Apartment and Condominium Market Continues to Improve in Second Quarter

September 11th, 2012 by DWM Magazine

The Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), improved for the eighth consecutive quarter with an index level of 54. It is the highest reading since the second quarter of 2005, according to the NAHB.

The MPI, which measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100, rose from 51 in the first quarter to 54 in the second quarter.

In the second quarter of 2012, the MPI component tracking builder and developer perceptions of market-rate rental properties recorded a level of 63 and has been over 60 for four consecutive quarters–the longest sustained period of strength since the inception of the index in 2003. For-sale units had its highest reading since the fourth quarter of 2005, coming in at 41, while low-rent units recorded an all-time high of 61.

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, increased five points to 36, bringing it back approximately to the level it sustained throughout 2011. With the MVI, lower numbers indicate fewer vacancies, reports the NAHB. After peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009, the MVI declined consistently through 2010, then held steady at either 35 or 36 in every quarter of 2011.

“The strength of the MPI suggests that multifamily production is likely to increase somewhat going forward,” says NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “Multifamily production has already recovered substantially from a historic low of about 110,000 starts a year in 2009 and 2010 to the current annual rate of a little over 200,000. However, prior to the downturn multifamily starts remained about 300,000 per year for 12 consecutive years, so there is room for further improvement before apartment and condo production return to normal, sustainable levels.”

Data tables on the MPI and MVI are available through the NAHB website.

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