Thursday, January 15, 2015

NMHC: Apartment Market Conditions Slightly Tighter in January Survey

by Bill McBride on 1/15/2015 06:31:00 PM

From the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC): Apartment Markets Moderate Slightly in January NMHC Quarterly Survey

Apartment markets expanded in three of four areas in the January National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions, indicating a slight moderation of the pace of improvement. Only the sales volume index (44) dropped below 50, with market tightness (51), equity financing (55) and debt financing (71) showing continued expansion.

“The apartment markets continue to show strength in most areas,” said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC’s SVP of Research and Chief Economist. “Last year’s ramp-up in new construction finally signaled complete recovery on the supply side. Even so, demand for apartment residences remains strong enough to absorb the increase in deliveries—and then some, as occupancy rates edged up a bit more.

The Market Tightness Index fell from 52 to 51. More than half (58 percent) of respondents reported unchanged conditions, and slightly over one-fifth (22 percent) saw conditions as tighter than three months ago. Looser conditions were reported by 20 percent of respondents. This is the fourth consecutive quarter where the index has indicated overall improving conditions.
emphasis added
Apartment Tightness Index
Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the quarterly Apartment Tightness Index. Any reading above 50 indicates tighter conditions from the previous quarter. This indicates market conditions were mostly unchanged over the last quarter.

As I've mentioned before, this index helped me call the bottom for effective rents (and the top for the vacancy rate) early in 2010.