Houston Apartment Forecast

The apartment picture in Houston improved greatly in the past quarter, with Hurricane Katrina evacuees filling up many vacancies. It remains to be seen whether that temporary shot in the arm will continue.

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Prior to the hurricanes, apartment vacancies were considered too high by O'Connor & Associates, largely due to overbuilding and the lower homebuying costs. Stacy Hunt with Greystar says there's a concern over what will happen over the next four or five months, as evacuees return to Louisiana.

Hunt says job growth continues to be the key to apartment occupancy. Hunt says there's been concern among apartment managers about ensuring that FEMA's 12-month voucher commitment for evacuees will be honored.

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