St. Louis accounting firm: Multi-family market continues to thrive

The country’s multi-housing industry is still in the middle of boom times.

You probably don’t need any additional evidence by now, but a new report shows that the country’s multi-family housing market continues to thrive.

St. Louis-based accounting firm RubinBrown recently released its 2012 Apartment Statistical Data report. This year’s version of the report found that apartment owners are benefitting from a pool of renters that continues to grow and occupancy levels that continue to rise.

The biggest sign that life is good for landlords today? The average monthly rent across the country jumped $48 in 2011 to $721.

Much of the boost in multi-family is coming at the expense of single-family housing. According to RubinBrown, homeownership rates fell 1 percent in 2011. That follows a drop of 2.3 percent in 2010. At the same time, multi-family housing permits, starts and completions all rose in 2011 and early 2012.

Permits rose a rather impressive 61 percent in late 2011 and early 2012 when compared to late 2010 and early 2011, according to the report.

Bryan Keller, partner-in-charge of RubinBrown’s Real Estate Services Group, says that this trend isn’t about to change any time soon. Why? Because Generation Y is entering the housing market. And these buyers, born between 1982 and 1995, aren’t exactly enjoying robust wages. They’ve also seen their parents’ homes lose value during the housing crash.

Because of this, they’re more likely to rent.

“Financial institutions see apartments and multi-unit homes as investments that provide a safety net during these times of economic instability,” said Keller, in a written statement. “The majority of investors are focusing their monies on properties with lower and middle rent price points, rather than investing in luxury units.”

– Dan Rafter

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