Despite the flailing economy, apartments and their residents contributed $1.1 trillion to the national economy in 2011, supporting 25.4 million jobs, according to a new report by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA). The report, along with an interactive map and economic impact calculator, is available at www.WeAreApartments.org.
Based on research by economist Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D., of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, the report covers the economic contribution of apartment construction, operations and resident spending on a national level plus all 50 states. In addition, construction and operations data is available for 12 metro areas: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
Highlights from the report include:
- The apartment industry spent $14.8 billion on construction in 2011, and this was a year with one of the lowest multifamily completions on record, just 130,000 new units. The average pre-recession was around 270,000 completions.
- The industry spent $67.9 billion in 2011 to operate and improve the country’s 19.3 million apartments—more than four times the amount spent on construction—creating a $182.6 billion economic contribution supporting 2.3 million total jobs.
- The country’s 35 million apartment residents spent $421.5 billion on goods and services in 2011—70 percent of which stayed within the local economy. The spending created a total economic impact of $885.2 billion supporting 22.8 million jobs nationwide.
- The combined contribution of apartment construction, operations and resident spending equals $1.1 trillion, or more than $3 billion every day.
“Although attention is usually focused on homebuilding and the single-family sector, the annual construction and operating outlays for apartment buildings with five or more units are major sources of economic activity, jobs and personal earnings,” says Fuller. “In addition, the residents of apartment buildings constitute an important source of local, state and national economic activity as their spending for goods and services is recycled through the economy. Like the operating outlays for apartment buildings, the spending by renters recurs annually thereby supporting local economies on an ongoing basis.”