Richmond Multifamily Report – Spring 2019
The metro’s apartment market remained unfazed by last year’s modest employment gains and rents were up 3.4 percent year-over-year as of March, above the national average.
Although employment gains in Richmond–Tidewater started slipping in mid-2018, the multifamily market remained mostly unfazed. Rents were up 3.4 percent year-over-year as of March, outperforming the national average, while occupancy in stabilized properties actually inched up 10 basis points over 12 months, to 95.0 percent as of February.
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Richmond added 6,500 jobs in the 12 months ending in February. Gains in manufacturing (3,900 jobs), leisure and hospitality (2,200) and professional and business services (1,900) helped offset cuts in contracting sectors, which included trade, transportation and utilities (-4,500 jobs) and information (-1,400). Despite the slightly shaky economy, the area has no shortage of large-scale development plans. The Commonwealth has picked a contractor for the $3.3 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion, set for completion in 2025. Meanwhile, the City and NH District Corp. continued to negotiate the $1.4 billion proposal to redevelop the Richmond Coliseum area, a megaproject that could reshape the metro’s core.
With 4,315 units underway as of March and 2,520 units expected to come online during the whole of 2019, supply is bound to partially dampen rent growth in the context of a decelerating job market. We expect the average Richmond rent to advance 2.3 percent this year.