Sep 27, 2023 - News

Nashville is a leader in the nationwide apartment boom

Data: RentCafe; Note: Includes buildings with 30 or more units; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Nearly 9,000 new apartment units are expected to be built in the Nashville area this year as developers continue to ramp up construction, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Nashville is one of the top drivers of new apartment construction nationwide, per a report from RentCafe. (If you've driven around the city recently, that won't surprise you.)

The big picture: A housing shortage in the U.S. has contributed to the rising cost of both renting and buying, Axios' Sami Sparber reports. But a surge in new apartment supply — 1.2 million units were completed in the last three years — helped slow rent growth.

  • The bulk of those new apartments are located in 20 metro areas, including Nashville, per the report by RentCafe, which analyzed data from real estate intelligence service Yardi Matrix. Roughly 41% of U.S. renters live in those areas.

By the numbers: More than 21,200 apartment units were built in greater Nashville from 2020-2022, putting the area at 18 in the national rankings.

  • Music City's pace in 2023 puts it at 15 in this year's ranking.

Zoom in: The vast majority of the metro area's construction is centered in Davidson County. Murfreesboro, Gallatin and Franklin are the top construction sites among surrounding cities.

  • They each added more than 1,000 units from 2020-2022.

Between the lines: Many first-time buyers feel priced out of the brutal housing market.

  • Nearly three-fourths of renters say they're renting in an area where they couldn't afford to buy, according to a new survey from RealPage, a real estate analytics and software company.

Yes, but: Around 89% of the units completed from 2020 through 2022 are high-end, per the RentCafe report, and not the type of affordable apartments many renters want.

  • Calls for affordable housing animated this year's Metro elections. The issue is a top priority for Mayor Freddie O'Connell and many new council members.

What's next: One million rental units are slated for completion in the U.S. through 2025, but higher costs and other headwinds could slow developers' pace in future years.


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