The current shortfall of 2.5 million apartment units in the U.S. is the largest in 50 years, according to NAREIT. This dynamic is the result of little construction coupled with high demand for apartment units. Demand is growing quickly, NAREIT also notes. The normal rate of household formation slowed considerably during the recession, creating an unmet demand of about 2 million households, "about three times what it has been in previous business cycles," said Calvin Schnure, vice president of research and industry information at NAREIT.
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