Economic Diversity Drives Growth in Columbus

As the economy improves, the cost of living remains relatively affordable in Columbus, attracting more residents to the area and boosting multifamily demand. A business-friendly environment also draws investors and entrepreneurs to Ohio's largest city, prompting more people to rejoin the workforce.

Columbus rent evolution, click to enlarge
Columbus rent evolution, click to enlarge

Columbus’ growing economy and relatively affordable housing are attracting residents and boosting multifamily demand. A business-friendly environment and an educated workforce are drawing investors to Ohio’s largest city, fueling a growing residential market. Columbus rents were up 3.0 percent in the year ending in September, topping the U.S. average by 80 basis points.

Advanced manufacturing is leading job growth. “New manufacturing” companies are bringing operations back to the U.S., recapturing a significant portion of the city’s economy with the production of high-quality goods at lower costs. New facilities include a 600,000-square-foot Rogue Fitness factory, as well as a BrewDog brewery, a craft beer company expanding from the U.K. Italy-based Sofidel, the sixth-largest tissue manufacturer in the world, is building a 1.4 million-square-foot facility in Circleville. Meanwhile, there was $641 million in downtown projects under development as of mid-2017, according to the latest State of Downtown Columbus report released by CCSID. Office-using employment is also rising, spurred by an increasingly stronger tech industry.

Despite the bounty of deliveries over the past three years, occupancy has remained relatively stable, at nearly 96.0 percent. More than 3,000 units are slated to come online this year, which should create some pressure. But absorption is expected to keep up, generating a rent increase of 3.8 percent in 2017.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.