Despite the market correction occurring in the overall housing market, investor confidence remains strong in publicly held firms whose primary business involves apartments and condos, according to the latest Multifamily Stock Index (MFSI) released by the National Association of Home Builders.

The MFSI gained 42 points in September to reach an index value of 3,371, a rise of more than 1.25 percent from the previous month’s 3,328 number and a year-over-year gain of 30 percent. This latest increase sets a new all-time high for the MFSI, which tracks the stocks of 24 publicly traded firms, including 20 real estate investment trusts (REITs) principally involved in owning, developing and managing multifamily housing.

“Apartment companies, especially REITs, have been among Wall Street’s best performers over the past few years,” said Leonard Wood, director of Wood Partners LLC and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Leadership Board. “With the rental market recovering after several years of slowdown, investors apparently expect this trend to continue.”

“With rental vacancies falling and rents rising, the outlook for new rental construction has brightened considerably,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders. “Investors are anticipating rising value in multifamily companies despite a weakening condo market.”

For comparison, the NAHB benchmarks its multifamily stock index against the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested. During September, the value of the S&P 500 with dividends reinvested also increased, gaining 2.58 percent, to reach an index value 11 percent higher than it was a year ago.

NAHB created the Multifamily Stock Index in 2002 as a way to more easily track the performance of public firms involved in multifamily housing. To allow for historical comparisons to be made between the MFSI and other financial indices, the starting point for tracking performance data for these publicly traded firms was set at Dec. 31, 1998.

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