The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released its third quarter Multifamily Production Index (MPI) and Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), each showing positive signs for the apartment and condominium markets.
The MVI decreased from 36.1 to 35.1 in the third quarter. While this small change represents only a small drop in the perception of vacancies among builders and developers, NAHB economists note the index was twice as high in 2009, when it stood at 70.2.
"Apartments and condominiums play an integral role in the overall housing market, now more than ever," said NAHB Multifamily Council Board of Trustees chair Stillman Knight, who also noted these types of housing meet demand in areas with substantial population growth.
Meanwhile, the MPI rose from 44.4 to 47.3 in the third quarter to reach its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2005. This also marked the fifth consecutive quarter the index improved, which NAHB chief economist David Crowe attributed to a preference for renting among new households.
The index of low-rent units was stable during the quarter, with the MPI increase driven by improvements in the for-sale index, which rose to 31.9, and the market-rate rental properties index, which grew to 63.8. The latter figure represents an all-time high, while builder sentiments about market-rate properties were at their best since the second quarter of 2006.