Multifamily Market Survey (MMS)

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The Multifamily Market Survey (MMS) is based on a quarterly survey of NAHB multifamily builders and property managers. The survey is designed to monitor conditions for multifamily production (starts) and multifamily rental occupancy in the current versus preceding quarter as well as in the next six months.

Confidence in the market for new multifamily housing increased in the first quarter of 2021, according to results from the MMS. The MMS produces two separate indices. The Multifamily Production Index (MPI) increased eight points to 51 compared to the previous quarter. This is the first time the MPI has been over 50 in seven quarters. Meanwhile, the Multifamily Occupancy Index (MOI) increased one point to 59.

Current Data

Methodology

Each quarter, a panel of multifamily developers rate production of new market-rate and low-rent apartments, as well as production of new multifamily condominiums, and on a scale of “stronger,” “same” or “weaker” compared to the previous quarter. The same panel rates occupancy in Class A, Class B and Class C rental apartments on a similar scale (“higher,” “same,” or “lower”) relative to the previous quarter. Their answers are used to produce two summary indices: the Multifamily Production Index (MPI) and the Multifamily Occupancy Index (MOI).

A separate index is calculated for each component of the MPI (market-rate, low-rent, condos). Each component index lies on a scale from 0 to 100, where any number above 50 indicates more builders report stronger rather than weaker conditions. The MPI is a weighted average of the three components.

An index is similarly calculated for each component of the MOI (Class A, B and C apartments). Again, each component index lies on a scale from 0 to 100, where a number above 50 indicates more “higher” than “lower” responses.  The MOI is a weighted average of the three components.

The weights for the MPI and MOI were chosen based on correlations between the component indices and measures of multifamily production and occupancy published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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