Multifamily market conditions have continued to weaken, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s quarterly survey for October.
All four of the indices that are part of the Quarterly Survey of Apartment Conditions remained substantially below the break-even level of 50.
“A combination of rising interest rates and tightening lending standards has caused a decrease in the availability of debt financing for the ninth consecutive quarter,” said Caitlin Sugrue Walter, NMHC’s vice president of research. “Buyers and sellers of apartments, meanwhile, remain unable to agree to terms on pricing, resulting in the sixth consecutive quarter of declining sales volume.”
She added that the continued softness in the multifamily market should help bring down the shelter component of inflation eventually, which could help cool inflation to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target and allow the Fed to start easing policy.
“Over the longer term, demand for multifamily housing remains strong based on demographic trends and market fundamentals,” she added.
Findings from the survey, which was conducted between Oct. 10 and 17 with 284 CEOs and other senior executives of apartment-related firms nationwide, include:
The Market Tightness Index came in at 21, indicating looser market conditions for the fifth consecutive quarter. Nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents, 64%, reported that market conditions were looser than three months ago, while only 6% cited tighter conditions. The remaining 27% said they thought conditions were unchanged.
The Sales Volume Index was 24, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of decreasing transaction flow. The majority of respondents, 57%, reported lower sales volume, which is up from 35% of respondents in July. Nearly one-third of respondents, 32%, reported no change in volume, while 5% said the volume was higher than three months ago.
The Equity Financing Index at 18 indicated that equity financing was less available for the seventh consecutive quarter. Nearly two-thirds of respondents, 64%, reported that equity financing was less available than three months ago, while 25% reported unchanged availability.
The Debt Financing index came in at 9—the ninth consecutive quarter for debt financing to be less available. Over three-quarters of respondents, 83%, indicated that now is a worse time to borrow than it was three months ago. This is up from 67% who said the same in July. While no respondents said now is a better time to borrow than three months ago, 10% reported unchanged conditions.