Division Research

Research and Special Projects Division

The Research and Special Projects Division (RSP) conducts research on Montgomery County’s population, housing, economy, development, commercial space, workforce as well as special projects.

Latest releases

    • New! Quick STATS: Montgomery County, MD (report) –  The latest U.S. Census data profiling Montgomery County’s population, employment, and housing is readily available in this two-page summary. Topics include population and housing growth, race and Hispanic origin, foreign born, employment, education, income, and housing costs.
    • Montgomery County Retail Market Study – Recognizing the importance of retail to the County’s economic competitiveness, as well as its role in creating vibrant commercial areas, a countywide Retail Market Study was prepared by Streetsense, a Bethesda-based retail design and strategy firm. The purpose of the study was to assess the strengths, challenges, and competitive position of retail in the County to develop strategies that will foster successful retail centers and keep them poised for the future. View the full report.
    • Montgomery County Office Space Conversion Blog Post (website) – In a previous blog post, we explored trends likely to impact the adaptive reuse of office buildings, as illustrated through the Octave 1320 office-to-residential conversion in downtown Silver Spring. With its final unit now sold, the successful project prompted us to think about the future of office conversions in Montgomery County.
    • Montgomery County Economic Indicators, September 2017 The Economic Indicators is a monthly fact sheet that tracks changes in key economic indicators including at-place employment, resident labor force, home sales, commercial vacancies and rents, and permit issuance activity.  View the document here.
    • Montgomery County Economic Indicators, July 2017 The Economic Indicators is a monthly fact sheet that tracks changes in key economic indicators including employment, home sales, commercial vacancies and rents, and permit issuance activity.  View the document here.
    • Rental Housing Study Final Report on Recommendations and Tools – The Rental Housing Study Report on Recommendations and Tools is the culmination of a comprehensive, two-year effort to analyze countywide and sub-area rental housing data to better understand the characteristics of renter households and units. Key recommendations from the Rental Housing Study involve the consultants’ developing a menu of tools and policies for the County to consider with the aim of preserving existing rental housing, producing new rental units and generating additional financial resources. View the document here.
    • Montgomery County Trends:  Affordable Housing – The Research & Special Projects Division has produced an updated one-page trends document featuring some of the most important facts and figures shaping the county’s housing market. View the document here.
    • Montgomery County Income Blog Post (website) – This blog post explores the state of Montgomery County household income as well as changes in employment, by sector. Findings show that household income is still recovering from the Great Recession and that there has been a shift away from higher-paying jobs, such as professional and business services, federal government, and advanced manufacturing.
    • Rental Housing Blog Post (website) – This blog post explores the rental housing market in Montgomery County and reveals a shortage of affordable housing. Initial findings show the rental housing market is unbalanced, particularly for low-income residents.
    • The Employment Trendsheet report is a periodic summary of employment and unemployment trends in Montgomery County. Key findings from the most recent report, for September 2016, include the following:
      • Unemployment continues to decline in the county, the Washington, DC region and the nation, but remained above the low unemployment rates posted before the Great Recession. As of September, 2016, the unemployment rate among county residents had fallen to 3.2 percent, compared to 3.9 percent in the region and 4.8 percent nationwide.
      • Job growth in Montgomery County between March of 2015 and 2016 was comparatively slow—1.1 percent over the year, compared to 2.2 percent in the region and 2 percent nationwide.
      • Job growth was led by increases in lower-paying service sectors such as health, education and leisure, while growth in higher paying professional and business services jobs lagged.
    • Montgomery County Trends: Retail – The retail trends report details recent trends regarding vacancy rates, rents, and net absorption within the County and region. View the document here.
    • Regional{Pop}Stats – This interactive map shows data from the US Census 2009-2013 American Community Survey (ACS) for Montgomery County, MD and neighboring counties in the Washington, DC region. This tool is intended to provide users with estimates of population, housing, and income characteristics for custom combinations of Census Block Groups.
    • Round 9.0 Forecast Blog Post (webpage) – This blog post explores the latest forecast of employment, household, and population for Montgomery County and neighboring jurisdictions. It also visualizes with maps the changes expected to occur within the county by Policy Areas.
    • Montgomery County Housing Trendsheet for 2015 (report) – The 2015 Housing Trendsheet includes median sale price for Montgomery County from 2006 to 2015 as well as a comparison, both by region and by zip code.
    • Montgomery County Trends At-A-Glance (report) – The Research and Special Trends at a glanceProjects Division have produced an updated one-page trendsheet document featuring some of the most important facts and figures shaping the county. Click the link or the image to the right to learn some interesting population, employment, and housing findings.
    • Planning Department Releases Office Market Assessment Report (report) – The Montgomery County Planning Department has completed an in-depth assessment of regional office market conditions and the implications for Montgomery County. Prepared by Washington, DC-based Partners for Economic Solutions (PES) and Research and Special Projects Division staff, the 106-page study examines an array of economic forces changing the Washington, DC region’s office market and best practices for next-generation office development. Staff presented this study to the Planning Board at its public meeting on June 25, 2015 and to the Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing & Economic Development (PHED) Committee on July 13, 2015. Learn more about the Office Market Assessment Report. View the infographic and presentation.
    • Colocation of Public Facilities White Paper (report) – An Interagency Work Group, Colocation Imageconsisting of Parks and Planning Departments, Montgomery County Public Schools, and other Montgomery County agencies, was formed to address the feasibility of colocating public facilities. As a result, a Colocation White Paper was commissioned to look at types of public facilities in the County that could benefit from colocation, in support of the concept of building complete communities. This Colocation White Paper frames the discussion regarding the current best practices for colocating public facilities.
    • Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment Market Analysis – The Aspen Hill market Aspen Hillanalysis consists of three reports: Office Market Analysis (report), Retail Market Analysis (report), and the Residential Market Analysis (report). These reports assess the feasibility of future office, retail, and residential uses within the Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendment area.
    • Sandy Spring Rural Village Market Analysis (report) – The Sandy SSRV ImageSpring retail market report analyzes the existing commercial retail environment as well as future types of retail businesses supporting the village center concept of the Sandy Spring Rural Village Plan. The report recommends suitable retail niches for the village center and characterizes the building spaces needed to accommodate these types of businesses.


Current Projects:

      • Rental Housing Study (webpage) – With Montgomery County Council approval, the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Research and Special Projects Division (RSP) is coordinating with the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) to conduct an 18-24 month study of rental housing in the County that will assess how we can best meet the needs of residents across the income spectrum. Our partners include DHCA, private consulting firm RKG Associates, and an Advisory Committee representing diverse perspectives from the public and private sector. The Planning Department is managing the project contract.

Projects & resources

Last Updated: February 16, 2018