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Culture / Newsy

Apartment Overload?

Houston 2nd in the U.S., Behind Only New York, in Building Amid “Slowdown”

BY // 07.16.15

The apartment buildings just keep rising, almost like an unstoppable tidal wave. Or Britney Spears.

They’ve made construction noise the overwhelming soundtrack of the new Houston. They come in all shapes and sizes — cookie cutter, soaring towers, even the occasional eccentric “rebel” that doesn’t promote its one-of-a-kind dog park.

If you think that Houston is being blitzed by apartment building, you’re right. It turns out the Bayou City ranks only behind New York City in new apartments in all of the U.S. Houston’s 23,340 apartment units permitted from May 2014 through May 2015 even dwarf third-place Los Angeles’ 14,379 new apartments. (These numbers on Houston’s ever-present construction cranes come from an analysis of U.S. Census data on residential permitting conducted by Axiometrics, a property and real estate market research firm.)

The construction is continuing despite forecasts of an oil slump-necessitated slowdown and anecdotal evidence that it may be becoming harder to fill all those gleaming new apartments. A few luxury market apartment buildings in Houston are offering multiple months free for new leasees. Rents may not be going down, but the pressure to land new tenants is intensifying.

This latest apartment building boom represents a 21 percent increase from the year before, which was hardly a slow time in Houston.

Still, even with this latest feverish apartment push, New York has little reason to fear the Bayou City will overtake it for the No. 1 spot. Gotham saw 44,333 apartment units permitted from May 2014 to May 2015.

Sometimes you may not want to be king, though. Especially if you’re looking to get some sleep.

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