Migration Triggers Increased Activity in Miami Apartment Construction

A new study recently released by self-storage marketplace STORAGECafé ranks the country’s top 10 cities in terms of inbound migration.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area ranks seventh nationally in terms on inbound migration, with almost 239,000 newcomers in 2017, as per the latest US Census data. During the same interval, the metro area registered a little over 174,000 leavers, which means that the net migration is a positive 64,800. The actual population change from 2017 to 2018 – a number that includes not only net migration, but also births and deaths – represents a significant growth of 49,000 people. That number puts the Miami metro area in 11th place nationally by population growth.

Who’s Moving to Miami Metro and Where Are They Coming From?

Most domestic migrants that moved to the Miami metro area – almost 24,000 – came from New York-Newark-Jersey City, most likely motivated by the proverbial sunny weather and the low taxation levels provided by Florida. The main source of international migration for the Miami metro area is the Caribbean, with about 32,000 newcomers in one year.

When looking at the ages of the people choosing Miami as their new home, as per the American Housing Survey, it’s interesting to notice that a significant proportion of the newcomers, 43%, are Gen Xers (aged 35 to 55), and only a little more than 25% are Millennials (25 to 34 years of age). Miami attracts significantly less Millennials than the top 10 metros for inbound migration do on average, a little less than 32%.

The Miami metro area also gets plenty of Baby Boomers – almost 23% of the newcomers belong to this generation. Gen Z, the youngest generation, those under 25, are not particularly attracted by Miami – only 4.2% of the people moving here are Gen Zers. All in all, Miami sees a significant influx of newcomers who can be described as at the peak of their professional lives – 56% of them are between 30 and 54 years of age.

 What Drives People Toward Miami?

Miami metro’s neighborhoods are, apparently, quite attractive: 16.7% of the newcomers declared that they moved because they wanted a more desirable neighborhood. And almost 16% moved to Miami in search of a larger or a better-quality home.

For 15.4% of the newcomers, the incentive behind relocating was the intention of forming their own household. People moving to Miami seem to be quite family-oriented – more than 10% said they wanted to be closer to family. Interestingly enough, only 5.5% of Miami’s newest residents came for a new job or for a job transfer.

How Does the Local Real Estate Market Deal with the Influx of New Residents?

The Miami metro area is growing and most of the newcomers are looking for better housing and better neighborhoods. Is Metro Miami delivering what’s expected of it? As in-migration grows, so too do rents as new arrivals create demand and a rather tight market for apartment renters.

The average rent in the city of Miami, in December 2019, was $1,707, according to Yardi Matrix, which represents a 3% growth compared to the previous year. The self-storage industry, providing a service that’s usually associated with changing residences, charges an average of $131 for standard, 10X10 storage units in Miami. That’s higher than the national average rate for self-storage facilities, which is currently $114.

In an effort to respond to the growing demand for apartment living, developers are increasing construction activity. As per Yardi Matrix data, there were more than 28,500 apartments under construction in the metro area as of January 2020. The number represents a 12% growth compared to January 2019.

Self-storage construction is on a slight descending trend compared to a year ago, probably due to the already existing solid inventory in the Miami metro area. There were 1.92 million sq. ft of self-storage space under construction this January in Miami, representing a 9% drop from January 2019.