All things considered, 2010 was a rock-solid year. Of course, in comparison to a dismal 2009—one that some might consider to be the worst year on the books for multifamily fundamentals—any uptick in occupancies, rents, and starts would be considered stellar. By long-term standards, however, the past year treated apartment owners and operators well: Owners ramped up their buy/sell activity; managers saw a shift in size and power at the top of the ranks; and builders finally reintroduced shovels-to-dirt as they began accelerating their construction and rehab activity.
In 2010, the Top 50 Owners had a collective 2,874,499 units, up 16.5 percent from the year before. The Top 50 Managers operated 2,730,481 units, up 0.7 percent from 2009. And the Top 50 Builders started 59,859 units, up a sizable 49.3 percent from a year ago. Indeed, the multifamily industry is poised for a rebound that blows away the lackluster vital signs in other real estate sectors. And if 2010 was the turning point, then it seems the road ahead for 2011 and beyond will be clear of roadblocks.