Chart: Multifamily Build-for-Rent Reaches Historic High

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Originally Published by: NAHB — November 22, 2022
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According to NAHB analysis of quarterly Census data, the count of multifamily, for-rent housing starts remained elevated during the third quarter of 2022. At 141,000 units started, this was the largest quarter for rental multifamily construction since the second quarter of 1986.

The market share of rental units of multifamily construction starts increased to 97% as the already small condo market retreated on higher interest rates. In contrast, the historical low share of 47% was set during the third quarter of 2005, during the condo building boom. An average share of 80% was registered during the 1980-2002 period.

For the third quarter, there were just 4,000 multifamily condo construction starts. This is just half the total from a year ago.

An elevated rental share of multifamily construction is holding typical apartment size below levels seen during the pre-Great Recession period. According to third quarter 2022 data, the average square footage of multifamily construction starts ticked up to 1,092. The median declined to 998 square feet.