Apartment industry continues to improve in rentals, sales

REAL ESTATE WATCH

February 13, 2005|By Jamie Smith Hopkins

The U.S. apartment industry is continuing to see improvements after the one-two punch of the 2001 recession and an extended home-buying spree fueled by historically low interest rates.

The National Multi Housing Council's newest quarterly survey of apartment market conditions shows more demand for rentals, more sales of apartment buildings, better equity financing conditions and plenty of debt financing.

"The single biggest factor, I would say, is the improvement in the job market," said Mark Obrinsky, the council's chief economist. When the economy was tight, he said, "there was this so-called doubling-up phenomenon" of people moving in with relatives or getting roommates.

Though interest rates are still low, he said that's less of a drag on the apartment market now because they're moving up instead of down.

Jamie Smith Hopkins

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