Columbus Multifamily Report – Summer 2020

The metro's average rate inched up 40 basis points in three months, while the U.S. figure contracted.
Columbus rent evolution, click to enlarge

Despite the ongoing economic and financial volatility generated by the COVID-19 crisis, Columbus remains one of the best-performing housing markets in the Midwest. Backed by steady demographic trends and faced with the implementation of a stay-at-home order, rental demand across the metro endured. On a trailing three-month basis through May, Columbus rents were up 0.4 percent, while the average national rate contracted by 0.2 percent.

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Employment growth started to slowly decelerate at the beginning of last year. After the pandemic began to take a toll on Columbus’ economy, the unemployment rate quickly escalated from 4.2 percent in March to 13.7 percent in April. Leisure and hospitality was the first sector to take a hit, but others followed suit. The state distributed more than $3.8 billion in unemployment claims produced by the coronavirus outbreak, which has put a lot of pressure on relief funding. State officials requested $3.1 billion from the federal government to continue meeting unemployment obligations.

Columbus sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge
Columbus sales volume and number of properties sold, click to enlarge

In the first five months of this year, developers delivered 1,088 units, all catering to high-income residents, with an additional 7,387 apartments underway as of May. The current pipeline was slated to account for a new development cycle peak in 2020. However, with the effects of the health crisis still unfolding, ongoing projects could face significant delays.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.