The U.S. Has An Insatiable Desire For Apartments

March 9, 2016

Apartments and apartment construction in the U.S. appear to have a bit of a Chinese food thing going on; you get what looks like enough food to feed the entire block, pile it high onto your plate and yet, 45 minutes later you’re hungry again.

Similarly, renters are consuming apartments as fast as builders can build them, and then they're heading back for more. In Q3 of 2015 nearly 100,000 new apartments appeared online available to be rented and within 12 months 80 percent of them already had people living in them, according to Zillow. These Q3 numbers for 2015 were 21 percent more than 2014 and 73 percent more than two years earlier.

Don’t think this influx of new apartments is cutting down on demand, though. Only 18.7 percent of apartments completed in the past year from Q3 2015 remain unrented. In 2009, that number was 30 percent. In fact, it only takes 3 months for one half to two-thirds of apartments completed in a given quarter to be rented.

Less expensive studio and one-bedroom apartments are being gobbled up even quicker than the overall numbers show, as 76 percent of the least expensive studio and one-bedroom apartment units are rented within three months. The most expensive units see only 58 percent rented in three months.

Baltimore, Richmond, Las Vegas, Orlando, Raleigh, Dallas, and Tampa are a few metros where new apartments are being rented at an increasingly fast rate. On the other end Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago are seeing apartment rental rates slowing a bit.

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