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CHICAGO-Optimism for rent growth and a belief in continued demand was shared by the all the speakers at the 2010 National Multi Housing Council’s Apartment Strategies Update and Finance Conference at the Peninsula Hotel this morning. However, they also agreed that job growth, lending and regulatory pressures need to improve.

While it’s true that heavily-distressed properties will continue to suffer, the upper and even the middle end of the multifamily market may possibly see double-digit rent growth in the next five years, said two presenters during an update on the economy and the apartment industry. “All the evidence points to a recovery,” said Hessam Nadji, managing director of Marcus & Millichap. “Clearly we are in much better shape, and that’s supported by numerous data points, such as the return of consumer spending. There’s still going to be problems, there’s still going to be workouts, but the biggest thing we have to fear is how we react to current nervousness,” he said.

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