With the help of consistent gains in the last two quarters of 2020, Baltimore’s multifamily market primarily ended the year and started 2021 on a strong note. As of January, rents were up 0.4 percent on a trailing three-month basis, with the overall average at $1,426. However, that’s still below the national average of $1,466. The metro’s occupancy rate in stabilized assets increased 60 basis points to 95.3 percent, 80 basis points above the national overall rate.
The metro’s employment pool contracted by 97,500 positions in 2020—down 6.6 percent year-over-year—according to preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics data, with the bulk of sectors reporting declines. The number of unemployment claims throughout Maryland decreased by about 500 during the final week of January, to 30,517. More than 2,500 of those were from Baltimore City, with a total of 5,203 from Baltimore County.
Some 3,200 units came online in Baltimore in 2020, up by a quarter compared to 2019. Developers were also working on almost 4,000 units across the metro as of January, equal to 1.4 percent of existing stock. Meanwhile, investment volume declined 10.4 percent last year to $1.1 billion, compared to the same interval the previous year.