ATLANTA –The $2.3 billion corporate housing industry is growing at a rate of nearly 15% per year, according to the Highland Group, a locally-based hospitality research and consulting company.

In the first study of its kind, the report shows Atlanta is the eighth largest market and ranks 20th in rental rates at $2,048 per month. Projected growth for the metro area is 17% for 2000 and 19% for 2001.

The leading markets are San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC/Baltimore, Chicago and New York.

The study shows an average occupancy of 91% in the estimated 76,421 corporate apartments. That figure is 16% above the extended-stay hotel average and exceeds the overall hotel average of 63% in 1999.

“The interim housing industry is becoming more sophisticated,” Peggy Berg, Highland Group president, tells “The 15% growth rate is significant and it certainly speaks to the importance of the role of this industry.”

About 600 companies provide corporate apartments nationally. The number of units in the market averages 76,421. About 73% are leased by the operator and 27% are owned. The suburbs account for 71% of the available units.

The overall monthly charge was $2,541 or $84.70 per day in 1999. Extended-stay hotels averaged $61.99 at mid-year 2000. Conventional hotels averaged $81.27 last year. The average stay in a corporate apartment is 71 days.

The study, which focused on 24 of the largest U.S. metro areas, was commissioned by the Chicago-based Association of Interim Housing Providers.

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