by Dan Rafter
The economy in Columbus, Ohio, continues to improve, with unemployment falling. This is bringing more residents to the city, especially its downtown urban areas.
And like many cities across the Midwest, this is resulting in an increased demand for apartment units throughout the metropolitan area, according to Marcus & Millichap’s fourth-quarter Columbus multifamily report.
Marcus & Millichap reported that builders are responding to this increased demand, boosting apartment construction for the fourth straight year. Builders have been especially active in the city’s more affluent neighborhoods, places like Dublin-Hilliard and Upper Arlington. Builders are also targeting downtown Columbus, all the way through the Short North neighborhood to the areas surrounding The Ohio State University.
Marcus & Millichap reported that builders are on pace to add about 2,100 new apartment units to Columbus throughout 2016. Last year, builders added about 3,200 new apartment units.
Despite the new units, apartment vacancy rates are falling throughout the Columbus market, with Marcus & Millichap reporting that this rate will hit 3.2 percent by the end of 2016. That’s down 130 basis points from 4.5 percent in 2015.
As demand increases, so has rents. Marcus & Millichap reported that effective apartment rents in the Columbus market will have risen 4.9 percent in 2016 to $862 a month.