The apartment market in Baltimore is turning out to be as consistent as “Iron Man” shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., who played a record 2,632 straight games for the city’s Orioles. Now that’s pretty consistent. But the city wasn’t always that way.
“Before 1999, we had about 4,400 units in downtown Baltimore. We were in a serious slump,” said Robert Ayudkovic, vice president of Baltimore’s nonprofit Downtown Partnership. “Since then, we have doubled what we had: 8,000 units now. Some places have waiting lists. A lot of housing has been added to the downtown market, and the outer markets are starting to emerge.”
The Baltimore market finished 17th in our Top 50 Apartment Markets analysis, thanks to solid rent growth and low annual inventory growth—the fourth-lowest out of 83 markets we examined.
Baltimore has captured the attention of developers. The city proper is home to almost 70 percent of the area’s apartment units currently being built and nearly a third of all planned units, reports Marcus & Millichap. Still, restrained construction and an increasingly pricey for-sale market should persuade apartment investors to get in the game.
The Baltimore region will add tens of thousands of jobs in the coming years, thanks to the federal government’s base realignment and closure (BRAC) work. Four Baltimore-area military installations will see major expansions. “With the [BRAC] and the expansion of biotechnology and the health care sector, the area within a 30-mile radius is looking at 60,000 new positions,” said Ayudkovic.
For this eastern seaboard city, that means it’s time to play ball.