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SOUTHFIELD, MI-The current economic climate, with layoffs and cutbacks plaguing the economy, will hold down apartment construction starts in Michigan this year, a recent research report from Marcus and Millichap of Southfield predicts. The hold should further strengthen one of the tightest apartment markets in the country, the company says.

The supply of new apartment units in the Metropolitan Detroit area continues to lag behind demand, as developers focus on residential and high-end commercial construction, says Frank Kupiec, senior market analyst for Marcus and Millichap.

Kupiec says the Detroit area’s apartment vacancy rate has historically been among the lowest in the country, and continued demand and moderate construction levels will help maintain that status during the next 12 months.

He says local rents will show solid gains of 3% on average, down only slightly from last year, due the uncertainty in the market and the desire to keep occupancy high. Apartment values are anticipated to rise in the near-term due to rising rents and lower interest rates, Kupiec adds.

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