NAHB’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI) reached 54 in the third quarter, four points below the previous quarter’s reading. This is the 11th consecutive quarter with a reading of 50 or above.
The MPI measures builder and developer sentiment about current conditions in the apartment and condominium market on a scale of 0 to 100. The index and all of its components are scaled so that any number over 50 indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse.
The MPI provides a composite measure of three key elements of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental and condos. Although all three components fell from 2014 peaks in the second quarter, all remain at 50 or above: The MPI component tracking low-rent units dipped one point to 51, market-rate rental units fell four points to 64 and for-sale units dropped six points to 50.
The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, rose three points to 41, with higher numbers indicating higher vacancies. After peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009, the MVI improved consistently through 2010 and has been fairly stable since 2011.
Historically, the MPI and MVI have performed well as leading indicators of U.S. Census figures for multifamily starts and vacancy rates, providing information on likely movement in the Census figures one to three quarters in advance.
For data tables on the MPI and MVI, visit www.nahb.org/mms.