Apartment market sees improvements: survey

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The apartment market saw an uptick in sales in the third quarter, with the National Multi Housing Council’s Sales Volume Index rising above 50 — which indicates an increase — for the first time in four years, according to the organization’s latest survey on apartment market conditions. In 2008, the Index registered just 13 for the year. More debt and equity capital also became available during the quarter, with those indices rising to 59 and 58, respectively. Taken together, these indicators seem to suggest that “the transactions market may finally be thawing,” said Mark Obrinsky, chief economist NMHC. Furthermore, the gap between asking prices and bidding prices has narrowed, he said. Amid the good news, however, vacancies and rent levels, which are measured by the survey’s Market Tightness Index, continued to worsen for the ninth quarter in a row, with 49 percent of respondents indicating that vacancies were higher while rents were lower. The Index averaged 20 for the year, which is the lowest level in the survey’s 10-year history. The survey included 53 CEOs and senior executives at apartment-related firms nationwide who also have leadership roles at NMHC. TRD

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