NAHB: Housing policy is dampening multifamily sentiment

by Steve Randall02 Mar 2020

Sentiment among builders and developers of multifamily housing across the US was unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter.

The National Association of Home Builders Multifamily Market Survey has revealed that confidence in the market scored a reading of 49 in the Multifamily Production Index (MPI) which measures apartment and condo market conditions.

“Favorable weather conditions and high rates of production contributed to a positive outlook among multifamily developers in the fourth quarter,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “Sentiment would be higher, but it is being constrained by emerging concerns over housing policies enacted in certain parts of the country, especially proposed rent control policies.”

Affordable housing
Sentiment was higher for the market for low-rent units (56) and market-value units (50) but decreased for for-sale units.

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI) which measures industry perceptions of vacancies in existing apartments scored 40.

In both indexes, a score of below 50 indicates that a larger share of respondents report worsening conditions than improvement.

“Demand for apartments has been strong for the past several months, especially for apartments that are more affordably priced,” said Barry Kahn, president of Hetting-Kahn Holdings in Houston and chairman of NAHB’s Multifamily Council. “We are seeing an increased need for affordable housing in most markets around the country.”

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