupancy growth, with year-to-date retention at 55.2%, a 300 basis point increase year-over-year. New leads have increased by 21% year-to-date due to robust demand for class B apartments, and blended same store rental rates have increased by 1.7% quarter-to-date.

Operating expenses are trending lower than expected, and the company's recent property insurance renewal saw a decrease in premiums by 10%, lower than the expected 17.5% increase.

The company has a strong history of performance, having completed an IPO in August 2013 and acquiring 110 communities with 32,685 units, representing a 74% share of net operating income. Their 2024 guidance includes a same store property revenue growth of 3.75% and NOI growth of 2.5% at the midpoint of their guided range.

IRT's value-add program has shown significant success, with projects to date generating a 19.3% unlevered return on interior costs and an average rental increase of 20.5%. They have around 12,000 units available for value-add renovation, with approximately $6.2 billion in gross assets across various states.

The company's portfolio optimization and deleveraging strategy included the disposition of 10 non-core properties, with gross sales proceeds of $525 million and the repayment of $517 million of debt. This strategy has positioned them to progress towards their accelerated target of mid-5's net debt to adjusted EBITDA by year-end 2025.

IRT is also focusing on technology, with ongoing efforts in business intelligence for property managers, value-add ERP platforms, incident reporting apps, and month-end close automation.

Following these announcements, the company's shares moved 2.5%, and are now trading at a price of $17.11. If you want to know more, read the company's complete 8-K report here.

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