The City of Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission recently asked city staff to explore multi-family housing in Johnston. The Planning and Zoning Commission was specifically curious about whether the market is saturated or if there is a need for additional multi-family development. David Wilwerding the Community Development Director provided the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission with a memo to provide information on the multi-family market and industry trends.

Trends today show that there is a high demand for apartments and condominiums. Millennials (age 16-34) currently make up the largest percentage of the population. They have the desire to rent and live in walkable urban areas. The baby boomers or those born between 1946 and 1964 are aging and in the future will continue to downsize to apartment/condominium living style. Combined the Millennials and the baby boomers make up 48% of the population.

The staff concluded that locally and nationally shifting demographics point to the need for affordable housing choices. Based on current vacancy and rental rates, the development community is responding to the increased demand for multi-family residential housing. Although there have been peaks in multi-family residential apartment construction in Johnston, over the past 15 years or so the percentage of owner versus renter occupied units has remained relatively consistent.

The information in the attached memo was provided as a way to facilitate discussion on the topic. This memo is not a staff recommendation on demand or saturation or approval or denial of any pending or future multifamily housing developments in Johnston. Many metro organizations including the Polk County Housing Trust Fund and CBRE Hubbell Commercial have also explored the topic of the multi-family housing market, their conclusions can be found in the attached document.

Follow the link below to learn more about multi-family housing market trends.