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Apartment building is back in Los Angeles

April 20, 2012|By Pat Benson and Nancy Rivera Brooks

You might have noticed that the cranes are back. 

Real estate editor Nancy Rivera Brooks explains that's because commercial real estate is making a comeback in Southern California as developers break ground for offices, warehouses and stores.

But the star of the show is apartment construction, with several new projects on track that will deliver more than 6,000 units this year in Los Angeles County, experts say.

There are several reasons for the rebound.

Land is relatively cheap these days, and interest rates are near historic lows.

On the demographic front, demand for apartments is rising because people in their 20s and 30s are finding jobs again, getting married and looking to move out of their parents' basement.

Others hit by the housing bust have lost their homes and need to rent because their credit isn't good enough to buy another house. Still others are stalling homeownership until they're sure home prices won't fall anymore.

This increased demand comes after years of little apartment construction, creating a window of opportunity for developers that could last at least two years, experts say.

For full details, read our commercial real estate quarterly report this Sunday at


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