Report: Northwest Arkansas’ apartment market grew at fastest pace in US in 2019

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 3,654 views 

The 604-unit Walton Crossing apartments in Bentonville was one of two multifamily projects that drove much of the market's expansion in 2019. (Photo courtesy CoStar)

Developers are going all-in on building apartments to help meet the growing demand in Northwest Arkansas.

According to data from CoStar Group, which provides commercial real estate information, Northwest Arkansas’ multifamily market grew at the fastest rate in the nation in 2019. The region added nearly 2,000 apartment units this past year, growth that represents a roughly 7% increase as a share of the current inventory. No other metro surpassed 5%.

Northwest Arkansas’ percentage is higher than any other metropolitan area in the U.S. that added at least 2,000 apartment units last year, according to CoStar. That includes fast-growing metros such as Miami; Dallas-Fort Worth; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Tenn.

Todd Galvin, CoStar’s market analyst for Northwest Arkansas, said with even more units under construction in 2020, Northwest Arkansas will likely continue to lead markets in overall inventory growth.

“Development is not expected to stop any time soon,” he said. “More than 2,500 apartment units are underway across Northwest Arkansas, representing about 7% of the current inventory.”

Northwest Arkansas is the fastest-growing region in the state and one of the fastest-growing in the country. Specifically in Benton County, the population grew 23% in the past decade to an estimated 272,608 as of July 1, 2019. That’s according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The county’s two largest cities, Bentonville and Rogers, continue to be where apartment development is focused. In fact, Galvin said, those two cities together have grown their number of apartment units by close to 20% in the past year.

The completion of the 604-unit Walton Crossing apartments in Bentonville and the 427-unit Woodland Park apartments in Rogers drove much of the expansion in 2019, according to the CoStar data. Both came from local development groups — Walton Crossing by Fayetteville-based Lindsey Management, and Woodland Park led by Orchard Properties in Tontitown.

Also, Brick Avenue Lofts in downtown Bentonville brought more than 250 units to the city’s center. Fayetteville-based Specialized Real Estate Group developed that project.

Galvin said among the larger multifamily communities under construction is the 487-unit Crystal Flats apartments near Memorial Park in Bentonville, which is expected to complete in mid-2020. Also underway is the 49 West apartments on Dodson Road in Rogers, near the Bentonville city limits. It will deliver 337 units in fall 2020. Both of those projects are coming from out-of-state developers.

Galvin noted that just over 300 apartment units were completed in Northwest Arkansas from 2010 to 2014, More than 5,600 apartment units have been completed since 2015, expanding the inventory by nearly 25%.

“Thanks to the market’s continued economic success, more and more residents have moved to the area, increasing the demand for apartment development in Northwest Arkansas,” he said.