2012 will be better than 2011, panelists say

Property managers may be looking at a bright year ahead, if rental housing industry professionals at the National Multi-Housing Council’s (NMHC) recent Apartment Strategies Conference panel “Looking Ahead: What?s Next for the Apartment Recovery” are correct.

According to Multi-Housing News, panelist Jay Lybik predicted that 2012 will be a better year than forecast. He stated that the homeownership rate will rise slightly in the next few years and reach 65 percent in 2014, but suggested this is not a bad sign for rental housing stakeholders.

Lybik noted that there are about 14 million single family rentals in the nation, accounting for 37 percent of the rental market. Partly because of that, he indicated, the success of rental business does not depend on Americans remaining disenchanted with homeownership. He also noted that similar prices for renting and buying housing may favor rental managers, since a large down payment is not needed.

Panelist and NMHC chief economist Mark Obrinsky stated the year will be slightly better than 2011, according to the source, noting that economic recovery is occurring, but it remains to be seen how strong and fast it will be.

Ron Witten, industry professional and panelist, suggested that a major factor in the performance of the rental housing industry this year will be the number of jobs added to the economy for young adults, noting it will be a factor in determining income growth and rent levels.