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Apartment-Crazed Neighborhoods: The Nation’s Downtowns See Historic Boom, with DTLA Leading the Way

Highly popular due to their location and vibrant amenities, urban neighborhoods around the country have seen a boom in new apartments in the last five years. In fact, the top 20 most active neighborhoods — led by Downtown Los Angeles — have delivered a staggering 80,000 brand new rental units.

Apartments continue to pop up across the nation, with about 1.6 million new rentals built in the last five years. And, while our latest apartment report showed that California, Texas and New York led in terms of apartment construction, we wanted to take a closer look to find out exactly which neighborhoods were the most apartment-crazed in the country.

Analyzing construction data for the 50 largest U.S. cities, we uncovered that the 20 most active neighborhoods for new apartments were mostly hyper-urban, centrally located areas, that are highly sought after by Millennial and Gen Z renters, with Downtown Los Angeles and Midtown Atlanta leading the pack. Despite the fact that downtown areas haven’t always been desirable places to live in, that has certainly changed in the last decade. For example, Downtown San Jose exceeded all expectations and built more than half of the city’s total supply of new apartments in the last five years.

So, without further ado, here are the top 20 U.S. neighborhoods for apartment construction:

Click here to see which neighborhoods built the most in the top 50 largest U.S. cities.

1. Downtown Los Angeles, CA

  • New apartments: 10,136
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 39%

As one of the most gentrified, culturally diverse and fast-paced neighborhoods in the city, DTLA continues to grow in terms of new rental apartments. The area, which is abundant in entertainment and beautiful architecture, has seen a notable 10,136 new rental apartments in the last five years alone — almost twice as many as any other neighborhood in the U.S. Moreover, about 39% of the total number of new apartments that opened in the last five years in Los Angeles are in this neighborhood.

2. Midtown Atlanta, GA

  • New apartments: 5,936
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 21%

With more than 5,900 new apartments delivered between 2017 and 2021, Midtown Atlanta is home to many art galleries and museums, as well as numerous festivals and attractions right in the heart of the city. After the opening of a MARTA line in the 1980s and the precipitous construction of high-rises in the '00s, the neighborhood rapidly emerged as one of the most coveted locations to live in within Atlanta. The 5-year addition of new apartments represents 21% of the total number of rental units in the city.

3. Hunters Point New York, NY

  • New apartments: 5,423
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 53%

Most people know Hunters Point as the place to go to catch that brilliant view of the Manhattan skyline, but it’s also a neighborhood that has seen a lot of transformation in the last few years — especially in real estate. Starting as an industrial, factory-ridden neighborhood, Hunters Point has grown to become a premier location for renters and owners alike, thanks to an abundance of ultra-luxe condos and apartments. In the last five years, developers here added a fresh batch of more than 5,400 rental units — representing a 53% share of the total number of newly built apartments in Queens.

4. Navy Yard Washington, D.C.

  • New apartments: 4,953
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 22%

Dubbed the hottest neighborhood in Washington, D.C., Navy Yard is packed with parks, restaurants — and more important — construction. As such, it’s no wonder that developers chose it for building 22% of the city's new apartments in the last five years. With cranes popping up at every single turn, this centrally located riverside area is up for a major skyline change in the next years, and proof is the number of new apartments finished between 2017 and 2021: nearly 5,000 rental units will come in handy for the many renters looking to live in this popular neighborhood.

5. Downtown Fort Worth, TX

  • New apartments: 4,630
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 28%

Fifth on the list is another downtown neighborhood, this time in Texas. The bustling Downtown Fort Worth is just short of ideal. Situated at the heart of the city, the neighborhood has seen more than 4,600 new apartments built in the last five years — a testament to the neighborhood’s popularity among renters. These new rental units make up 28% of the total share of new apartments in Fort Worth.

6. Northwest San Antonio, TX

  • New apartments: 3,962
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five yearss: 16%

Brimming with upscale housing, entertainment and job opportunities, Northwest San Antonio has seen astounding development during the last few years to become an "it" neighborhood that many people are lucky to call home. Specifically, the area added an impressive number of nearly 4,000 new apartments between 2017 and 2021, and now stands as the #6 most construction-crazed neighborhood in the country. About 16% of the city’s total share of new apartments have been delivered in Northwest San Antonio.

7. Spring Valley Las Vegas, NV

  • New apartments: 3,919
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five yearss: 43%

The Spring Valley neighborhood stands on the line between the urban and the suburban, with its residents able to enjoy the benefits of both worlds. A sought-after neighborhood for nature enthusiasts, Spring Valley added 3,919 new rental units to its supply in the last five years — an astounding 43% of the total new apartments in Las Vegas.

8. South Loop Chicago, IL

  • New apartments: 3,516
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 14%

Once home to warehouses and rail yards, the South Loop has seen an impressive rebirth in the last decade. With brand new, sparkling glass high-rises and historical publishing houses being converted to apartments, it has emerged as a popular residential neighborhood located just a couple of train stops away from downtown. As a result, because of its great location, developers put up more than 3,500 new apartments in the area since 2017 — 14% of the entire supply of newly built apartments in Chicago.

9. Downtown San Jose, CA

  • New apartments: 3,511
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 58%

The #2 construction-crazed neighborhood in California and the ninth nationwide, Downtown San Jose delivered about 3,500 new apartments in the last five years. Notably, of all the neighborhoods in the top, Downtown San Jose also had the highest share of the total number of new apartments delivered in the city – at 58%. Here, the tech industry continues to fuel the apartment boom in the area, with tech companies wanting their employees to be as close to the office as possible.

10. Hollywood Los Angeles, CA

  • New apartments: 3,431
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 13%

To say that Hollywood is the most famous neighborhood in the world would be an understatement. Slow to change throughout the 1990s and 2000s, residential development in the area started to take off in the last decade, growing in popularity as a place to live — and not just a tourist landmark for the entertainment business. As such, the addition of more than 3,400 new rental apartments in the last five years bumped Hollywood up to the top 10 most active neighborhoods for apartments in the nation.

11. Downtown Brooklyn New York, NY

  • New apartments: 3,359
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 19%

12. Downtown Miami, FL

  • New apartments: 3,280
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 16%

13. Clinton - Hell's Kitchen New York, NY

  • New apartments: 3,189
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 19%

14. Midtown - Edgewater Miami, FL

  • New apartments: 3,045
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 15%

15. South Lake Union Seattle, WA

  • New apartments: 2,979
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 12%

16. Encanto Village Phoenix, AZ

  • New apartments: 2,965
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 21%

17. Uptown Charlotte, NC

  • New apartments: 2,918
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 11%

18. Waterfront Washington, D.C.

  • New apartments: 2,901
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 13%

19. Washington Ave - Memorial Park Houston, TX

  • New apartments: 2,897
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 8%

20. East Village San Diego, CA

  • New apartments: 2,699
  • Share of new apartments of the city's total supply in five years: 22%

 

Want to find the top apartment-crazed neighborhoods in your city? Check them out below and see how many rental units were delivered in each one in the last five years:

 

Methodology

RentCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.

To compile this report, RentCafe’s research team analyzed new apartment construction data across the top 50 largest U.S. cities according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The study is based exclusively on apartment data related to buildings containing 50 or more units that were built between 2017 and 2021. New York was split into three boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Neighborhoods with less than 500 units or less than three properties/buildings completed in the last five years were excluded.

Neighborhood mapping was based on neighborhood boundaries on rentcafe.com.

Apartment data was provided by our sister company, Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks, and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors.

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Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and Realtor.com. She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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