The Growth of Multifamily Properties in Houston Suburbia Explained

For developers looking for their next big project in Houston, one trend is on the up right now: multifamily properties in suburbia. Houston’s outer suburbs have seen a significant rise in popularity over the past year, with half of all Houston area apartments currently being built in the outskirts of the urban core [1]. Popular areas include: The Woodlands, Katy, Pearland, Richmond, etc.

 

Why People are choosing Suburbia over Urban Core

The pandemic brought drastic changes to lifestyle, with social distancing and mask wear. COVID-19 is cited for playing a huge role in the phenomenon of moving from the congested urban area to the more spacious suburbs. People realize they want space from others for safety and health concerns, and apartments in suburbia are known for their spacious and affordable nature. In addition, with the rising number of people working from home, people no longer have to commute. So they no longer have to ask themselves: Should I move closer to my job or choose where I actually want to live? They are choosing what is new and affordable, especially with the financial insecurity the pandemic has brought. The outdoor amenities that its residents have access to are an added plus and keeps more people moving and staying in suburban areas.

Amenities that residents look for:

  • shopping centers/grocery stores
  • employers
  • retail and restaurants
  • good schools
  • hospitals/medical offices
  • walking and bike trails

 

The demographics of suburban apartment renters have changed over the years as well. It used to be that younger people wanted to live in the inner city, closer to employment and entertainment. Now, the jobs and activities are in the suburban areas, and there is a high number of young professionals moving into suburban multifamily properties.

Also, many are looking to move closer to the communities they would like to purchase a home in and get a feel for living in the area before making the big, life-changing purchase. So, apartments in suburbia see many small families and empty nesters that want low maintenance, lock and leave lifestyle.

prd-civil-engineering-developers-planning

What does this mean for Developers?

The rising rent values in Houston’s suburbs show great potential for developers, especially with building in or near master-planned communities. These master-planned communities in the outer Houston areas have seen tremendous growth over the years with the attraction of substantial corporate tenants and outdoor amenities for residents.

According to Bisnow, the average apartment rent across Houston was $1,110 in January 2021. In comparison, the major suburbs surrounding Houston have seen an above-average rent. For example, despite their distance from the 6-10 loop, apartments in The Woodlands averaged $1,493, and Pearland averaged $1,359 in January 2021. Suburban rent has seen a significant increase compared to the decreasing rent averages of the inner city [2].

Many experts have studied the attractiveness of moving to the suburbs, and it all boils down to economics. Rent in the urban core is lowering, there is a high cost of construction, and land value is going up, leaving a not-so-profitable investment for developers. Building in suburbia, where loads of people are moving to, makes more sense because it is where the growth is robust.

 

If you are working on a land development project and need an experienced firm with expertise, reach out to PRD Land Development Services.

 

Endnotes:

[1] https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/in-depth/2020/01/31/359098/as-houston-keeps-expanding-so-does-suburban-apartment-construction/

[2] https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/multifamily/developers-see-growing-opportunities-for-multifamily-in-suburbia-master-planned-communities-107945

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/houston-suburbs-build-to-rent-homes-explosion-15809258.php

Why Houston Suburbs are Exploding in 2021