ORLANDO-Metro Orlando’s 139,000 multifamily units are showing a 90.7% occupancy level, the best this year, according to a new six-month study by Charles Wayne Consulting of suburban Maitland, FL.

Slower construction of new product is a factor in the improved renting performance, the study finds. The March occupancy level of 89.3% was the weakest showing since March 1992.

But the new occupancy mark could change over the next six months as 55 projects totaling 17,000 new units near completion. About 5,000 new units were under construction in September.

New apartment construction in metro Orlando hit its peak in September 1999 when 14,000 units began surfacing. The pace slowed by March 2000 when new construction dropped to 13,000 units. The new-construction decline began sharply in September 2000 after 11,500 units were built.

The higher occupancy level means property owners may pull back concessions of free rent, parking and other perks they had offered during the year to fill empty apartments, the study indicates.

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