COLUMBUS (AP) For most Americans, a new apartment in the heart of downtown Columbus means a commute to work or a trip to a nearby hospital.
But some apartments in the city’s rapidly gentrifying suburbs can be a bargain.
If you can afford it, go for a new home in a neighborhood with high-quality, affordable properties, experts say.
That includes apartments with walkability and lots of character, like the one near the Ohio State University campus.
In other words, if you can get in, you can have a great time, said David Darnovsky, co-founder of The Residences at Columbus, which is helping residents find the right place for themselves.
The Columbus-area region has one of the nation’s fastest-growing populations.
The number of people living in the area has more than doubled in the past decade, according to Census data.
The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in a three-story home in the Columbus area in June was $1,988, up 17 percent from a year earlier, according in June.
A three-bedroom in a two-story property in the neighborhood was $2,836, up 4 percent from last year.
A three-bed unit in a four-bedroom house in the downtown Columbus neighborhood is currently $3,906, up 23 percent from June 2016.
A two-bedroom is $2.834, up 11 percent from May 2017.
While apartment prices are soaring in Columbus, they are also rising fast.
In Columbus, the median price for an apartment was $4,931 in June, up 6 percent from $3 the previous year.
Darnovsky said apartment prices in Columbus have risen more than 10 percent in the last year, compared to the national average of about 6 percent.
“That is very, very exciting,” he said.
Cities across the country are looking to capitalize on the trend.
Columbus is on the map as an area with high housing values and low cost of living.
That has led to new projects popping up like a construction boom.
There are now more than 2,000 apartment buildings under construction, and more than 500 more are under construction.
In Cleveland, new projects are planned in all 50 of its wards.
Other cities are also on the lookout for places with a mix of people who like to live together, like working professionals and millennials.
New York City has a thriving mixed-income neighborhood known as the West Village that is becoming more diverse as young people move out.
There are more than 20,000 apartments under construction in New York’s Lower East Side, according the Bloomberg Billionaires List.
There’s also plans to build more than 700 luxury condominiums in Manhattan, which will add about 2,500 new units, the list says.
For people in Ohio, Darnovksy said it’s important to get out there and discover new places to live.
“When you go into a place and you see the community, it’s a really good thing,” he added.
You can see a real sense of community in Columbus.
If you’re looking to live, you’ll find the most affordable housing,” Darnowsky said.