The brisk market for rental apartments continued to progress during the third quarter of 2015. Completions of privately financed, unsubsidized, unfurnished rental apartments in buildings with over five units reached 298,500 residences for the four-quarter period ending with the third quarter of 2015, according to data compiled by the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. National Association of Home Builders economist Robert Dietz analyzes historical completions and absorption rates for rental apartments and condominiums, and shares his thought in a blog post. Dietz writes,
Non-seasonally adjusted three-month absorption rates (units rented after construction of the property is complete) for third quarter completions (rented during the fourth quarter of 2015) were effectively unchanged from a year prior at 63%. Absorption rates for rental apartments rose coming out of the recession but have established an approximate range around 60% since 2011, a period during which completions have increased substantially.
In contrast, condo and co-op completions remain near historically low levels, with 3,800 for-sale multifamily homes (in 5+ unit properties) completed during the third quarter of 2015. The non-seasonally adjusted 3-month absorption rate for for-sale multifamily (for condos completed during the third quarter and sold during the final quarter of 2015) declined to 52% as production posted a small increase.