WASHINGTON - Builders and developers are feeling better about opportunities in the apartment and condominium market.

Results of the second quarter Multifamily Production Index (MPI), released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), scored a 54, the highest reading since the second quarter of 2005. It also marked the eigth consecutive quarter that the MPI level, which measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions, has increased. according to NAHB.

The MPI provides a composite measure of three key elements of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale" units, or condominiums. A number exceeding 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions as improving.

“The strength of the MPI suggests that multifamily production is likely to increase somewhat going forward,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Multifamily production has already recovered substantially from a historic low of about 110,000 starts a year in 2009 and 2010 to the current annual rate of a little over 200,000. However, prior to the downturn multifamily starts remained about 300,000 per year for 12 consecutive years, so there is room for further improvement before apartment and condo production return to normal, sustainable levels.”

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