Despite continued construction, apartment supply struggles to meet high demand

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Nashville grows, so does the need for more apartments.

Data shows we’re experiencing record-high rents and apartment rentals with occupancy sitting over 95 percent, an all-time high.

In turn, rates are rising month-over-month and it’s all due to a lack of equality with supply and demand.

People keep moving here and builders can’t keep up. Plus, there’s a lack of inventory in houses, so for some, apartment renting just makes sense.

There are 21,663 market rate and affordable apartment units currently under construction in the Nashville Metro, with construction wrapping on 1,868 apartment units in the first half of 2021.

Joel Sanders, Founder & CEO of Apartment Insiders, says it’s a lower amount compared to recent years due to supply chain issues and labor availability shortages.

“All submarkets in the Nashville apartment market reported strong results for the second quarter of 2021. They all reported occupancy rates above 91 percent, which demonstrates there isn’t any relative weakness in the market at this time,” said Sanders. “They’re just filling right up as soon as they open the doors, they’re leasing quickly.”

Since demand is so high, concessions are at a five year low with rates at an all-time high.

“It’s a landlords’ market, they have the pricing power,” Sanders said. “They’re raising rents and I don’t expect it to slow down much.”

The average apartment rent for the second quarter of 2021 was $1,404, which is a 22.3 percent five-year increase from the same quarter in 2017, according to the Greater Nashville Apartment Association.

According to Apartment List, rents in Nashville increased 3.8 percent month-over-month, it’s the 13th-fastest growth rate among the nation’s 100 largest cities.

Year-over-year rent growth in Nashville currently stands at 9.4 percent, compared to -1.4 percent at this time last year.

The bad news for renters, Apartment Insiders predicts the Nashville apartment market will remain tight for apartment seekers throughout 2021.

“I have one word to maybe help people lower their apartments costs if they find Nashville apartments costs are too high: roommates,” Sanders said.

Keep in mind—something’s got to give, whether it’s the amenities, location, or the cost. If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, Sanders says head to South Nashville.

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