Steady Growth Cultivates Building Boom in Columbus

Rents are escalating due to steady employment gains and net in-migration, driven by activity associated with Ohio State. Average rent reached $876, well below the national figure of $1,316.
Columbus rent evolution, click to enlarge
Columbus rent evolution, click to enlarge

The multifamily market is expanding in Columbus, which has been an economic standout in Ohio and the Midwest. The metro’s tight labor market is lifting average wages, attracting more residents and bolstering demand for apartments.

Government, energy, education and health services led job gains over the past year and contributed to wage growth in high-paying sectors. In addition to being the state capital of Ohio and home to The Ohio State University, Columbus is a corporate hub with national and regional headquarters of several major financial and consumer products companies.

Demand for apartments is strong as Millennials are establishing households and downsizing Baby Boomers are renting luxury units. Development is active, especially in Dublin, which is expected to become the largest suburb of Columbus by 2020. Downtown development is also booming, characterized by mixed-use, live-work-play communities. Property values in the metro are reaching new highs but are still cheaper than the national average. The new supply of apartments has been modest in recent years, but the pipeline is growing. Transaction activity has been strong during the last five years but has slowed in 2017, as developers focus on ground-up projects. With strong demand and moderate new deliveries, we expect rent growth of 3.5 percent in 2017.

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.