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LOS ANGELES, CA-The apartment market here has withstood the weakened economy, but a new report by Hendricks & Partners describes the L.A. market as flat during the second quarter because it pretty much treaded water.

The market maintained stable vacancy rates, but rent growth slowed in the second quarter and demand was “lackluster,” according to the quarterly study by the brokerage company.

The overall average vacancy rate was unchanged at 3.7%, and demand was highest for mid-range properties, pushing vacancy rates down in the most affordable submarkets. Rent gains were highest in the low and moderately priced submarkets, with the Compton-Carson submarket posting the highest percentage gain, 8.1%. A total of 139 properties were sold in the first six months of 2002, up from 86 during the same period in 2001, and the average price per square foot rose from $74.81 to $84.13. The average price per unit trended climbed from $51,040 to $58,403.

“Year-to-date, the market has shown virtually no change in occupied units,” the Hendricks report says. It credited the region’s diverse economy with keeping conditions stable despite the overall downturn in economic conditions, saying that the lack of high-profile corporate downsizings and the region’s base of predominantly small- to medium-sized business has worked in its favor.

Development activity is on the rise, according to the report, with more than 1,800 units underway in Long Beach, nearly 300 units in Torrance, and 142 in the Alhambra area.

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