Job Growth Boosts Orlando

Sustained by exceptional employment and population gains, the metro’s multifamily rents continue to rise, pushing low- and middle-income residents to the suburbs.
Orlando rent evolution, click to enlarge
Orlando rent evolution, click to enlarge

Orlando’s multifamily market is flourishing due to exceptional employment and population growth. With a strong economic engine powered by the metro’s tourism industry, Central Florida remains one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. However, the high cost of housing is pushing low- and middle-income residents to the suburbs.

The metro leads the state in job creation, with 48,700 positions added in 2017. More than 20 percent of these jobs were in the leisure and hospitality sector, which continues to drive Orlando’s economy. Unicorp recently unveiled plans for a $1 billion, 82-acre project near Disney World, dubbed O-Town West. New development and adaptive reuse of existing buildings is also projected for the west side of College Park. This is highly likely to further boost construction, a sector that added almost 7,000 jobs last year.

Investment continues to be strong in Orlando, with $778 million in multifamily assets trading during the first quarter of 2018. Developers continue to focus on upscale projects, as 90 percent of the construction pipeline is geared toward high-income residents. This trend, coupled with the need for housing coming from Puerto Rican evacuees, is putting considerable pressure on low-income households. The metro leads the nation in rent growth, and Yardi Matrix expects a 4.5 percent increase for the whole of 2018.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.