Almost 70% of respondents to the survey said they plan toincrease their multifamily investment in 2009, while only 6% saidthey would decrease allocations. "I think it shows that though manyin the market are reacting to psychological factors, they're notafraid of apartments," says Jeff Morris, a JLL managing director."They believe value is going to be there in the future. I thinkthat's an optimistic sign for the market."


More than 200 investors across the country answered the surveyduring the past three weeks, Morris says. He agrees that theapartment market, buoyed by foreclosures and hard-to-get homeloans, has seen higher demand as of late. "But still, the nationaleconomy is shedding jobs, and jobs and apartment demand are fairlylinked, so demand isn't as high as it could be. However, theinvestors could choose to remain on the sidelines, but they insteadchoose to participate."


Another common thread through the survey was the desire by mostto invest into value-add properties in the Northeast and Southwest,sell core properties and hold in struggling areas such as theMidwest and Southeast. "Midwest has just had very slow growth,there's so many better places to invest," Morris tells"Also, the Southeast problem is mostly Florida, the values downthere have gotten hit. And of course the core property sales makesense anywhere, that's the only thing that's going to sell well inthis market."


Most respondents also said they think cap rates will increase,and rental rates will stay the same or decrease by 5%. "It'stypically very hard to push rents when demand is falling," Morrissays. "Also, in this economy, you're seeing more roommates movingin together, whereas before they may have had separate apartments,lowering demand." He admits that two of the best markets in thiseconomy, seniors and student housing, are seeing a lot ofdevelopment activity, but "it's a much smaller piece of the overallrental stock, it's not enough to move the needle."

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