The National Association of Home Builders is seeing signs that the slump is over for the multifamily sector, the Washington-based trade association has reported.Citing its Multifamily Market Index, the NAHB said the component that gauges current market conditions for for-sale units jumped to 64.0 in the first quarter, up from 46.7 in the first quarter of 2003. The indexes gauging current market conditions for low-income and market-rate apartments both were "well above" their levels of a year earlier, at 49.4 and 48.1, respectively. The MMI is based on a quarterly survey of multifamily builders and property owners. "The evolving upswing in the job creation numbers bodes well for the multifamily sector," said David Seiders, the NAHB's chief economist. "Since job creation often leads to new household formation -- and new households often tend to be renters or first-time condo buyers -- it looks like there are better days ahead for the multifamily segment of the housing market." The NAHB can be found online at http://www.nahb.com.

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