Nationwide, completions declined by 18.4 percent in 2019 compared to the previous year, to 276,600 units, according to Yardi Matrix data, as trade uncertainties pushed up construction costs. Deliveries in 2020 are also expected to remain under 300,000 units. The five markets on this list accounted for almost a quarter of the total number of recently completed apartments.
Atlanta continues to rank among the country’s top-performing multifamily markets, as a result of its relatively low cost of living coupled with strong demographic and employment expansions. Employers added more than 60,000 positions in the 12 months ending in November, a 2.2 percent increase. The education and health services and leisure and hospitality sectors led growth, with a combined total of 27,500 jobs and growth rates almost double the metro average. Additionally, the metro’s unemployment rate stood at 2.6 percent in November—down 100 basis points year-over-year and the lowest level in more than a decade.
Developers delivered 10,733 apartments last year, representing 2.4 percent of Atlanta’s existing multifamily inventory. In 2020, we project that deliveries will slow down to about 9,000 units completed by year’s end. RangeWater Real Estate expanded its portfolio with the completion of two developments totaling 625 units, including Atlanta’s largest multifamily delivery—the 425-unit The Bishop. The two-building community—which offers one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging 855 square feet—is the company’s second-biggest multifamily property in Atlanta and largest project to come online in the Sandy Springs/Dunwoody submarket since 2006. The firm is also working on two projects totaling more than 600 units, with an additional eight projects, or some 3,000 apartments, in the planning and prospective stages.
Miami’s multifamily market continues its upward trend, benefiting from above-average job growth and a business-friendly climate. The metro added 38,400 jobs in the 12 months ending in November, a 1.5 percent increase. Job growth was led by the education and health services sector, which gained 17,200 positions (4.2 percent increase), followed by the construction sector, which rose by 3.1 percent and added 1,700 positions. The metro’s average rent rose 2.2 percent year-over-year through January, to $1,684, and we expect rents to advance 2.5 percent in 2020.
Some 10,900 units came online in Miami last year, 3.7 percent of existing stock. The metro is projected to add some 11,500 units in 2020, continuing to dominate other Florida markets in terms of deliveries. Florida East Coast Realty delivered the 821-unit Panorama Tower at 1101 Brickell Ave. last year, making it both its largest community and the metro’s biggest multifamily project to come online in 2019. The 64-story, transit-oriented building includes 39,000 square feet of office and 83,000 square feet of retail. The firm plans to further expand its Miami portfolio, with three projects totaling 1,280 apartments in the planning and permitting stages.
Thanks to healthy employment gains, especially in the education and health services and professional and business services sectors, demand for rental housing remains strong in Seattle. The metro added a total of 53,200 jobs in the 12 months ending in November, a 3.0 percent increase. Seattle had a 2.9 percent unemployment rate as of November, down 100 basis points year-over-year. Following moderate rent growth throughout 2019, Seattle is projected to lead rent growth this year, with 5.8 percent, more than double the forecasted national average of 2.6 percent.
Almost 11,000 apartments came online in Seattle in 2019, equal to 4.4 percent of the metro’s total inventory, with another 11,000 units projected to be completed by this year’s end. Almost a quarter of the newly completed units were affordable. A total of 13 properties—or 1,817 units—delivered last year were fully affordable, with an additional 33 partially affordable communities encompassing 5,345 apartments, 812 of which were affordable. Carmel Partners completed the largest multifamily development in 2019—the 618-unit, partially affordable Hyde Square in Bellevue. The four-building community offers studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging from 495 to 1,122 square feet.
As a result of steady employment and demographic growth, multifamily demand remains solid in Denver. Employers added 49,300 jobs in the 12 months ending in November, a 2.5 percent uptick. Almost two-thirds of the jobs added—or 30,300—were in the education and health services, government and professional and business services sectors, as the metro’s economy continues to diversify. The metro’s rent growth cooled down in 2019, to 2.4 percent year-over-year, 110 basis points less than at the end of the previous year. The average rent growth is projected to continue to decelerate throughout 2020, but at a slower pace.
Development activity has seen a significant upward trend over the past two years. And while deliveries in 2019 were under the cycle high of the previous year, when some 16,600 units came online, they were among the top in the country. Developers completed a total of 11,260 apartments last year, with 11,500 forecasted to come online by this year’s end, in a sign that demand remains robust in Denver. Carmel Partners completed the metro’s largest multifamily project in 2019—a 403-unit community at 201 E. Mississippi Ave. The property, dubbed The Henry, consists of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments averaging 847 square feet. The San Francisco-based company also delivered a 253-unit student housing project adjacent to the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a 252-unit community in Eaglewood, Colo.
With 120,700 jobs added in the 12 months ending in November, or a 2.9 percent increase, Dallas outperformed all the other metros in terms of employment gains. During the same period, the metro’s unemployment rate declined by 30 basis points, to 3.0 percent, 30 basis points below the national average. Construction jobs rose 7.7 percent, gaining 17,100 positions, as a result of strong development activity for both multifamily and commercial assets over the past 12 months.
Developers completed 24,170 units in Dallas in 2019, equal to 3.2 percent of the metro’s existing stock, and the metro is likely to continue to dominate in 2020, with almost 21,000 unites forecasted to come online by year’s end. Davis Development delivered two communities last year, including the largest multifamily completion in the metro—the 815-unit Verus in Frisco. The three-building property, located at 3100 Ohio Drive, includes one- to three-bedroom apartments ranging from 665 to 1,375 square feet. Meanwhile, Dallas’ most active developer in 2019 was JPI, which completed five projects totaling 1,954 apartments, including the 456-unit Jefferson Reserve in Richardson.
Yardi Matrix covers all multifamily properties of 50+ units in size across 133 markets in the United States. This ranking reflects deliveries within that sample group.