Though multifamily construction is up about 20% in the Southlandso far this year, the addition of an estimated 25,000 units thathave been built still badly lags demand, according to theBurbank-based Construction Industry Research Board. And whileanother healthy gain is forecast for 2001, forecasters at Grubb& Ellis say demand will still overwhelm new supply by a 12-to-1ratio.

"From a demand side, there is no reason for the market to slowdown," says Barry Kamel, president of the multifamily developmentdivision of Sares-Regis Group, the Irvine-based real estate giant."From a supply side, there are constraints on obtaining land. Themarket will remain status quo, which means it will still be asellers' and landlords' market."

Ben Bartolotto, director of the non-profit Construction IndustryResearch Board, says development this year will be limited by atleast three familiar builder bugaboos: A shortage of buildablelots, skyrocketing land values and homeowner groups who don't likerental projects. "We'll never create equilibrium in developmentbecause there are so many NIMBYs out there that don't wantdevelopment in their communities," laments Bruce Furniss, SVP ofGrubb & Ellis's Anaheim office.

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