As reported in the NREI, investors interested in multi-family housing have a strong market building.  The study cited focussed on the housing market slowdown in Southeastern cities, and how several factors are contributing to the favorable market for apartment owners.

The increase in mortgage rates is one factor that is slowing the residential purchase boom, and is consequently encouraging families to rent.

Another trend that I’ve seen in full force in the Richmond market is the effect of the numerous condo-conversions taking place simultaneously.

Another trend line that apartment investors should watch closely is
conversion activity, which has added strength to the rental market by
eliminating inventory. If the first quarter was any indication, the
conversion slowdown that began last October has carried into 2006: Reis
Inc. reports that roughly 30,000 apartment properties were converted
into condos during the fourth quarter of 2005, down from 50,000 in the
third quarter.

In effect, the slowdown of residential sales can be turned to the advantage of the wise investor.  Be on the lookout for good deals on rental units!