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California is producing apartments at a high rate — but not in SLO County

The United States is in the middle of one of its best years for new apartment construction in recent memory — but the San Luis Obispo County metropolitan area still largely trails much of the state and country, according to a new report from rentcafe.com.

According to rentcafe.com’s annual Apartment Construction Report, the SLO County metropolitan area — which encompasses San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles — has added a “modest but significant” 549 new apartments from 2020 to 2022.

In 2020, the area added 129 units, followed by 342 new apartments in 2021 and 78 in 2022, the report found.

No data was available for the SLO County metro area in 2023.

The gains are likely the result of a “building boom” for apartments during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw 1.2 million new apartments constructed in the U.S. over the past three years, the report said.

Another million units are projected to be built nationwide by the end of 2025, the report found.

California is on track to add 33,927 new apartments by the end of the year, with major cities leading the way on new construction, the report said.

These were the top 15 California metro areas in terms of new apartments built so far this year:

  • Los Angeles: 5,857 apartments

  • Sacramento: 2,396 apartments

  • San Diego: 2,054 apartments

  • San Francisco: 1,848 apartments

  • Mountain View: 1,738 apartments

  • Santa Ana: 1,737 apartments

  • Lawrenceville: 805 apartments

  • Long Beach: 783 apartments

  • North Hollywood: 771 apartments

  • Chula Vista: 769 apartments

  • Fontana: 672 apartments

  • Anaheim: 659 apartments

  • Santa Clara: 637 apartments

  • Menlo park: 624 apartments

  • Fremont: 553 apartments

From 2020 to 2022, the Los Angeles metro area led all California areas with a total of 39,842 new apartments, the report said.

That was the seventh-most apartments produced by any metro area in the United States over that time frame; the San Francisco metro area was the only other California metro area to crack the top 20 over that time, with 23,803 new apartments.

The following U.S. metropolitan areas comprised the top 20 spots for new apartment construction between 2020 and 2022, according to the report.

  • Dallas: 76,660 apartments

  • New York City: 66,070 apartments

  • Houston: 53,741 apartments

  • Austin, Texas: 45,051 apartments

  • Miami: 42,960 apartments

  • Washington, D.C.: 42,723 apartments

  • Los Angeles: 39,842 apartments

  • Atlanta: 39,467 apartments

  • Seattle: 36,952 apartments

  • Twin Cities: 31,662 apartments

  • Denver: 28,850 apartments

  • Phoenix: 28,039 apartments

  • Chicago: 25,323 apartments

  • Boston: 25,008 apartments

  • Charlotte: 24,686 apartments

  • Orlando: 23,961 apartments

  • San Francisco: 23,803 apartments

  • Nashville: 21,248 apartments

  • San Antonio: 18,871 apartments

  • Philadelphia: 18,200 apartments