Add new apartment construction to the long list of coronavirus casualties.
More than 280,000 new rental units are projected to be delivered in the U.S. in 2020, a 12 percent drop from the year before and a five-year low, according to a new report from Rent Cafe. The report includes developments of 50 or more units in 13 of the most active metro areas.
The Covid-caused slowdown is the result of statewide bans on nonessential construction, and has led to fewer available work crews and delays in securing funding and permits.
Miami is projected to experience the sharpest annual drop in new deliveries. Its projected 5,840 new units will be a 53 percent drop from last year, according to the report. Miami reopened its economy before many other major metros, but cases of the virus there have since surged, leading to more complications.
For the third year in a row, the Dallas-Fort Worth is projected to lead all major metros in apartment construction. This year, 19,000 new apartment units are expected to come online.
New York City was projected to have the second highest number of new units with 15,952. That number would be 18 percent below last year. New York state was among the first to restrict new construction to critical infrastructure, medical facilities and affordable housing after the virus took hold.
Houston, Atlanta and Austin are all expected to crack the top five as well, according to the report. Populations in the Sunbelt have ballooned over the last decade, driving the construction, which has included single-family houses, accessory dwelling units — so-called granny flats — multifamily buildings and condos.
In Los Angeles, there will be 9,125 new apartment deliveries, a 26 percent drop compared to 2019; and in Chicago, there will be 7,704 new units, about 30 percent fewer than last year.