As industry leaders, we understand how important apartments are to fueling the economy, building strong local communities and providing quality housing to the 35 million Americans who call them home. In the past, NMHC and NAA have collaborated to build positive industry awareness through vehicles such as pro-apartment brochures, media outreach and advertising. Today, we’re stepping up our game. So, take a minute to see what we’ve been up to. You might be surprised at just how good of a story the industry’s got to tell.
With today’s release of the landmark economic impact report, The Trillion Dollar Apartment Industry, by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, a professor at George Mason University, NMHC and NAA are kicking off our most innovative and extensive outreach campaign to date.
The core messaging behind this large-scale, multimedia campaign reflects extensive market research, commissioned exclusively for NMHC and NAA, to get inside the heads of policymakers and understand the biases our industry is up against, as well as the positives we can bring to the table, when confronting policy issues.
The first component of the campaign is Dr. Fuller’s report, which quantifies for the first time the economic contribution of the apartment industry and its residents. The main takeaways from the report-the apartment industry and its residents contribute $1.1 trillion to the national economy and support 25.4 million jobs annually-will help populate a number of additional components, including a daringly different, graphics-driven policy brochure and a consumer-facing suite of print advertisements and radio spots.
However, the real centerpiece of the campaign is a new industry website, www.WeAreApartments.org. This highly interactive website will educate users about all facets of the industry in a fun and engaging format. In addition, the site will boast several new tools sure to enhance any advocacy effort.
In conjunction with the release of The Trillion Dollar Apartment Industry, NMHC and NAA created a new website to promote the industry: www.WeAreApartments.org. The site features an interactive map that allows users to view the economic impact-both in terms of dollars and jobs-of apartments in all 50 states plus the 12 metro areas of the study: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C.
The website also allows users to download and print out a PDF of the economic impact of apartments by state or select metro areas, as well as send other people directly to specific states with a special link.
Also new is “ACE,” otherwise known as the Apartment Community Estimator. This online calculator allows users to enter the number of apartment homes of an existing or proposed community to determine the potential economic impact within a particular state. For example, if you have a proposed project in Minnesota, you can input however many units the project will have, and ACE will calculate the potential economic impact generated and jobs supported in a single year from apartment construction, operations and resident spending that will stay within the state. Users can also print out a PDF of the calculation to take to any local planning meeting.
Launching in March will be the “story portion” of the website. We are taking a creative and unconventional design approach to create some buzz, helping people outside the industry better engage with us. In a quasi-video game format, it will let users virtually “walk” through a community and see all the ways our industry makes it stronger. Stay tuned for much more this spring.
NMHC and NAA have invested in the creation, launch and promotion of this multifaceted outreach campaign for the benefit of our collective members. We know you face challenges in your business, and we want to help. So, here’s a quick rundown of all the tools we’ve developed to fill your toolbox:
Despite the worst economy in a generation, apartments have remained a positive economic force, contributing to the nation’s economic recovery with every dollar spent by the businesses that build and operate apartments and the people who call them home. According to the just-released report, The Trillion Dollar Apartment Industry, featuring data and research by George Mason University Professor Stephen S. Fuller, Ph.D., the combined spending by the apartment industry and its 35 million residents generated an economic contribution of $1.1 trillion to the national economy and supported 25.4 million jobs in 2011, the most recent year for which data are available.
To put this number in perspective, that means that apartments and the people who live in them contribute, on average, more than $3 billion a day to the economy.
When considering the economic clout of the industry, the report examined both the ongoing operations of the nation’s existing apartments, as well as the new apartment construction. While these findings underscore the industry’s economic significance, the economic activity generated by apartment residents also cannot be overlooked. (See chart below for details.)
The collective economic impact of apartments and apartment residents is only set to grow as greater economic stability and stronger job creation lead to stronger household formations. In fact, as many as seven million new renter households could be created this decade, driving more demand for apartments-both new and existing-and ultimately fueling critical spending for the economy.
In addition to covering the economic impact of new apartment construction, existing apartment operations and apartment resident spending activity on the national and state levels, the report also provides measures of the economic impact of apartment construction and operations in select metro areas. With this information, industry stakeholders and federal, state and local officials can better estimate the substantial, sustained contribution apartments make to their communities and the nation as a whole.
Because of investor interest and activity, as well as large upticks in apartment activity in major urban centers, 12 major metropolitan areas-Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C.-were selected for additional analysis as part of the recently released report, The Trillion Dollar Apartment Industry. By choosing geographically and economically diverse metro areas, the analysis shows how the apartment industry significantly contributes to the economic success of some of the nation’s most powerful cities.
Collectively, these 12 metro markets represent 7.8 million apartment units, or 40.4 percent of the nation’s total apartment stock. Managing, maintaining and operating all these units is an expensive business. On average, for these 12 areas, it costs $3,859 every year to operate a single apartment. These dollars go to collectively support more than 500,000 jobs across all 12 cities.
Apartment operation is set to become an even larger economic driver in these metro areas as the apartment stock continues to grow. Permitting activity has rebounded in many of the hardest hit metro areas. This construction activity is a strong economic stimulus in these select metro markets. Last year, for example, new apartment construction spending triggered more than $1.5 billion in local economic activity in both Dallas and Washington, D.C., and more than $2.1 billion in both Los Angeles and New York.
As apartment construction returns to more normalized levels, this activity will be an even more powerful economic stimulant in these metro areas than it is today.
In addition to calculating apartments’ national economic impact, NMHC and NAA’s new report, The Trillion Dollar Apartment Industry, also features state-level economic impact data. Eight states stand out as key renter states, where the apartment industry plays a pivotal role in the state economies-California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington.
These select states account for the lion’s share of the dollars generated and jobs supported by the construction and operation of apartments, as well as by the people who live in them. However, when examined on a per household basis, industry and resident spending often generated greater economic contribution and more jobs in a number of non-key renter states, highlighting apartments’ role in powering less populous state economies as well.
Similar trends played out with new apartment construction and apartment operations data.