U.S. developers switch rentals back to condos

October 21, 2013 06:01PM

Hamstrung developers who resorted to renting out would-be condominium units across the U.S. are now turning back to for-sale housing, signaling a recovering demand.

During the recession, condos lost their appeal and apartment rents skyrocketed in the face of foreclosures. But now landlords are selling off high-end rental housing in a boom that is also encouraging new development.

Roughly 2,080 apartments were converted from rentals to condos in 2012, according to property researcher Reis, cited by the Wall Street Journal. And though that number lags far behind the 152,206 conversions the market saw in 2005, it marks the highest point since the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008.

“What I don’t think people envisioned is the pace at which the population is increasing and how quickly the units from the last cycle would be absorbed,” Peter Torres, vice president at Miami-based Astor Cos., told the Journal. “People thought the recovery would be stretched out much longer, maybe 10 years, and it’s obviously been sooner than a lot of us expected.” [WSJ]Julie Strickland