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PALISADES PARK, NJ-Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services recently sold the Imperial, an 18-unit apartment property located at 55 Broad Ave. here for $2.4 million, according to Michael J. Fasano, vice president/regional manager of the firm’s Elmwood Park office.

Kevin McCrann and Thomas McConnell, multifamily specialists in Marcus & Millichap’s New Jersey office, represented the seller, a private local investor, and secured the buyer, a New Jersey pension fund. According to McConnell, “even in these uncertain times, we were able to obtain multiple written offers from qualified buyers.”

For weeks, now, multifamily deals have been picking up in frequency. To that end, senior multifamily executives polled by the National Multi Housing Council for its most recent Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions indicated that the sector is showing some signs of improvement.

In the case of basic fundamentals such as vacancies and rents, conditions remain weak, but have strengthened between the second and third quarters, with the market tightness index moving up from 20 to 31–based on a scale of 0-100. Although this was the ninth consecutive quarter that the index hit sub-50, it was also the fourth quarter in a row that the level has risen.

What is doing noticeably better was sales and financing activity, concurred those polled. Hitting its highest level in four years, the sales volume index rose from 44 to 59, with 90% of executives reporting that conditions have either remained unchanged or have improved over the prior quarter.

However, the US Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau paints a less rosy picture. It recently announced that the national vacancy rate for rental properties has reached a record high of 11.1%, or 4.59-million units, at the end of the third quarter. That figure is 50 basis points over the second quarter rate and 9.9% higher than Q3 2008.

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