NMHC: Apartment Market Tightness Index Increased in July

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) released their July report: July NMHC Quarterly Survey Finds Strong Ongoing Demand


The enduring strength of the apartment market was the main takeaway of the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions for July 2019, as the Market Tightness (60), Equity Financing (56), and Debt Financing (80) indexes all came in above the breakeven level (50). The Sales Volume Index (48) indicated a continued softness in property sales, albeit with considerable disagreement among respondents.

"These latest figures illustrate that, in spite of construction levels hovering near recent highs, there remains significant pent-up demand for apartments," noted NMHC Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky. "Nearly a third (32 percent) of respondents reported stronger rents and occupancy levels, while just 11 percent indicated looser market conditions."

While the industry outlook is positive, political and regulatory threats like rent control threaten to upend regional markets. Among respondents to the NMHC Quarterly Survey, sixty-two percent operate in jurisdictions that have either recently imposed rent control or is seriously considering doing so. Of this group, a fifth (20 percent) has already cut back on investment or development in these markets, while an additional 60 percent is considering making changes in the future.

The Market Tightness Index increased from 52 to 60, indicating overall improving conditions for the second consecutive quarter. Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents reported tighter market conditions than three months prior, compared to 11 percent who reported looser conditions. Over half (57 percent) of respondents felt that conditions were no different from last quarter.

Apartment Tightness Index
Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the quarterly Apartment Tightness Index. Any reading above 50 indicates tighter conditions from the previous quarter. This indicates market conditions were tighter over the last quarter.

This is the second consecutive reading over 50, following thirteen consecutive quarterly surveys indicating looser conditions.

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