Recent Home-Construction Slowdown Not Seen in Multifamily

By Paul Bergeron

Apartment construction – including and especially in suburban markets nationwide – continues to flourish.

Single-family home building activity that occurred in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in large metro outlying counties and exurban areas, however, has shown a marked decline over the past 12 months, according to the latest findings from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Home Building Geography Index (HBGI) for Q3 2022.

Meanwhile, HBGI’s submarkets in multifamily home building showed increases in growth between the third quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2022 for large and small markets as metro area economies reopened following covid-era restrictions.

In large metro suburban counties, construction increased from an 18% growth rate to a 27.5% rate, and large metro core counties saw a 7.1 percentage point increase. Large metro outlying counties decreased from a 44.1% growth rate to a 31% rate.

Walkable, Live-Work-Play Areas Desirable

Toby Veit, vice president of real estate development for Ryan Companies US, Inc. based in Chicago, tells that the HBGI is picking up on an ongoing trend seen within the multifamily sector, the integration of the live/work/play community.

“Renters from new graduates to empty-nesters want modern living, with amenities like co-working space, resort-like outdoor decks, and smart technology, located in walkable suburban downtowns.

“However, the supply of existing multifamily options hasn’t kept up with this demand, so we’re seeing an uptick in multifamily construction in large metro suburbs that offer great downtown areas and access to commuter transportation.”

Veit said the walkability and maintenance-free lifestyle is a major attraction that pairs with amazing amenities to provide a superior living experience.

“These suburban city centers offer residents easy commutes to large metro city centers as well as ample access to local restaurants, shops, and nightlife,” he said.

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