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Cities Building the Most Apartments in 2020

Apartment construction peaked in 2018, and a host of complications means that there will be fewer new units in the near future.

Before the pandemic left apartment dwellers in limbo, rents were getting steeper, partly due to short supply and a tight housing market that made home buying unaffordable for many.

About 345,000 new apartments were built in 2018, according to RentCafe, an apartment search site, representing the largest influx of new apartments in roughly 30 years. About 321,000 new units were built in 2019, a 7% decrease.

This year, apartment construction is down by 12% compared to 2019, with around 283,000 new units expected to hit the market this year, considerably fewer than the 2018 peak, according to RentCafe.

The softening market is even giving some still-employed renters leverage to lower their rent in pricey markets like San Francisco, the S.F. Chronicle reported.

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With the CDC banning evictions of renters waylaid by the pandemic, it all points to a downtrend and a much tougher year for the apartment industry. Construction is down this year even further, mainly due to a shortage of available construction crews amid the COVID-19 crisis, along with some temporary bans on construction projects in certain states, RentCafe says.

To compile this list of cities building the most apartments, analyzed new apartment construction data across 99 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. The data refers to rental apartments in large-scale buildings of 50 units or more. Metros with less than 300 units were not included.

Based on their report, these are the 20 cities that built the most apartments in the first half of 2020, followed by 10 cities that are projected to the build the most by the end of the year.