Economic Update (May 18, 2012)

Construction of new multifamily housing units continues to recover as apartment rental market conditions tighten. Multifamily housing starts rose 4.3 percent in April to a 217,000 annual rate.

Despite having tripled from the lows reached during the financial crisis, multifamily starts remain well below the pre-recession trend rate of 300,000. Moreover, rental occupancy has been rising more rapidly than construction, pushing vacancy rates lower. (The Census Bureau recently reported that rental vacancy rates fell 0.6 ppt. in the first quarter to 8.8 percent, the lowest since early 2002.)

Learn more about the current outlook for multifamily REITs.


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The Market Commentary blog on presents analysis of the macro- and micro-economic fundamentals impacting the REIT and commercial real estate industry. The Nareit economics team offers their commentary on the state of the market, the outlook for commercial real estate and breaking macroeconomic news. The opinions set forth here are solely those of its author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Nareit or its membership. For more, see our Terms of Use.