CHICAGO-Optimism for rent growth and a belief in continueddemand was shared by the all the speakers at the 2010 NationalMulti Housing Council’s Apartment Strategies Update and FinanceConference at the Peninsula Hotel this morning. However, they alsoagreed that job growth, lending and regulatory pressures need toimprove.

While it’s true that heavily-distressed properties will continueto suffer, the upper and even the middle end of the multifamilymarket may possibly see double-digit rent growth in the next fiveyears, said two presenters during an update on the economy and theapartment industry. “All the evidence points to a recovery,” saidHessam Nadji, managing director of Marcus & Millichap. “Clearlywe are in much better shape, and that’s supported by numerous datapoints, such as the return of consumer spending. There’s stillgoing to be problems, there’s still going to be workouts, but thebiggest thing we have to fear is how we react to currentnervousness,” he said.

Michael Cohen, global strategist for CoStar-owned Property &Portfolio Research Inc., agreed that consumption is coming backafter a difficult 2009. “Are we out of the woods yet? No, we’re notexpecting a roaring recovery, but we’re expecting to see good GDPnumbers by 2012. Everybody in this room needs to remember where wewere a year ago,” Cohen said.

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