Credit crunch takes toll on apartment market

Several industry gauges hit record lows in October, survey finds

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Conditions weakened in the apartment industry during October compared to three months earlier, as the recent turmoil in the credit market took a toll on sales and financing, according to the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) latest quarterly survey. "The underlying demand for apartment residences has changed little over the last six months. As long as the job market holds up, demand conditions should remain favorable," NMHC Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky said in a statement. "But it is clear that the recent credit market disruptions have had an impact on the apartment market. Many transactions had to be postponed while the buyers sought alternative financing arrangements. In most cases, such financing was found, allowing the deals to go through, but in the meantime, the volume of activity slowed." The Market Tightness Index slipped to 46 in October. (For all four of the survey indexes, a reading above 50 indicates that, on balance, conditions are improving; a reading ...