The availability of debt funding for multifamily properties went down significantly in July, according to the National Multi Housing Council's multifamily industry survey.The multifamily industry trade association reported that its debt-financing index dropped from 54 in April to 26 in July. According to the Washington-based NMHC, this may be a low point for the index unless lenders continue to restrict credit further. "While debt financing conditions took a turn for the worse, equity capital remains abundant," said Mark Obrinsky, the association's chief economist. "If current conditions remain in place, highly leveraged private buyers may lose their place to REITs and institutional investors who rely more heavily on equity financing." The survey was conducted July 23-30, with a respondent pool comprising 80 chief executive officers and other senior executives in the multifamily industry nationwide who also serve on the NMHC's board of directors or advisory committee. The council can be found online at http://www.nmhc.org.

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