DC-area new apartment deliveries significantly slow

The 450-unit Watermark development is among the new apartment developments coming to D.C. (Courtesy Douglas Development)

After years of booming new apartment construction in the D.C. area, the pipeline of new apartments coming to market has significantly slowed.

The D.C. metro area will deliver 8,827 new apartment units by the end of 2020, according to RentCafe’s yearly apartment construction report, down 24% from 2019. It also is the first time in five years that the number of annual apartment completions in the Washington region has dropped below 10,000.

In the first half of 2020, developers delivered just 525 new apartment units.

RentCafe’s report is based on data provided by commercial real estate data firm Yardi Matrix.

Even with the drop in new apartment deliveries this year, the D.C. region still ranks No. 7 among the top 20 metro areas for projected apartment construction.

New apartment deliveries this year are down significantly in 13 of the 20 largest metros, led by a 53% drop in Miami and a 51% drop in Denver, according to RentCafe.

Some markets are still booming.

Despite an 11% drop in new apartment deliveries expected this year in San Francisco, new apartment deliveries in nearby San Jose are expected to be double what it was in 2019, at about 6,000.

And, despite an expected 29% decline in new apartment deliveries in Dallas-Fort Worth this year, it still leads by the number of new units, at 19,318. Dallas has surpassed second-ranked New York City in new apartments for three consecutive years.

Nationwide, new apartment deliveries peaked in 2018, at 345,000 units, and fell to 321,000 in 2019. RentCafe’s report shows 283,000 new apartment units will be delivered nationwide by the end of 2020.

Below are charts showing the top metros for expected new apartment deliveries in 2020, and the percent change in new deliveries in the top 20 metros.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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