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D.C. budget battle impacts Baltimore apartments, Basu says

Anirban Basu, economist and CEO of Sage Policy Group, spoke with The Daily Record Monday about jobs in Baltimore not being sufficient to support multifamily developments in the pipeline.

Here are a few interesting observations that didn’t make it into the article.

The size of the problem:
“The number of jobs (is) relative to the size of the pipeline, and it would be hard for any region of 2.8 million people to support this type of concentrated multifamily development. Concentrated meaning geographically concentrated because largely it’s in the city.”

Baltimore’s apartment issues are a D.C. problem:
“I think the job issue goes beyond Baltimore, and one could be provocative and suggest that the much bigger issue for the Baltimore multifamily market is the expected lack of job creation in Washington D.C.”

Empty office buildings don’t bode well for apartments:
“But at the same time, if you can’t fill your office buildings, then how do you find tenants for these new apartments? That’s been one of the mysteries. And people will say ‘Well there’s other jobs, there’s jobs in retail, there’s jobs in distribution.’ That’s true. But they don’t support the types of rent that are attached to this construction. The only jobs that support rent in these new buildings are often office jobs.”

Why President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget cuts may be bad news for Baltimore:
“Washington has added a profound number of jobs over the course of time. In general, Washington has added jobs faster than the Baltimore metropolitan area. And so, the Baltimore apartment market has been able to serve not one, but two major job centers — Baltimore and Washington. Of the two the more uncertain outlook is in Washington D.C. After all, they are ‘the swamp.’”

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