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Market Report

Baltimore Multifamily Investment Forecast

2020 Outlook

Vacancy Drops to Historical Low; Investors Find Comparative Advantage in Baltimore

Vacancy drops to multiyear low amid moderated construction pipeline.Baltimore’s well-regarded educational institutions and healthcare providers, comprising about a fifth of the labor force, continue to hire thousands of personnel per year. These new job opportunities are supporting the formation of additional households, contributing to a steady increase in rental demand that will drop vacancy to 4.3 percent in 2020. The number of units available has not fallen much below this threshold since 2000 when vacancy was 2.6 percent. Operations are also benefiting from a more modest construction pipeline. Except for 2019, fewer units will come online in 2020 than during any other year since 2011. While not as many apartments will open within the city of Baltimore as previous years, a handful of large-scale projects are slated to deliver in surrounding towns. Projects with more than 300 units apiece will be finalized in the suburban settings of Ellicott City, Columbia and Towson, where demand for the new supply is underscored by below-market vacancy rates. This dynamic is also leading to above-market average rent growth, contributing to a metrowide appreciation in effective rates similar to 2019.

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