The Triangle is hot off another strong year for its multifamily sector, which is showing no signs of slowing down in 2019. Demand in Raleigh-Durham is on an upswing, boosted by favorable demographic trends and a diversifying economy.
The metro added 26,000 jobs in 2018, a 2.9 percent increase, well above the 2.1 percent national rate. Growth was led by trade, transportation and utilities (6,100 jobs), followed by education and health services (4,900 jobs) and professional and business services (3,700 jobs). Construction jobs saw a significant increase—up 7.8 percent for 3,600 positions—due to multiple development projects. The first mixed-use building completed by Longfellow Real Estate Partners in the 1.7 million-square-foot Durham Innovation District includes office and lab space, with residential and retail components to follow. The industrial sector is also thriving. Amazon is working on a 2.6 million-square-foot high-tech distribution center in Garner, and Scannell Properties announced an 893,000-square-foot industrial project in Durham.
Developers had 9,000 rental units underway in the metro as of February. Healthy employment and wage increases, coupled with robust investor interest and a thriving technology sector, are bound to keep rent growth steady. Yardi Matrix expects rents to rise 3.4 percent by the end of 2019.