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Mortgage rates boost multifamily investments in Q1

Freddie Mac says low rates and high net operating income have bolstered investments

Falling mortgage rates have provided a welcome boost to the multifamily market, according to the latest report from Freddie Mac, which showed that multifamily investment rose in the first quarter of 2019.

Thanks to a decline in mortgage rates and an ongoing increase in net operating income, Freddie Mac's Multifamily Apartment Investment Market Index, or AIMI, rose 2.4% in Q1.

Freddie Mac's AIMI puts together rental income, property prices and mortgage rates to show investors how multifamily housing has changed over time.

Annually, the index's change remained at -2.9%, which Freddie attributed to rising rates throughout 2018 and the upward trajectory of property prices.

On a regional basis, net operating income increased in every market in Q1 except New York, the report showed. But nationwide, NOI growth has been nominal, totally only 0.5%. 

Phoenix saw the largest quarterly NOI growth at 3.2%, which is nearly three times higher than the next largest increase (San Francisco at 1.1%).

Property prices across the nation grew in all markets except Seattle, the report showed. Again, Phoenix performed far better than the rest.

“The story of the multifamily asset class throughout the past decade has been one of stability and strength, and AIMI continues to illustrate this,” said Steve Guggenmos, vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily Research and Modeling. "The index is down somewhat compared to this time last year, but overall AIMI shows a healthy market.”  

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