Rental market poised for recovery

Apartment demand increases

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With consumer demand for apartments on the upswing, multifamily developers across the country are optimistic that the rental market is finally in the midst of a recovery, according to the results of the latest Multifamily Market Index released today by the National Association of Home Builders. "The results of the MMI for the second quarter are very encouraging," said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn, a home and apartment builder from Jackson, Miss. "After three years of rising vacancy rates, we're seeing a turnaround in the apartment market." All classes of apartments showed improvement in demand, with class B apartments – the average market-rate community – showing an index value of 50.6, a 7-point rise since the same time last year. Luxury class A units also rebounded strongly with an index value of 49.2, a 10-point improvement since the second quarter of 2003. Lower-rent units, a category that generally outpaces the other two when it comes to demand, continued to do so w...