Demographics bode well for apartment market

Survey finds rise in rentals, drop in condo conversions

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Consumer demand for apartments grew for the 15th consecutive quarter, as long-term demographic trends continue to attract equity investors, the National Multi Housing Council reported in its first-quarter survey. According to the NMHC's April 2007 Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions, one-third of respondents said that occupancy rates and/or rents rose during the first quarter of the year. As a result, the survey's Market Tightness Index edged up slightly to 56. (For all four of the survey indexes, a reading above 50 indicates that, on balance, conditions are improving; a reading below 50 indicates that conditions are worsening; and a reading of 50 indicates that conditions are unchanged.) In most markets, conditions were largely unchanged, according to 43 percent of respondents. "The apartment markets continue to enjoy largely favorable conditions," NMHC Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky said in a statement. "Although both owners and managers are well aware of the ...