The NAHB's multifamily production index (MPI) increased from 47.3 in the third quarter to 48.9 in the fourth quarter of 2011, its highest reading since the fourth quarter of 2005. The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the multifamily market on a scale of 0 to 100.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, the MPI component tracking builder and developer perceptions of market-rate rental properties recorded an all-time high of 64.3, while low-rent units also increased to 55.5. For-sale units remained steady at 30.6.
‘The apartment and condo sector continues to be a bright spot in the housing market, with the overall index at its highest level in six years,’ says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. ‘The rental components have been the driving force behind the increased index level. And although the for-sale component remains weaker, it is still double what it was just six quarters ago.’