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ALBUQUERQUE, NM-Looking for a market that will actually improve nextyear? You only need to look at the multifamily rental market in this city.

“Albuquerque’s multi-housing market continues to remain strong,” says a report by Grubb & Ellis.

“The current overall occupancy rate of 94% is expected to improve by 2% in 2002,” the report notes. “Average rental rates are back up to mid-1990s levels of $0.73 per sf without utilities and are expected to increase in 2002 by 3.5% to 5%.”

The most expensive rental units are found in Albuquerque’s downtown, at $0.90 per sf.

Grubb & Ellis notes that more than 600 units are under construction in the area, and two major properties — the 161-unit Villa de San Felipe and the 70-unit Lofts at Albuquerque High, which are tied into the CBD’s redevelopment — have waiting lists of more than 300 people.

While Downtown is hot, most of the construction activity pales in the northwest and southeast submarkets. There would be more going on in the northeast and northwest markets, but for a lack of land, the report says.

“Investors will be taking a serious look at the multi-housing real estate market in 2002,” Grubb & Ellis predicts. “Decreasing interest rates combined with rising occupancy and rental rates has allowed the expectations of buyers and sellers to merge. Albuquerque should see more sales in 2002 than in the last few years.

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