When we get to the question-and-answer portion, we ask that you be respectful of everyone’s time and limit your questions and follow-ups. Management will be available after the call for your questions that did not get answered on the call.
I will now turn the call over to our President and CEO, Tom Toomey.
Thank you Chris and good morning to everyone. Welcome to UDR’s first quarter conference call. On the call with me today are David Messenger, Chief Financial Officer; and Jerry Davis, Senior Vice President of Operations, who will discuss our results, as well as senior officers, Warren Troupe and Harry Alcock who will be available to answer questions during the Q&A portion of the call.
My comments today will focus on three topics. First, our quarterly results and broad operating trends; second, a summary of our dispositions and external growth efforts and their effects on our portfolio; and finally, our deleveraging efforts. Following my comments David will discuss our capital markets activity and balance sheet, and Jerry will provide commentary on the operating results and emerging operating trends as we enter the peak-leasing season.
In the first quarter of 2012 core FFO per share of $0.34 increased by 13% year-over-year, strong year-over-year same-store revenue and net operating income growth of 5.3% and 8.1% respectively, as well as solid operating execution in our non same store portfolio drove the improvement, offset by higher than anticipated equity issuance through our aftermarket equity offering program.
During the quarter all aspects of our business operated at a high level and demand for our apartment homes remained robust. With portfolio occupancy nearing 96% at quarter end, accelerating new lease, rate growth and strong renewal rate increases; we are well positioned to first rent during the upcoming leasing season. In short, all signs indicate that 2012 will be a better year than 2011.