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Apartment Boom Hits Urban Core Of Columbus, OH

Apartments are scooped minutes after being placed on Craigslist, waiting lines form at open houses, rents are rising. San Francisco? Not quite, but with developers rising to the occasion with 5,000 units in construction, growth may be sustainable.
July 5, 2012, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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To be sure, urban apartments are in demand nationwide. Jim Weiker writes that "the national vacancy rate is 4.9 percent, the lowest in a decade, according to the national real-estate research firm Reis Inc."

"Central Ohio has a 4.5% vacancy rate in apartments. In Columbus' popular urban neighborhoods, vacancies are rare."

"I don't think I've seen this good of rental conditions in at least 20 years," said Rob Vogt, partner of a Columbus real-estate research firm."

"Developers are responding to the demand with the biggest apartment construction boom since at least 2005. About 5,300 apartments are under development in central Ohio."

"The new construction "is largely concentrated in the urban core to attract 20- or 30-somethings. The new urban apartments tend to be smaller, many one bedrooms and studios, but high in style."

"You're seeing more quality over quantity, smaller apartments that are nicer," said Columbus architect Jonathan Barnes, who has designed some of the complexes.

"For some developers, the demand suggests a demographic shift toward urban living, a shift documented in census data released on (July 28) showing a rise in the urban population."

As tough as the market may be for renters in Columbus' popular urban areas, they can be thankful they are not competing for apartments in San Francisco, as Shira Ovide describes on June 26 in the WSJ: "Tech Boom Hits San Francisco Rental Prices, Prices Soar as Well-Paid Tech Workers Stream Into City After a Long Exodus."

Thanks to Reconnecting America

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 in The Columbus Dispatch
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