It’s getting hard to find quality rental housing in the United States, a group of apartment owners and developers said at the International Builders’ Show last week in Las Vegas.
It’s getting hard to
find quality rental housing in the United States, a group of apartment owners
and developers said at the International Builders’ Show last week in Las Vegas.
The credit market is
to blame, they said.
“Despite a demand for our
product that far exceeds the supply, affordable apartment developers are finding
it nearly impossible to assemble the necessary capital to move forward with
their projects,” said Robert Greer, president of Michaels Development Co. in
Marlton, N.J. “Putting together deals that make sense is more difficult now than
it has ever been -- primarily because the program's biggest investors of the
past -- Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and large banks -- have been sidelined.”
Even market-rate rental
units are being affected, said Bernard Markstein, the National Association of
Home Builders’ staff vice president of forecasting and analysis.
The NAHB is the main sponsor
of the builders show.
"Right now, we are
forecasting 188,000 multifamily starts in 2009," Markstein said. That’s down
more than 100,000 units from 2008.
For more than 10 years,
starts have been steady at 250,000 to 300,000.
"The stability in the starts
over such an extended time indicates that it is a sustainable level of
development," Markstein said. “You can argue that the product mix between condos
and rentals got skewed during the housing boom, but you can't say that there was
overbuilding in the multifamily sector.”
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