You weren't just seeing things in Bowling Green. Yes, there are a lot of apartments going up.
Market Watch recently reported that “Apartments as Percent of Housing Starts Reaches 40 Year High“. My natural curiosity was to see if Bowling Green reflects this trend.
Rather then looking at permits for buildings housing five or more units as a percent of total, I decided to look up the number of apartments (units) in buildings comprising five or more units compared to single family units.
You weren’t just seeing things in Bowling Green. Yes, there are a lot of apartments going up. This reflects the national trend towards rentals over owning a home. This could reflect a structural shift away from the investment known as home ownership resulting from the “Great Recession”. But locally this likely reflects other trends such as local economic growth, growing WKU enrollments, higher commuting costs, lower relative per unit construction costs, lower maintenance costs, rising mortgage rates, etc. Single family housing construction has not returned to its glory days pre-recession. Apartment construction, it appears, is doing well.
Catherine Carey, Interim Director, WKU Center for Applied Economics