Baltimore’s multifamily market had a difficult last year, but recovery is incoming. In June, rents averaged $1,506, a 1.3 percent increase on a trailing three-month (T3) basis. The metro’s occupancy rate of 95.9 percent in May—a 115 basis-point year-over-year increase and 90 basis points higher than the national average—underscores increased demand for rental housing, despite slow population growth. Lifestyle rents grew 1.5 percent, outperforming the working-class Renter-by-Necessity increase of 1.1 percent.
The metro added 155,400 jobs in the year ending in May, an 8.7 percent year-over-year increase, signaling Baltimore’s ongoing recovery is well underway. All but one employment sector expanded, with the leisure and hospitality sector—the hardest hit during the previous year—adding nearly 50,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in May, 30 basis points lower than the national figure.
Construction on more than 4,400 units was underway at the end of June, with projects encompassing nearly half of those units breaking ground earlier this year. Some 1,000 units are expected to deliver this year, significantly less than last year’s deliveries of 3,708 units. Multifamily transaction volume hit $1.1 billion in the first half of the year, nearly double the investments closed during the same time frame in 2020. Sale prices averaged $152,401 per unit, down 6.7 percent from the 2020 average.