Apartment industry makes gains

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The apartment industry continues to show signs of gradual improvement, according to the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) July 2004 quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. Senior apartment executives asked to rate the change in market conditions from April 2004 to July 2004 reported improvements in occupancy rates, continued high sales volumes, and widely available equity financing as investors continue to seek out apartment properties. For the second straight quarter, the only indicator to worsen was debt market conditions, as a result of recent interest-rate increases. "The apartment market could see a full-fledged recovery by the end of the year if the economy continues to strengthen at its current pace," said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC's chief economist. "Demand for apartment residences is determined, in large part, by the employment picture. The modest increase in new jobs reported recently is already helping to increase occupancy rates. As more jobs are created, more peo...