Thriving Ohio: A Deep Dive into Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland Real Estate Markets

Cincinnati: A City on the Rise

Cincinnati is not only home to the perennial Super Bowl contenders, the Bengals, but it’s also making waves in the real estate market. With a remarkable 4.4% rent growth, according to CoStar. Cincinnati stands proudly as the second-highest in the nation, trailing only behind Omaha, Nebraska. The city boasts a vacancy rate of 5.8%, below the national average of 7%, indicating a healthy demand for housing.

Particularly, Northwestern Cincinnati has experienced a substantial growth rate of 5.7%, with positive employment trends contributing to a 3.3% increase year-over-year (YOY) in July, surpassing the national average of 2%. Cincinnati is not only gaining recognition for its football success but also for its thriving real estate market.


Columbus: A Hub of Development and Growth

Columbus, the state capital, is a hotbed of activity and development. Intel’s $20 billion semiconductor facility and the DSV facility, a logistics company, are contributing to the city’s economic growth. The need for housing is apparent, with builders delivering 12,000 homes annually, falling short of the estimated 20,000 required.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission anticipates an additional 726,000 people moving to Central Ohio by 2050, raising the population to close to 3.2 million. Hilliard, in particular, has passed a comprehensive development plan, setting the stage for taller, denser development in key areas according to The Columbus Dispatch. 

Despite concerns about housing shortages, Columbus remains on a positive trajectory with 2.5% YOY rent growth, doubling the national performance. With 336 million in investment activity through July, Columbus is proving to be a desirable market for multifamily investment.


Cleveland: Steadfast in Growth

Cleveland, despite being in a slowing market, showcases strong fundamentals according to CoStar. The city’s average rent growth has increased by 2.7% year-over-year, outpacing the national average by 140 basis points. A robust healthcare and education sector, accounting for 19.1% of jobs, further strengthens the city’s economic foundation.

The Cleveland Clinic, with approximately 36,000 employees, serves as a key driver for the city’s economy. Leveraging its influence, Cleveland aims to attract more jobs in biotech, healthcare, and technology. Despite the slowing market, vacancy rates remain below the national average, trending 125 basis points lower.


Rent Trends and Market Impact

In Cincinnati, the Bengals’ recent success has coincided with impressive year-over-year rental growth, showcasing a potential impact of sports success on the city’s vibrancy. However, the real estate market is thriving independently, with Cincinnati standing out for its impressive rent growth.

Columbus, with a steady population growth of 10.4% since 2012, continues to attract investments and remains a desirable market for multifamily developments. The current construction boom, with 11,085 units under construction, presents opportunities for both developers and renters.

Cleveland, anchored by the Cleveland Clinic, remains resilient in the face of a slowing market. Strong fundamentals, including a burgeoning healthcare sector, contribute to the city’s stability and attractiveness to renters and investors alike.

In conclusion, Ohio’s major cities are proving to be dynamic and resilient real estate markets. Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland each have unique strengths, attracting residents and investments. As these cities continue to grow and evolve, real estate professionals and investors should keep a close eye on the opportunities that arise in this flourishing state.


Hunter Wern