Columbus is experiencing a luxury apartment boom
While affordable housing demand is an ongoing concern, Central Ohio is also luring more renters on the opposite end of the financial spectrum.
Driving the news: The number of Columbus-area renters earning $150,000 or more grew 106% from 2016-2021, Axios' Sami Sparber and Tory Lysik report from Census data.
- That's higher than the national average of 87.5%.
- Overall, the number of local renters increased by 7.3%
Why it matters: High-income renters are thinking beyond ordinary gyms and pools for amenities — and it's showing in new luxury developments across the city.
👀 An eye-popping example: New penthouse apartments near COSI cap out at $7,999 a month, our area's most expensive rentals yet, the Dispatch reports.
- The "resort-style amenities" include a pet spa, a rooftop pool and club room and a coworking space.
The intrigue: Experiences are luxury amenities too. Gravity, a Franklinton mixed-use development, offers meditation classes, volunteer opportunities, book fairs and speakers, and will host a summer Mural Fest.
- Two-bedroom apartments range $1,800-$2,000 monthly.
- An expansion opening this summer includes a "zen studio" and cold plunge therapy pool, Brett Kaufman, founder of Kaufman Development, tells Axios.
What they're saying: "It's all of those experiential amenities that are what makes us truly unique and connect our residents to our larger community, and people love them," he says.
State of play: Columbus is one of the country's hottest housing markets, ranking No. 4 on Realtor.com's most recent report, based on online views and listings' time on market.
- High demand, mortgage rates and listing prices are making homebuying less desirable than in the past.
Meanwhile, rent is increasing too — but when compared to other major U.S. cities, Columbus renters get a bargain at a 2022 average of $1,135 a month.
Zoom in: Higher-income renters offer developers the most bang for their buck, and companies are trying to differentiate themselves with amenities, Andrew Mazak, partner at Columbus-based real estate research firm Vogt Strategic Insights, tells Axios.
- These renters may include professional athletes, doctors on the move, or employees for new tech projects, he says.
Yes, but: There is still great demand for "workforce housing" in the price range of a typical young professional or civil servant, Mazak says.
- "There really needs to be a paradigm shift … to incentivize developers to build that missing middle too."
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