Multifamily housing starts averaged 325,000 in the first quarter—exceeding the annual average observed in any year since the 1980s, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Housing starts increased in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 392,000 units. Permits fell to seasonally adjusted rate of 283,000, however.
Price indices for gypsum and softwood lumber have returned to approximately 93 percent of their highs registered during the housing boom. Condo and co-op and prices continue to power up in March.
Condo and co-op inventory remains thin, declining an additional 4.1 percent from last month and nearly 20 percent from last year to a 4.7 month supply, according to NAHB. Prices rose 10.4 percent in March from a year ago.
Apartment total returns fall to the same level as commercial real estate returns, according to data from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries.
Mortgage Bankers Association’s multifamily financing volume index dropped from a high in fourth quarter of 270 to 184 in the first quarter. This level is nevertheless much higher than in the first quarter a year ago.