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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Inner Ring Submarkets Lead Multifamily Rent Growth

Suburb near a city

The pandemic reshaped many aspects of urban life, but one trend that has emerged stronger than ever is the keen demand for living in neighborhoods adjacent to downtown areas. These so-called Inner Ring submarkets are experiencing a renaissance, driven by a combination of convenience, lifestyle appeal, and shifting work dynamics.

Impressive Rent Growth

Since the first quarter of 2022, these urban-adjacent areas have seen annual multifamily rent growth of 3%. This impressive figure outstrips the growth seen in both lower-density suburbs and office-dominated downtowns, highlighting a significant shift in renter preferences. The allure of walkability, coupled with proximity to entertainment, dining, and other amenities, has made these Inner Ring submarkets highly desirable.

Changing Work Dynamics

Even as fewer people work full time in downtown offices, the demand for living in these vibrant, close-in neighborhoods has soared. The traditional suburbs have also seen a boost, thanks in part to millennials—often described as an urban-inclined generation—forming families and seeking more space. However, it’s the Inner Ring submarkets that are truly thriving, offering a blend of convenience and lifestyle that is hard to match.

Sustained Trends

The current trends suggest this demand is not a fleeting phenomenon. More companies are requiring employees to return to the office at least part of the time, and living in the Inner Rings significantly shortens commuting times. These areas cater to lifestyle choices that place a premium on walkability and increased living space, making them attractive to a wide range of renters.

Case Study: Silver Lake

Take the example of the Silver Lake neighborhood, just a stone's throw from downtown. Known for its eclectic mix of coffee shops, boutiques, and green spaces, Silver Lake has become a magnet for young professionals and families alike. “We moved here because it’s close to my office, but also because we wanted a neighborhood where we could walk to everything,” says resident Mark Simmons. “The sense of community and the amenities are fantastic.”

Emphasis on Lifestyle

This shift in the multifamily market is also influenced by the growing emphasis on lifestyle and quality of life. Many Inner Ring neighborhoods offer a unique blend of urban and suburban benefits—ample living space, vibrant community life, and easy access to both downtown and suburban conveniences.

Developer Investment

Moreover, developers are taking note, investing in these areas to cater to the rising demand. New multifamily developments often feature modern amenities such as coworking spaces, fitness centers, and rooftop lounges, further enhancing the appeal of Inner Ring living.

A New Era in Urban Living

While the resurgence of Inner Ring submarkets marks a significant trend, it’s also reflective of broader changes in how people view work and home life. The desire for a better work-life balance, combined with the flexibility of hybrid work models, has made living close to but not necessarily in the heart of the city an attractive option.

As urban-adjacent neighborhoods continue to flourish, they signal a new era in the multifamily market, where convenience, lifestyle, and quality of life are the key drivers. This trend, fueled by the preferences of a generation that values both proximity and space, is set to redefine urban living for years to come.


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