Job, population expansion drives multifamily demand. The Houston metro has grown substantially over the past cycle, adding new households at nearly triple the national pace since 2010. Houston’s position as a prominent center of global trade has led to employment opportunities in the energy, manufacturing and transportation sectors, bolstering population growth. As the market expanded, demand increased for healthcare, education and professional services, adding even more to job creation. The need for housing has risen at a commensurate rate, and as the typical mortgage payment on a median-priced home is more than $600 above the average monthly rent, many people are leasing apartments. Renewed absorption in 2019 will help lower vacancy below the trailing five-year average, sustaining rent growth slightly above the U.S. measure.