RealFacts, a company that tracks multifamily housing community data, reported this week that overall occupancy of apartment communities in its database declined 0.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2005. The decline translates to an additional 16,780 empty units at the end of the quarter. The decline was seen across all markets and regions, with a few exceptions in smaller metropolitan areas, the company announced. This markets the first significant decline in eight quarters – since the first quarter of 2004, when the national economy was first showing signs of improvement, the company reported. "Historically, declines in occupancy often precede declines in rent." Major metropolitan areas reporting significant quarterly declines include Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., -2.7 percent; Dallas-Ft Worth-Arlington, Texas, -0.9 percent; Denver-Aurora, Colo., -1.1 percent; and Tampa-St Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., -1.2 percent. Every Southern California metropolitan area tracked ...
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