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US property complexities: Generation rent grapple with affordability and availability

Neighborhoods undergoing major transformations have built thousands of apartments in just five years.

Houses in a street. Image by © Tim Sandle
Houses in a street. Image by © Tim Sandle

Some areas of the U.S. are seeing a expansion in new buildings while others remain static. Partly, the greatest activities are where there are the most jobs – a simple economic supply and demand situation.

For those seeking rental properties (the oft-labelled ‘generation rent’), which neighborhoods should renters target for brand-new rentals? A new assessment has examined thousands of zip codes to identify where apartment construction is booming across the largest U.S. conurbations. The assessment comes from Rent Cafe and the data has been provided to Digital Journal to select the key findings.

There are 16.7 million people in the U.S. who rent by themselves – three times the population size of the Phoenix metro. In pricey cities, this comes at a premium: Renters who live alone need to earn an extra $8,600 per year.

Neighborhoods undergoing major transformations have built thousands of apartments in just five years — a short time frame in terms of construction — surpassing the numbers achieved by entire cities.

Most of these zip codes are clustered in major hubs like Washington, D.C.; Miami; and New York, but smaller markets like Nashville; Frisco; and Richmond also make the top 10 list.

Coming in first with a total of 7,378 new apartments developed over just five years, zip code 20002 in Washington, D.C., has seen the most substantial addition in new living spaces. This demonstrates a strong and sustained growth in the apartment market of the northeastern part of the city.

Ranking second, the neighboring 20003 zip code in D.C. has introduced 7,225 new apartments during the last five years. These new units are strategically located in D.C.’s financial heart — specifically, in Capitol Hill and its surroundings.

In third place, the 11101 zip code in Queens, NY, has welcomed 7,081 new apartments between 2018 and 2022. This is a redeveloped industrial area in Long Island City, and is now known for its gleaming high-rises along the East River. 

Next up is zip code 37203 in Nashville, TN, which has seen 6,806 new apartments built recently. This buzzing neighborhood located right in the heart of Nashville is home to several universities. 

With a total of 5,872 new apartments, zip code 75034 zip Frisco, TX, claims a surprising fifth rank among the most coveted locations. A popular choice for commuters, this area is known for its higher-cost neighborhoods. Here, almost all of the new units here are high-end rentals.

Some neighborhoods may not have as many new apartments, but they are seeing developmental changes because their original stock was smaller. For example, zip code 33132 in Miami quadrupled its supply of apartment in just five years.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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