The Keystone Report for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities was released recently, indicating the year is beginning on a high note for the area's multifamily sector stakeholders.

Permits were issued for 465 new units in the area during January, according to the organization, with almost two-thirds of them accounted for in five large multifamily construction projects. Located in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Hudson, Wisconsin, the projects pack a large number of units into relatively few buildings.

By comparison, January 2011 saw about 10 percent more permits issued than the 185 for the first month of 2012, but the number of units being constructed now is more than double the number contained in those properties.

Of the projects, three are in Minneapolis. Those contain a total of about 177 units, while St. Paul and Hudson each has a single structure with about 44. Builders Association president Curt Christensen indicated local stakeholders are optimistic about the future.

Rental property management companies in the area may be better able to take advantage of the opportunities that come with such expansion if they can provide online leasing and other services that improve efficiency.