Is Home Appreciation a Thing of the Past?

As foreclosures continue to extend the housing crisis, putting more people into rentals, rental vacancy has dropped, and with building costs holding steady, more apartments are being built to meet the demand. Multifamily housing starts in January, including apartments and townhouses, ramped up 78 percent over the previous month, the highest since a year ago. Home ownership dropped from 69.2 percent in 2004 to 66.5 percent at the end of 2010. Each percent point equals 1.1 million households. According to Bloomberg News, one realtor said home-price appreciation is a thing of the past, and that capital is heading to multifamily units. The Bloomberg REIT Apartment Index rose 46.5 percent over the year ending Feb. 17, compared to the Standard & Poor 500 Index, which increased 22 percent (excluding dividends).

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