Milwaukee Multifamily Investment Forecast
Workforce Composition Signals Strong Rental Demand;
Local Operators Remain Dominant Buyer Force
Rising home prices contribute to low rental availability. Apartment vacancy was below the national average entering 2022, and the metro is in a position to sustain last year's strong performance. Local workforce and housing conditions underscore the necessity of rentals in the market. Milwaukee has a large share of low- to middle-income households, as the manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities sectors combine for more than 30 percent of the employment base. This drives demand for Class B/C units, especially in south suburbs along the Interstate 94 corridor. Residents higher on the income spectrum are increasingly opting to rent as well, with barriers to homeownership elevating. The median home price jumped from roughly $269,000 at the end of 2019 to $339,000 in the late stages of last year. Over that same span, the median household income advanced by just 2.1 percent. With apartment inventory projected to expand by less than 1 percent this year, coupled with a disparity between wages and single-family home prices, apartment vacancy will hold below 3 percent in 2022, stimulating rent growth.