1 / 32 Next Page
Show Menu
1 / 32 Next Page
Page Background


ne of the hallmarks of the

current development boom

has been the degree to

which it has been focused

almost exclusively on high-

end apartments. Proponents say it

represents a change in our housing

preferences, with more and more

higher-income households choosing

to rent amenity-rich apartments.

Critics point out that the nation is

facing a near crisis-level shortage

of affordable housing, yet the only

properties being built are pricey

Class A+ or luxury ones.

The apartment boom also has got-

ten more media

attention this

cycle than in the

past. The home-

ownership count

continues to edge

downward, millen-

nials are flooding

into cities looking

for the hip urban

lifestyle, and baby

boomers are down-

sizing and choosing

to rent. Given the

media headlines, it

can be tempting to

make this trend toward higher-cost,

higher-rent infill construction seem

like a new phenomenon. But it’s not.

Conventional wisdom has long been

that the only new developments

that pencil in most areas are either

high-end or low-income housing tax

credit properties.

But old trend or new, a common

worry is whether the industry is

in danger of overbuilding the high

end of the market. At the National

Multifamily Housing Council, we

heard this same refrain a year ago,

two years ago, even three years ago

in some markets. Yet, in most cases,

demand has held up better than

many expected, resulting in good

absorption of the new supply of

higher-end units.

Consider that in Denver, we have

added nearly 30,000 new units over

the past four years and are expected

to add another nearly 12,000 in 2017.

It’s fair to ask whether this can con-

tinue. After all, how many people

can afford to rent these units? Mark

Obrinsky, NMHC chief economist,

recently looked at large, public

microdata sets to see if we can get

Adrian Tiemens Photography

Denver’s Broadstone on 9th was completed in 2016, features 324 units, has a 92 percent occupancy rate and is considered a high-end apartment community.

Please see Page 31 How deep is the demand for high-end apartments?


Agencies are playing an important role in the fight to preserve workforce housing. GSE spotlight PAGE 8 The latest fitness facility trends include must-haves for amenitized properties. Amenity trends PAGE 30 Castle Rock is bullish on multifamily develop- ment with several new downtown projects. Community highlight PAGE 20 May 2017

Kim Duty

Senior vice

president, public

affairs, National


Housing Council,