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HUD, Census Release Survey on Multifamily Housing Characteristics

The ""Census Bureau"":http://www.census.gov/ and ""HUD"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD released the results of its new 2012 Rental Housing Finance Survey, revealing that one in five American households live in multifamily rental buildings.

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The new survey builds on previously known information and collects data on property values and characteristics of residential structures as well as rental status, rental value, commercial use of space, an assessment of mortgage financing, and other aspects of multifamily housing.

HUD created the survey to address a ""gap in knowledge about who owns multifamily rental housing, how it is financed, and the financial health of the housing"" in the wake of the housing crisis, according to a release.

""Given that one-in-five families rent apartments in these multifamily properties, it's critically important we broaden our understanding of how these developments are bought and paid for,"" said Erika Poethig, HUD's deputy assistant secretary for policy development. ""The Rental Housing Finance Survey fills an important gap in our [COLUMN_BREAK]

understanding of who owns multifamily rental housing--mostly individuals, not large companies--and how multifamily rental housing is financed, especially as the structure of finance is changing.

""In light of recent changes in the availability of capital for rental housing, the Rental Housing Finance survey also provides important insight about the financial health and stability of multifamily housing properties,"" she added.

The survey, which was conducted in the winter and early spring of 2012, found that there are nearly 2.3 million multifamily rental properties in the United States, 67 percent of which are owned by households or individuals.

Among other findings: 1,337, or 59.4 percent, of multifamily rental properties examined in the survey have at least one mortgage. Among smaller properties (between 2-4 units), 54.4 percent have a mortgage, while nearly 85.0 percent of the largest properties (50 or more units) were financed with a mortgage.

The survey results also include mortgage terms, monthly payments, year of origination, and appraisal value.

With the survey's release, HUD says the rental apartment industry will be able to benchmark individual project performance against national data to help them make better business decisions.

""Multifamily rental housing is critical to solving the nation's affordable housing problems, and potential investors in the multifamily rental housing market will gain a better understanding of the ownership and financing structures of the industry with these data,"" HUD said in the release.

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