The National Association of Home Builders says the stable economy and housing market has improved the outlook for building and renting new apartments.

Demand for rental housing is benefiting from an influx of young households, immigrants, empty nesters and people looking for apartments in urban settings, according to the organization. NAHB is projecting 335,000 multifamily housing starts this year, about the same number of units that were built in 1999.

Demand for rental apartments is also holding up, with a typical new apartment building approaching 70 percent occupancy within 90 days of completion. The organization also projects that the number of young households - people aged 20-29 who are moving into the rental market for the first time - will increase by nearly 5 million between now and 2010, and will account for 13.6 percent of the nation's population.