Associated Estates Realty Corp. Bullish on Apartment Biz

In a Wall Street Journal story on Associated Estates Realty Corp.’s aggressive moves in the apartment sector, it’s CEO was quoted as saying:

“I don’t recall ever being more optimistic about the apartment sector,” said Jeffrey Friedman, longtime chief executive of the company, based in suburban Cleveland.

From the same story we find a note of caution from industry analysts:

Analysts caution that, if the economy takes a nose-dive, the apartment sector will suffer with falling rents and occupancy levels.

That would likely depress the share price of Associated and other apartment-building owners.

But the apartment sector so far has been one of the strongest in commercial real estate, thanks in part to the millions of would-be homeowners deciding to rent.

In the third quarter, the national vacancy rate fell to 5.6% from 7.1% a year earlier, according to Reis Inc. That is the lowest rate since 2006.