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DETROIT-As the year draws to a close amid a still uncertain and arguably sluggish economy, numbers racked up for the multifamily market during the third quarter. According to the Midwest Apartment Update 2005 report issued by Hedricks & Partners, multifamily numbers were fairly stable, featuring steady vacancy rates and modest rent growth.

The vacancy rate metro-wide was at 6.9%, up slightly from the same period, the year before, which was at 6.7%. The highest vacancy rate for Q3 was found in Northeast Wayne County at 8.1%, which was a definite reduction from the 9.8% vacancy experienced during the same period the year before. North Oakland County’s vacancy rate of 5.2% was also a decline from the prior year’s Q3 reporting of 6.6%.

Rent increases in the meantime increased only 1% across the board versus a 0.5% increase from the year before, and North Oakland County’s rents actually decreased by 0.5%.

The report noted, however, that the economy and its resulting job cuts did take its toll, resulting in a negative absorption of 184 units, compared to the same time period the year before, which saw a positive absorption of 155 units. The report also expressed concern about the potential fall-out from the restructuring announcements made by Ford and General Motors.

On the up side, with the state of Michigan beginning to diversify into R&D, new jobs will likely be generated during the next decade or so. Medical facility expansions are underway as well, the report noted, with the area also seeing some major retail expansions. But for the immediate future, more of the same could be expected, the report said.

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