By Chuck McShane and David Kahn
Sun Belt cities have long been magnets for population growth, and that trend has only accelerated over the past two years. A combination of better weather, fewer regulations and lower housing costs has attracted businesses and people to the South and West.
After two years of net absorption consistently outpacing new supply, though, the Sun Belt’s cost advantage is becoming less clear, at least for housing. Last year, average multifamily asking rents in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Orlando and Tampa in Florida all met or surpassed the national average of $1,557 per unit for the first time ever. Nashville, Tennessee, at $1,539 per unit, and Charlotte, North Carolina, at $1,476 per unit, are nearing parity.