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Thursday, February 02, 2012

NMHC Apartment Survey: Market Conditions Tighten in Recent Survey

by Calculated Risk on 2/02/2012 01:25:00 PM

From the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC): Apartment Industry Continues Recovery, Survey Says

Market conditions continued to improve for the multifamily industry across all areas, according to the latest National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. For the seventh time in the last eight quarters, all four indexes reflecting Market Tightness, Sales Volume, Equity Financing and Debt Financing were at or above 50 – indicating growth from the previous quarter.

"In the face of an unprecedented virtual shutdown of development, the apartment market continues its strong recovery as developers play catch-up to the growing demand for rental housing," said NMHC Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky.
The Market Tightness Index rose to 60 from 52, marking the eighth straight quarter with the index at or above 50.
Apartment Tightness Index
Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the quarterly Apartment Tightness Index. Any reading above 50 indicates tightening from the previous quarter. The index has indicated tighter market conditions for the last eight quarters and suggests falling vacancy rates and or rising rents.

This fits with the recent Reis data showing apartment vacancy rates fell in Q4 2011 to 5.2%, down from 5.6% in Q3 2011, and 9.0% at the end of 2009.

New multi-family construction remains a bright spot for the U.S. economy and this survey indicates demand for apartments is still strong.

A final note: This index helped me call the bottom for effective rents (and the top for vacancy rate) early in 2010.