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Luxury apartments made up 93% of new units built in Nashville over past decade, study finds

  • Of the 25,000 apartment units delivered in Nashville from 2012 to 2021, 93% were luxury units.
  • Local leaders and housing advocates call for additional affordable housing to combat rising costs.

Builders in Nashville have predominantly put up luxury rentals over the last 10 years, according to a new study on apartment construction across the nation’s top metropolitan areas.

The city outpaces the national average for luxury apartments built from 2012 to 2021 by 7 percentage points, as 93% of Nashville’s 25,000 units delivered in the that timeframe are considered upscale dwellings, according to StorageCafe, an online storage unit listings platform that produced the report.

Out of the 100 top cities, Nashville ranks 18th for the highest proportion of luxury apartments built in the last decade. The average size luxury apartment in Nashville is 800 square feet, 17-square-feet larger than the city’s average non-luxury size unit.

“The increasingly diversified employment market and the momentum for building high-end apartments in Nashville, luxury would appear to be the new normal for apartment deliveries in Music City,” according to a statement by StorageCafe to The Tennessean.

In recent years, the proportion of luxury apartments built in Nashville has seen an upward spike, Storage Cafe said. In 2012, 83% of the apartments delivered were dubbed luxury, and from 2015 to 2020, the percentage rose to 96%. Last year, the number of high-end units delivered dipped to 89% of the city’s new apartments.

Despite the city’s worsening affordability crisis, luxury real estate has cemented its footing in Nashville. Earlier this year six half-floor penthouses at the Four Seasons Private Residences Nashville rang in $57.5 million in sales.

Local leaders and housing advocates alike have called for additional construction of affordable housing in an effort to combat the city’s rising cost of living as housing demand trumps supply.

Mayor John Cooper proposed allocating $30 million of the city’s federal American Rescue Plan funds to support his affordable housing goals.

Housing:Nashville residents call for next budget to prioritize affordable housing and raises

Across the Greater Nashville Area, the average rent per month rings in at $1,594. Last July, apartments across the area rented for an average of $1,387, while in July 2020, the average cost of an apartment was $1,237.

More than a third of the city’s nearly 9,400 units under construction are located in the Downtown, SoBro, Gulch and Central Nashville areas and are likely to be upscale properties, with rents circling above $2,000, according to an ApartmentData.com analysis.

The StorageCafe report used national apartment construction data considering the nation’s top 100 cities by population, only surveying complexes with more than 50 units.

Arcelia Martin covers growth and development for the Tennessean, a part of The USA TODAY Network. Reach Arcelia at amartin1@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @arcelitamartin. 

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