(Edited from AP) Statistics released recently by the local real estate industry indicate Portland’s apartment and condominium market may be the first sector in the metro area to turn around.

The city’s multifamily vacancy rate was 4.1 percent for the second quarter of 2010, down almost an entire percentage point from the first quarter of the year, according to NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson.

(Edited from AP) Statistics released recently by the local real estate industry indicate Portland’s apartment and condominium market may be the first sector in the metro area to turn around.

The city’s multifamily vacancy rate was 4.1 percent for the second quarter of 2010, down almost an entire percentage point from the first quarter of the year, according to NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson.

It’s the first time in two years that rental rates have risen. But before anyone will consider the uptick a full recovery, local brokers say there needs to be more job growth and some new projects in the pipeline.

Even though unemployment has remained high this year, positive in-migration, distrust in homeownership and accustomation with the recession have boded well for the multifamily market. According to Portland State University’s Population Research Center, the city is gaining approximately 21,000 people a year.

The positive rental trends are helping close the gap between those looking to sell multifamily properties and those looking to buy. While the year-to-date volume of sales is down 36 percent from a year ago, the deals that are getting done aren’t distressed sales, like most of the transactions over the past two years.

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