Feb 7 (Reuters) - Residential real estate investment trust (REIT) Mid-America Apartment Communities beat estimates for fourth quarter funds from operation (FFO) on Wednesday as a lack of supply pressure in some markets in the Southeast, such as Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina, modestly pushed up rent prices.

Rental supply in the U.S. remains elevated with some parts of the Southeast seeing relatively higher rent growth, but there are some pressures in the Sun Belt region.

Meanwhile, long-term demand for rentals remains solid, as high home ownership costs and stable wage and employment growth make home ownership more challenging for younger and lower-income cohorts.

Rents have been under pressure from apartment constructions being at multi-decade highs during the last two years of the pandemic. They have since slowed down.

"We expect that the volume of new apartment deliveries will start to decline in late 2024, setting the stage for improved rent growth," said Mid-America Apartment Communities' CEO Eric Bolton.

The real estate investment trust (REIT), which manages more than 250 apartment buildings in the Southeast, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions, reported a 2.1% increase in same-store revenue for the quarter ended December from a year ago.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based REIT posted FFO, a key measure of performance for a REIT, at $2.53 per share in the fourth quarter, versus analysts' average estimate of $2.31 per share, according to LSEG data.

The average effective rent per each apartment unit was 2.2% above last year, while physical occupancy was 95.5%. (Reporting by Ananta Agarwal and Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)