Downtown Submarkets Sometimes Less Expensive than Others

Written by Buildings Maintenance & Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

Tonier Areas Located Away from Urban Core

by Dave Sorter | AxioMetrics

In most metros, apartments in downtown submarkets charge the most rent. They receive the most supply, are usually high-rises so they’re more expensive to build.

And, because these urban core areas are where many jobs are located, along with cultural activities and nightlife, the apartment properties in the area are usually high-amenity, Class A projects. They are marketed to a higher-income crowd, as well as millennials looking for the “live-work-play” environment.

However, as our recent Forbes blog reported, there are some metro apartment markets where the downtown submarket is not the most expensive. In some cases, it’s because other submarkets have much more elite status. One of those is Los Angeles, where the two submarkets along Santa Monica Boulevard – the affluent Santa Monica/Marina del Rey and Brentwood/Westwood/Beverly Hills areas – have the highest apartment rents, $3,316 and $3,013, respectively.

The average rent in the downtown submarket, meanwhile, was $2,344, although the area had its share of really pricey units more than $3,500 at four downtown properties, according to apartment rental data from RealPage.

Oceanfront apartments drew the highest rent in San Diego, as La Jolla/University City ($2,292 average rent) and Carlsbad/Encinitas/Del Mar ($2,220) led the submarkets. Those area cater to upscale lifestyles. The Downtown San Diego/Coronado submarket achieved an average rent of $2,042.

Elsewhere, the Downtown Atlanta submarket’s average rent of $1,361 couldn’t match neighboring submarkets in the metro apartment market. Midtown Atlanta was the most expensive, with an average rent of $1,630, followed by Buckhead, which is farther north, at $1,596. Northeast Atlanta, West Atlanta and suburban Dunwoody also came in ahead of downtown.

In Las Vegas, not only was the Central Las Vegas submarket not the most expensive, it was the least expensive in the metro apartment market. It’s $720 average rent was almost $400 lower than Summerlin/The Lakes, which had the highest average rent of $1,116.

Other metros where urban core/downtown submarkets are not the most expensive to rent and apartment, and the submarkets’ average rent, are:

In the case of the Phoenix, Orlando and Jacksonville metro apartment markets, submarkets that included university areas – Arizona State, Central Florida and North Florida, respectively, were the most expensive. In San Jose, the Mountain View area is the center of the Silicon Valley and is one of the more affluent areas of the South Bay.

While downtown submarkets remain the highest-priced area to rent in most metro apartment markets, they can be bargains in some cities.


Dave Sorter is an award-winning journalist who spent 30 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining Axiometrics. He oversees all Axio blogs and newsletters and serves as senior editor of all Axio publications.

Founded in 1995, Axiometrics was the pioneer in providing market intelligence to the apartment and student housing real-estate sectors. With top economists and researchers analyzing market data, and skilled product experts driving new innovation, we have continuously offered a variety of new solutions to serve our clients and the industry.  Our research and forecasts are used to make strategic investment, development and management decisions in the apartment and student housing sectors.

Axiometrics surveys and researches properties in over 500 apartment markets and 637 universities nationwide to provide our clients with accurate, timely same-store market intelligence. Particularly powerful is the ability to analyze the data by multiple variables such as asset class and age; specific competitive floor plans; as well as historical data at an asset level


Trackback from your site.

Featured Vendors