Multifamily real estate grows ‘more stable’

Despite record sales, largest apartment owners maintain high stake in inventory

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As a sign that the apartment industry is increasingly mature and stable, record-level sales of apartment properties in 2003 failed to create a shakeup in the NMHC 50, the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) annual ranking of the top 50 apartment owners and top 50 apartment managers. Despite a year of low interest rates that drew substantial amounts of new private capital into the sector, there were surprisingly few changes in NMHC's 15th annual list of the largest firms. "Many people expected that the flood of private money into the industry would 'roil the waters' of what has become a fairly tranquil pool of the largest owners and managers," said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC's chief economist. "But that did not happen. There were just six new firms added to the NMHC 50 owners list–the same number as last year. There is even greater stability among the top management firms, where AIMCO remains number one for the sixth consecutive year. In all likelihood, these are the hallmarks of a...