Houston is forecast to lead the nation in employment growth for the third consecutive year, creating migration-related demand and benefiting local apartment properties, according to a first-quarter Apartment Research Report by commercial brokerage Marcus & Millichap.

The metro’s healthy energy and construction sectors generated nearly 100,000 new positions in 2007 and will fuel economic expansion this year, the report found.

"Investor sentiment for assets in Houston will remain positive this year as demographic and employment trends stay positive due to the prevalence of the healthy energy sector, despite the national slowdown," says Michael Hoffman, regional manager of the Houston office of Marcus & Millichap, in a statement.

Following are some of the most significant aspects of the Houston Apartment Research Report:

  • Payrolls are forecast to expand by 50,000 positions, a 2.1 percent increase.

  • Builders are accelerating deliveries to 7,500 units this year, expanding for-rent stock by 1.6 percent.

  • Vacancy is forecast to end the year at 8.9 percent.

  • Asking rents are expected to reach $769 per month by year end, a 3.2 percent increase.

  • Effective rents are projected to increase to $717 per month, a gain of 3.2 percent.


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