A picture of the front exteriors of large apartment buildings right next to each other on a city street.

© Alexander Spatari - Moment / Getty Images

The onset of the pandemic led to a decrease in multifamily housing demand in high-density cities as renters started to favor more spread-out communities in the suburbs. But big-city demand is coming back.

Multifamily home building is gradually picking up pace in large metros once again, according to an analysis from the National Association of Home Builders.

“In the wake of the public health crisis, there is a pronounced return to higher density markets or geographies, particularly in apartment and other multifamily residential construction,” researchers note on the NAHB’s Eye on Housing blog.

Overall, about 67% of multifamily development occurred within large metro areas; 27% in small metro areas; and 6.1% in rural areas and small towns, according to the builder’s analysis. Small metro areas are those considered as having less than one million total population.