Depending on who you talk to - the New Mexico Apartment Association, or Todd Clarke, CCIM, CB Grubb & Ellis|Lewinger Hamilton - apartment occupancy rates are either 86% or 90.8%.  Whichever number you believe for the third quarter of 1999, both reports note that occupancy trends are up.  "Part of the upswing of this quarter is seasonal," says Clarke

"People come back to school." Steven English, CEO of the Apartment Association, says that the rest of the increase can be attributed to the change in mortgage interest rates.  "This population is very sensitive to interest rate changes, and the past year's low rates made home ownership swell.  That's slowed down, and that pent-up home ownership demand appears to have been satisfied,"  says English. 

English and Clarke also concur that the number of units built is slowing down.  In 1999 there were 1599 units build.  In 1998, 682 were built, while in '96 and '97 there were 1,082 and 1,930, respectively.  Clarke suspects that of the proposed 996 units for next year, only 600 will be approved by the city and built.  "We are in recovery mode," says English. __BD

Apartment Occupancy Up


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NEW MEXICO BUSINESS WEEKLY  -              Week of October 25th, 1999          - One Dollar