In the first quarter of 2022, multifamily home building in large metro area core counties, large metro area suburban counties, and small metro area core counties grew by 17.4%, 31.4%, and 33.7%, respectively, NAHB Eye on Housing Reports. All heavily populated urban areas tracked by NAHB’s Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) posted significant growth compared to the first quarter of 2021, when multifamily home building in large metro area core counties and suburban counties declined by 3.6% and 9.5%, respectively, while core counties in small metro areas grew by 5.5%.
Rising rents and low vacancy rates are motivating multifamily developers to build through supply chain disruptions and price hikes for land and materials. New apartment construction rapidly outpaced single-family building in every regional market at the start of 2022.
The first quarter data additionally show more activity in lower density markets. On a four-quarter moving average year-over-year basis, multifamily home building in micro counties, large metro area outlying counties, small metro area outlying counties, and non-metro, non-micro counties grew by 44%, 45%, 52%, and 83%, respectively. In the first quarter of the previous year, multifamily home building in these geographies grew by 10.1%, 6.0%, 7.7%, and -5.8%.