South Florida multi-family market shows “surprising resilience” in 1Q: Reis

April 06, 2010 04:37PM

The South Florida multi-family housing market kicked off the year with a “surprising show of resilience,” according to a first-quarter market report from research firm Reis, with apartment vacancies posting slight declines in both Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach and effective rents increasing across the tri-county area over their levels at the end of 2009. In Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, vacancy rates remaining strikingly high at 8.5 percent and 8.8 percent, but showed improvement over rates from the quarter before with slight declines of 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, Miami’s vacancy rate was up 0.6 percent to 6.4 percent of the metro area’s apartment market. Nationwide, apartment vacancies remained flat and effective rents rose by 0.3 percent from the quarter before. Of the 79 metro areas surveyed for the Reis report, 60 saw their effective apartment rents go up, which should help keep multi-family properties among the most attractive for financing from lenders, as Michael Stoler noted in today’s column for The Real Deal. The largest increase, 1.6 percent, was in Miami. Palm Beach’s effective rents rose by 1.1 percent and Fort Lauderdale’s rose by 0.7 percent. “We remain of the belief that this is going to be a slow recovery,” Canalog said of the “uncommonly robust” first-quarter results. “Still, this quarter’s results taken as a whole are consistent with our expectation that the apartment sector will be the first to recover as the overall economy emerges from the recession,” he said. TRD