National Multi Housing Council Survey Shows Apartment Market Still in Decline

May 15, 2009

A recent survey by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) showed that, while the apartment market conditions are still suffering from a downturn, the pace is slowing down. The survey showed that all four market indexes remained below 50, indicating worsening conditions, but they all rose from three months ago.

“This global downturn has led to the most challenging economic conditions in at least five decades, and the apartment industry is suffering like other industries,” Mark Obrinsky, chief economist at NMHC, said. “Capital remains difficult to obtain, and the sharp and continuing drop in employment, in particular, is sapping demand for apartments in markets throughout the country.”

Specific statistics revealed by the NMHC survey include that the Market Tightness Index, measuring change in occupancy rates and rents, rose from 11 last quarter to 16, and that 73 percent of survey respondents said the markets were looser (meaning higher vacancy, lower rents). Additionally, the Sales Volume Index rose from 12 to 30, the highest level in seven quarters. The Equity Financing Index increased from 12 to 29: Although 46 percent of respondents stated that they thought the equity financing conditions were worse than three months ago, this is the best reading in almost two years. And finally, the Debt Financing Index rose from 26 to 41, with 14 percent of respondents saying that now is a better time to borrow than three months ago.

For full survey results, please visit

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