Number of High-Rise Apartment Buildings in Houston Nearly Tripled Since 2000

A look at the city's increase in high-rises.

High-rise and mid-rise residential buildings are becoming more popular, according to new research from RENTCafé. Nationwide, data shows that the number of high-rise apartment buildings went from 23 in 2000 to 145 in 2018. In particular, the Houston area added 14 more high-rises to the six it had back in 2000.

Additionally, the shares of mid- and high-rise buildings are increasing faster than that of low-rises. On the national stage, the most spectacular increase was witnessed by mid-rise buildings, which went from a 6 percent share in the ‘90s to 41 percent currently being developed. High-rises are also steadily increasing, going from 2 percent to 11 percent during the same timeframe. Low-rises, on the other hand, have decreased from 92 percent to 48 percent. Plus, the number of completed residential skyscrapers has also increased considerably—from only eight in the ‘90s to 68 in the current decade.

Looking at the cities that have built the most high-rise apartment buildings this decade, Houston takes 15th in the top with an 8 percent share of high-rises, 39 percent mid-rises and 53 percent low-rises. Boston leads the way in this metric with a 55 percent share of high-rises, exceeding New York’s 51 percent and Chicago’s 41 percent. However, while development of taller buildings are beginning to gain popularity, apartments for rent in Houston’s low-rise buildings are still more common.

Image courtesy of RentCafe

Overall, Houston ranked 8th in the top 30 largest U.S. cities with the highest number of total high-rise residential buildings. The number of high-rise apartment buildings here went from just two in the ‘90s to six in the ‘00s and to 20 in the 2010s. As expected, New York tops the list with a total of 112 high-rise residential buildings.

Finally, the average number of floors also increased steadily in Houston—from three in the ’90s to six in the ’00s. This differs from New York, which only saw a slight increase, from 14 average floors in the ’90s to 15 in the ’10s.