The U.S. apartment sector continues to show signs of improvement, despite an otherwise anemic housing sector rife with weak demand and high foreclosure rates. According to the latest National Multi Housing Council's Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions, multifamily apartment housing continued to grow across all regions. "In the face of an unprecedented virtual shutdown of development, the apartment market continues its strong recovery as developers play catch-up to the growing demand for rental housing," said NMHC chief economist Mark Obrinsky. "Investors continue to view apartments as a preferred asset class in today's environment." Long-term demographic changes also continue to favor rental housing. However, Obrinsky added, analysts expect the pace of growth in transaction activity to slow somewhat over the next few months. Development activity showed gains in most markets in the last quarter, with just over half of respondents - 53 percent - reporting an uptick in land acquisition, financing, and building permits. Earlier this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that despite recent improvements in employment, the economy is not likely to show a full recovery without substantial gains in housing.