Wednesday, April 30, 2014

U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to the Lowest Since 1995 via Bloomberg

The homeownership rate in the U.S. declined to the lowest in almost 19 years as rising property prices and mortgage rates held back demand.

The share of Americans who own their homes was 64.8 percent in the first quarter, down from 65.2 percent in the previous three months, the Census Bureau said in a report today. The rate is the lowest since the second quarter of 1995, when it was 64.7 percent.

Recovering home prices and mortgage rates that have climbed from near-record lows last May have put real estate out of reach for some would-be buyers.

Read more...U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to the Lowest Since 1995 - Bloomberg

Dallas is one of the top cities for recent college grads, study finds via Dallas Business Journal

Affordable housing options and higher median income are helping Dallas earn honors as one of the top cities in the nation for recent college graduates.

In a study conducted by NerdWallet, a website that helps consumers find financial, healthcare and airline services, the city ranked 17th in the nation based on criteria that included the presence of educated peers, income and affordability and strength of the local workforce.

“With graduation season coming up, we wanted to take a look at how where graduates live affects their availability of jobs and quality of life,” NerdWallet analyst Sreekar Jasthi said.

Read more...Dallas is one of the top cities for recent college grads, study finds - Dallas Business Journal

Apartment Towers Going Up; So Are Rents via Axiometrics

Major apartment markets such as Atlanta and Austin have new properties coming into the market that are not getting an A for affordability, according to Axiometrics’ just-released March 2014 Market Trends Report.

Those new developments are less affordable than they were in the previous cycle, according to a comparison of rent levels for new deliveries. The Axiometrics affordability scale assumes 100% of residents can afford the least expensive apartment’s rent per unit, while the unit with the highest rent per unit is the least affordable in the market.

Read more...Apartment Towers Going Up; So Are Rents

Texas Job Gains Outpace Nation via Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

The Texas economy gained 304,800 nonagricultural jobs from March 2013 to March 2014, an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent compared with 1.6 percent for the United States, according to the Real Estate Center’s latest Monthly Review of the Texas Economy.

The state’s nongovernment sector added 273,800 jobs, an annual growth rate of 3 percent compared with 2 percent for the nation’s private sector.

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent from 6.4 percent. The nation’s rate decreased from 7.5 to 6.7 percent.

Read more...Texas Job Gains Outpace Nation via Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cap-Rate Gap Between Older, Newer Properties Starts to Narrow via Multifamily Executive Magazine

Building age is a crucial factor in every investment decision, one of the first considerations when picking a core, value-add, or opportunistic strategy. After all, newer and older buildings come with different valuations, affecting investors’ preferences and investment opportunities throughout the cycle.

Yet, as the upturn matures, the gap between cap rates on newer and older buildings may be starting to narrow.

The price-per-unit and cap-rate data by building age (see chart) show how preferences for newer or older buildings have evolved over the last decade. Before the recession, between 2005 and 2007, the price-per-unit premium between newer and older properties went from about 40 percent to more than 60 percent.

Read more...Cap-Rate Gap Between Older, Newer Properties Starts to Narrow - Multifamily Executive Magazine

Austin ranked second-best city for millennials via Austin Business Journal

Austin ranked second on a list of best cities for millennials for its low rent, income and high numbers of adults under 34 years old, according to Niche Ink, a schools research website.

Austin was joined by other Texas cities, including Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 8 and Houston at No. 21.

Niche Ink used the U.S. Census American Community Survey to compile the list, basing its rankings off of population, median rent, median income, percentage of the population with at least a bachelor's degree, racial diversity and unemployment rate.

Read more...Austin ranked second-best city for millennials - Austin Business Journal

Class Does Matter—Especially with Portfolio Analysis via Axiometrics

Many people want the newest and shiniest things, be it cars, computers, handbags or golf clubs. The same holds true in the apartment industry, but sometimes older developments with a little wear and tear can bring good return for investors – and more affordable housing for residents.

Class A properties are the new and shiny developments and the driver of the industry as a whole. Axiometrics determines class level by the rents charged, so Class A units carry the highest rents and are attractive to higher-income tenants.

The consumers are the ones who determine the class level. They say, “I am willing to pay this much more to live here” because of location, amenities and other factors.

Read more...Class Does Matter—Especially with Portfolio Analysis

Axiometrics Report Highlights Apartment Rent Growth in March via Multi-Housing News Online

The national apartment market experienced a slight uptick in annual effective rent growth during March 2014, increasing at a rate of 3.1 percent, according to the monthly report by Axiometrics.

The increase marked the first time the annual rate climbed above 3 percent since September 2013. In February, the growth was 2.8 percent.

According to the report, the occupancy rate of 94.5 percent in March is an increase of 20 basis points from February and represents a leap of 45 basis points from January.

Read more...Axiometrics Report Highlights Apartment Rent Growth in March | Multi-Housing News Online

Monday, April 28, 2014

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey via Dallas Fed

Texas factory activity increased for the 12th month in a row in April, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 17.1 to 24.7, reaching its highest level in four years and indicating stronger output growth.

Some other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected more robust growth. The new orders index posted a four-year high, rising to 21.3. The capacity utilization index rose to a multiyear high as well, climbing from 13.1 to 18.7, with a third of manufacturers noting an increase. The shipments index fell 7 points to 12.4, indicating the volume of shipments grew but at a slower pace than in March.

Read more...Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey - Dallas Fed

Austin unemployment rate falls to 4.4 percent in March via Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

A surge in hiring has brought Austin's unadjusted unemployment rate to a low of 4.4 percent in March from 4.8 percent in February, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The drop in unemployment was driven mostly by hiring — employers added almost 10,000 new workers to the payroll, far outpacing growth in the labor force.

March's growth in the workforce of nearly 1 percent far outpaced the historical average for the month. Since 2000, Austin has averaged about 0.3 percent gains in employment through March.

Read more...Austin unemployment rate falls to 4.4 percent in March via Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

MF Occupancy Dips in Urban Core via GlobeSt.com

The steady pace of apartment deliveries in urban submarkets during 2013 has made inroads on occupancy in those submarkets as of this year’s first quarter, Axiometrics Inc. said Friday. Although the multifamily data firm noted an uptick in the occupancy rate nationally over the past two months, it’s expecting the erosion of occupancy in urban core submarkets to continue throughout the year.

“The occupancy decrease within these urban cores isn’t surprising, especially given the amount of new supply coming to the market,” says Jay Denton, VP of research with Dallas-based Axiometrics. “These submarkets will likely continue to see occupancy drop throughout 2014 in the face of increasing supply.”

Read more...MF Occupancy Dips in Urban Core - Daily News Article - GlobeSt.com

Friday, April 25, 2014

DFW Economic Indicators April 2014 via Dallas Fed

The Dallas–Fort Worth economy continued to expand in March. DFW employment grew 2.6 percent, faster than Texas and the U.S., which grew 0.9 percent and 1.7 percent during the month. Unemployment rates in both Dallas and Fort Worth edged down in March. The residential housing market remained healthy, with home inventories still declining and robust construction activity. The Dallas Fed business-cycle indexes posted increases, suggesting continued expansion for the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

Dallas–Fort Worth employment continued to increase in March but at a slower pace. Jobs grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in March, following more-robust growth of 4 percent in February. For the year, Dallas–Fort Worth has added 24,600 jobs—a 3.2 percent annualized pace.

Read more...DFW Economic Indicators April 2014 via Dallas Fed

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Upward Adjustment in Cap Rates? via GlobeSt.com

Rising interest rates and cap rate compression: how long can this continue? We’re hearing these questions a lot these days: “What is the 2014 outlook for cap rates and interest rates? When will cap rates start rising again?”

In an exclusive GlobeSt.com interview with Los Angeles-CBRE’s first vice presidents Alex Kozakov and Patrick Wade, who co-lead a retail investment sales team based in Downtown Los Angeles, the team commented on the continued compression of cap rates. “Cap rate compression while interest rates slowly continue to rise is a rare occurrence for commercial real estate,” the team says.

GlobeSt.com: Why are cap rates compressing as interest rates slowly rise?

Read more...Upward Adjustment in Cap Rates? - Daily News Article - GlobeSt.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Green Expectations: Sustainability is a Sought After Amenity for Apartment Communities via Property Management Insider

There is no question that our world is changing, and creating a domino effect on any and all industries. And the multifamily industry is no exception. The green tint of sustainability has enveloped the world, and companies and governments are heeding the calls for a better environment in which we work and play.

The multifamily industry has made significant strides to limit the uses of natural resources and offer eco-friendly living experiences, much to the satisfaction of younger renters who may even pay more for green living. The green-focused Gen Y renters and their habits continue to shape the multifamily market, requiring certain efforts be made. Today’s young professionals are far less consuming when it comes to natural resources than previous care-free generations. These are savvy young people looking to make an impact not only in their lives but also on their environment (and doing so while keeping their costs down).

Read more...Green Expectations: Sustainability is a Sought After Amenity for Apartment Communities | Property Management Insider

San Antonio Apartment Market Update March 2014 via oconnordata.com

Market Summary

Most key metrics of the San Antonio area multifamily sector recorded positive and negative changes in March 2014.

The occupancy figures recorded both positive and negative values for all the classes. For Class A properties, occupancy increased by 0.02% over the month to close at 91.91%; and decreased by 1.97% over the year. The largest increase on monthly basis was noted for Class C properties with an increase of 0.12%.

Read more...San Antonio Apartment Market Update March 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dallas/Ft. Worth Apartment Market Update March 2014 via oconnordata.com

Market Summary

The key metrics for the Dallas/Fort Worth area multifamily sector recorded significant changes both over the month and over the year.

Over the month all the classes recorded mostly upward in terms of occupancy. Class A properties recorded an increase of 0.12% over previous month. On a year-over-year basis Class A properties recorded a decrease of 0.58%. The largest monthly increase was noted for Class C properties, an increase of 0.32% over previous month. The largest annual increase was noted for Class D properties with an increase of 1.00%.

Read more...Dallas/Ft. Worth Apartment Market Update March 2014

Austin Apartment Market Update March 2014 via oconnordata.com

Market Summary

All metrics for the Austin area multifamily sector recorded both positive and negative changes in March 2014.

Occupancy figures recorded both positive and negative figures for the classes for the month. Class A properties reported a decrease of 0.11% over last month, and a decrease of 0.55% over last year. The largest increase over the month was and year was noted for Class B with an increase of 0.61% and 0.51% respectively.

Read more...Austin Apartment Market Update March 2014

Houston Apartment Market Update March 2014 via oconnordata.com

Market Summary

Key metrics for the Houston area multifamily sector recorded both positive and negative changes in March 2014.

Occupancy figures for the classes recorded both positive and negative changes over the month. Class A recorded an increase of 0.08% from previous month. The average went down by 0.77% over the year for Class A properties. The largest annual increase was noted for Class C properties with an average increase of 2.71% to close at 89.78%.

Read more...Houston Apartment Market Update March 2014

ALN Monthly Newsletter April 2014 via ALN Apartment Data

ALN Data just released their March 2014 stats on occupancy and rents for 23 markets. In Texas, it includes DFW, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene and Corpus Christi. It is a must read from a great provider of apartment data.

Read more...ALN Monthly Newsletter April 2014 via ALN Apartment Data

Texas adds more than 8,000 jobs in March via Dallas Business Journal

Texas added 8,300 jobs in March, bringing its yearly total to 67,290, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

The figure is down from February’s job creation total of 67,290, but contributes to an annualized 2.1 percent growth. Texas jobs grew at a 2.3 percent rate in 2013.

Read more...Texas adds more than 8,000 jobs in March - Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dallas Beige Book April 16, 2014 via Dallas Fed

The Eleventh District economy grew at a moderate pace over the last six weeks. Most manufacturers noted an increase in demand, although there were also reports of flat or slightly decreased activity. Retail and automobile sales increased and were above year-ago levels. Demand reports from nonfinancial services firms were mixed, but contacts were universally positive in their outlooks. Housing demand remained robust and home prices rose further. Loan demand grew at a slower pace than in the previous report. In the energy sector, oilfield services activity was robust and drilling increased, while drought conditions continued to negatively impact the agriculture sector. Price increases were noted in certain industries, but most contacts said prices were stable. Employment was flat to up slightly, with some reports of higher wages. Overall, industry outlooks were slightly more positive than six weeks ago.

Read more...Dallas Beige Book - Dallas Fed

Resident Retention Tips: 3 Steps to Successful Service Recovery via Property Management Insider

OOPS! Our Mistake is Your Gift!

These six words printed on a beautiful card a friend of mine received from a stationery company when they messed up her custom order. Along with the card, she received two free packages of monogramed stationery and a discount on her original order.

As well intentioned as we often are in business, we all make mistakes. We underestimate, over analyze, forget, fall short, under plan, and fail. And no matter how hard we try, there’s always one time, some time, when we miss the target and get it all wrong with the customer or resident.

In order to right the wrong, we must jump into service recovery mode—especially if we want to be successful property managers.

Read more...Resident Retention Tips: 3 Steps to Successful Service Recovery | Property Management Insider

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monthly Review of Texas Economy, March 2014 -- Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

The Texas economy gained 301,500 nonagricultural jobs from February 2013 to February 2014, an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent compared with 1.5 percent for the United States (Table 1 and Figure 1). The state’s nongovernment sector added 264,100 jobs, an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent compared with 1.9 percent for the nation’s private sector (Table 1).

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent in February 2014 from 6.5 percent in February 2013. The nation’s rate decreased from 7.7 to 6.7 percent (Table 1).

Read more...Monthly Review of Texas Economy, March 2014 -- Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

APARTMENT MARKET STATISTICS: March 2014 via Multi-Housing News Online

Multifamily lending by banks increased by $8.1 billion during the third quarter of 2013, according to Chandan Economics.

Meanwhile, housing starts in buildings with five or more units rose by 26.0 percent to 354,000 units over the month of November 2013, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). November 2013 marks the first month since June 2013 that real rental prices did not rise, says NAHB.

Over the past 12 months that ended in November 2013, the median condo and coop sales price rose by 10.0 percent to $197,400, stated NAHB.

Read more...APARTMENT MARKET STATISTICS: March 2014 | Multi-Housing News Online

Austin’s Apartment Market is Entering Uncharted Territory via Property Management Insider

For the first time in more than two decades, Austin’s apartment sector is expected to see big growth in both the local economy and in new apartment supply. In previous periods of big job growth, new supply has been limited. And in previous new supply booms, job growth has disappeared. So how much can Austin’s projected economic growth cushion the apartment sector from the effects of a 20-year peak in new development?

Outside of the sexy six apartment markets, few metros are as sought after by investors and developers as Austin. And right now Austin is booming. Never before in two decades has Austin seen this many apartments set to complete with this many projected new jobs.

Austin is currently experiencing a 20-year high when it comes to apartment construction. At the peak, nearly 17,000 units were under construction, a number that will expand the apartment base by 7.3% when it’s all built.

Read more...Austin’s Apartment Market is Entering Uncharted Territory | Property Management Insider

CMBS Defaults Hit Four-Year Low - Daily News Article via GlobeSt.com

By one metric, US CMBS last year saw its best performance since before the capital markets crisis. Fitch Ratings said Monday that the annual default rate for securitized commercial mortgages fell to 0.9% in 2013, the lowest level since 2008.

The default rate last year was 26% lower than in 2012 and down 75% from the peak in 2010. “The broader commercial real estate markets are stabilizing and healthy new CMBS issuance volume is providing ample liquidity,” says Mary MacNeill, managing director at Fitch. New issuance levels for conduit loans hit a five-year high, thus allowing many loans to refinance, Fitch says.

Read more...CMBS Defaults Hit Four-Year Low - Daily News Article - GlobeSt.com

Friday, April 11, 2014

Texas Economic Indicators April 2014 via Dallas Fed

The Texas economy continues to expand, with employment growing at a 3.1 percent annual rate in February. Texas single-family construction permits and existing-home sales increased in February, while housing starts declined. Texas exports ticked up in January. March manufacturing activity increased at a stronger pace than in February, according to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.

Texas gained 28,700 jobs in February after adding 25,800 jobs in January. Current Texas employment stands at 11.37 million, according to the payroll survey (CES).

Read more...Texas Economic Indicators April 2014 via Dallas Fed

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Houston Economic Update April 2014 via Dallas Fed

The Houston Business-Cycle Index accelerated slightly to a 5.2 percent growth rate in February from an already robust 5.1 percent rate in January. The oil and gas industry posted strong job gains, and industry fundamentals remain healthy. Refining and plastics continue to perform well, and overall labor market conditions remain positive. Taken together, these indicators continue to imply healthy economic conditions in Houston.

Houston payroll employment grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent from January to February. Gains were particularly strong in the construction and mining, and financial activities industries, with the latter ending a six-month streak of consecutive losses. Health care drove the education and health category down in February, though manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities also registered losses. Over the three months ending in February, employment grew at an annualized rate of 3 percent.

Read more...Houston Economic Update April 2014 via Dallas Fed

San Antonio Economic Update March 2014 via Dallas Fed

San Antonio saw solid economic growth in the first two months of 2014, with most industries reporting moderate to strong gains in employment. Unemployment fell to 5.3 percent in January but climbed to 5.5 percent in February, though it remains below the 5.7 percent state average. Housing was strong as new construction, permits and home listings rose and home sales remained steady.

The San Antonio Business-Cycle Index accelerated in recent months, picking up from a mild slowing through October 2013. Strong recent job growth and a general fall in the unemployment rate have propelled the gains in the index.

Read more...San Antonio Economic Update March 2014 via Dallas Fed

Affordable Housing Community Cuts Energy Costs by 20% with Help of Fannie Mae’s Green Program via Property Management Insider

With a housing property more than four decades old in need of renovation, LINC Housing Corporation realized an opportunity to reach deep into its bag of green retrofits.

The non-profit housing provider, which is no stranger to sustainable living, learned in 2012 how to work with public utilities and government funding to cover much of the costs of a major rehab project and add an eco-friendly twist that is paying dividends. LINC Housing has transformed City Gardens Apartment Homes in Santa Ana, Calif., into a model for how multifamily portfolios can save big on energy and utility costs.

Read more...Affordable Housing Community Cuts Energy Costs by 20% with Help of Fannie Mae’s Green Program | Property Management Insider

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Austin or Bust: America's Biggest Cities Lose People to the Urban B-List via Businessweek

As a professional thirtysomething who has lived in both New York and Los Angeles, I sometimes feel as if everyone I know is hatching plans to flee to somewhere less expensive, less massive, less hectic, and—again for good measure—less expensive. I know people who have moved in recent years from Los Angeles to Charlotte, from Boston to Durham, from New York to Seattle, from the Bay Area to Denver. Thanks to new U.S. Census data, I now know I am not going crazy. The flight to second-tier cities is thriving.

Fresh numbers released late last month give the 2013 population estimates for metro areas. The fastest growth came in regions that host fracking boom towns and retiree meccas, but those areas still have relatively small populations. If you look at the 52 metro areas with more than a million residents, however, the biggest increase in domestic migration from 2010 to 2013 drew newcomers to America’s second-tier cities. Below are the 20 fastest-growing large metros. Only three—Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta—are among the national top 10 by population size.

Read more...Austin or Bust: America's Biggest Cities Lose People to the Urban B-List - Businessweek

The Top 6 Cities for Apartment Demand via Property Management Insider

There’s an argument to be made that a key component of opportunity in the apartment sector reflects simply getting in front of a huge wave of demand. If that’s your strategy, you certainly won’t be the only game in town, since lots of companies target the big demand centers for both acquisitions and development. But combining the right property in the right neighborhood with strong operational skill certainly can yield impressive performance results in a setting that is quite crowded with competitors.

For firms concentrating on big-time overall demand potential, six apartment markets across the country stand head-and-shoulders above their counterparts in terms of current momentum.

Read more...The Top 6 Cities for Apartment Demand | Property Management Insider

Growing demand for apartments pushes up rents via USAToday.com

These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much.

With demand for apartments surging, rents are projected to rise for a fifth straight year. Even a rise in apartment construction is unlikely to provide much relief anytime soon.

That bodes well for building owners and their investors. Yet the landlord-friendly trends will likely further strain the finances of many renters.

Read more...Growing demand for apartments pushes up rents

Friday, April 4, 2014

Top Multifamily Metros | The Balance Sheet - Yardi Corporate Blog

Are we on the path back to the good old days of booming prosperity in real estate? Any step forward is a step in the right directimetrosgrowthon. Explore the top ten hottest metropolitan areas that are leading the surge in multifamily unit construction.

Washington, D.C. The population rose by about 10 percent from 2000-2012. While job growth is a contributor, reverse sprawl has suburbanites returning to the city. A blend of Baby Boomers and Millennials are taking up residence downtown. These new tenants are drawn to the conveniences of pedestrian-friendly living.

Dallas The city seems unstoppable. Dallas continues to be a leader in population growth, now estimated to grow at 345 people per day or nearly one person every four minutes. Jones Lang LaSalle suggests that the Dallas-Fort Worth population will reach 9 million people in the next 16 years. Job growth in the financial services sector attracts talent to the city.

Read more...Top Multifamily Metros | The Balance Sheet - Yardi Corporate Blog

Rising Big-City Income Inequality Presents Challenges to Apartment Development via Property Management Insider

A growing movement to the urban core means new opportunities for the apartment industry, but recent data suggests that the pool of denizens who have the money to attract developers looking to jump into the market isn’t keeping pace.

A Brookings Institution study and data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in 2012 income inequality in big cities exceeded the national average. The reasons for the widening gap are not attributed everywhere to increased wealth among the already rich – in most cities the 95th-percentile incomes declined from 2007-12. But, the bottom line is that the big-city rich got richer and the big-city poor became poorer in the 50 largest cities.

Read more...Rising Big-City Income Inequality Presents Challenges to Apartment Development | Property Management Insider

DFW's hot apartment market fueling rental hikes via Dallas Business Journal

Dallas-Fort Worth continues to lead the nation in supply and demand of apartments based on the growing number of jobs in the region that have fueled a marked jump in rental rates.

By North Texas adding 82,800 jobs in the year-ending in February, the demand for apartments has fueled a rental growth of 3.7 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, which is the biggest increase in the past seven quarters, according to recently released data from Carrollton-based MPF Research.

Read more...DFW's hot apartment market fueling rental hikes - Dallas Business Journal

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Future of Apartment Cap Rates via Multifamily Executive Magazine

You know the story: Cap rates are at historically low levels and apartment values have been enjoying the ride. But is the fun about to end?

Have you invested in an apartment property over the past four years? If you have, there’s a really high probability that it’s gone up in value since you purchased it.

During this time, valuations for apartments across the country have been on an upward trajectory, driving down cap rates to levels last seen in 2005. In many cases and markets, cap rates are now at historically low levels. But with construction ramping up, the property market cycle maturing, and interest rates on the rise, many are now wondering if cap rates have bottomed and will head upward over the next few years.

Read more...The Future of Apartment Cap Rates - Multifamily Executive Magazine

Multifamily ENERGY STAR® Rating System Set to Debut This Year via Property Management Insider

The multifamily housing industry likely won’t have to wait much longer for properties, no matter their age and type, to get an ENERGY STAR® score.

What has only been available to new multifamily construction, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR energy rating system will soon include existing installations within the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool by late summer or early fall this year.

Read more...Multifamily ENERGY STAR® Rating System Set to Debut This Year | Property Management Insider

Foreign Investments in U.S. Commercial Real Estate | the Blog of the Real Estate Center

Why is the U.S. dollar strong? Why is the ten-year Treasury rate at 2.7 percent, even when the tapering operation is underway? Why are cap rates for commercial real estate still compressing? The answer to these three questions could be that while the United States has its problems, it’s still the prettiest pig at the trough. Where else are you going to invest your money?

Remember the BRIC countries? For several years, that was the ubiquitous investment theme. Brazil, Russia, India and China. Money rolled into these countries. Exchange-traded funds and mutual funds were launched. America was viewed as the slow-growth option. The future was brighter in the BRICs.

What a difference a few years can make.

Read more...Foreign Investments in U.S. Commercial Real Estate | the Blog of the Real Estate Center

Reis: Apartment Vacancy Rate declined to 4.0% in Q1 2014 via Calculated Risk

Reis reported that the apartment vacancy rate declined in Q1 to 4.0% from 4.2% in Q4 2013. In Q1 2013 (a year ago) the vacancy rate was at 4.4%, and the rate peaked at 8.0% at the end of 2009.

Some data and comments from Reis Senior Economist Ryan Severino:
Vacancy declined by 20 basis points during first quarter to 4.0%, a slight improvement over last quarter’s 10 basis point decline. Over the last twelve months the national vacancy rate has declined by 40 basis points, more or less the same pace as the last few quarters. Demand for apartments remains strong four years after the recovery began while inclement weather had a negative impact on construction activity. The national vacancy rate now stands 400 basis points below the cyclical peak of 8.0% observed right after the recession concluded in late 2009.

Read more...Calculated Risk: Reis: Apartment Vacancy Rate declined to 4.0% in Q1 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

U.S. Apartment Fundamentals Continue to Hold Steady in Q1 2014 via Property Management Insider

Newly released data shows the U.S. apartment sector continues to post strong fundamentals even as new supply levels ramp up – with occupancy registering around 95% and annual rent growth around 3% for the seventh consecutive quarter. If there are any surprises, it’s that rent growth levels haven’t slipped – and in fact, they’ve jumped in some key spots with significant levels of apartment development.

Read more...U.S. Apartment Fundamentals Continue to Hold Steady in Q1 2014 | Property Management Insider

Real estate's red-hot category: Apartments via CNBC

A lull in the single-family housing recovery this winter made for a surprise comeback in a sector thought to be overbuilt and overblown: multifamily real estate investment trusts (REITs).

After struggling throughout much of 2013, apartment REITs returned a striking 12.75 percent, making this sector of commercial real estate the most profitable for the first quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. Overall, equity REITs were up just over 7 percent for the quarter.

Read more...Real estate's red-hot category: Apartments

MARKET SNAPSHOT: San Antonio Apartment Market Report via Multi-Housing News Online

San Antonio is considered one of the more stable cities in the country, only slightly touched by the Great Recession. It is thought to be a great city to live and raise families in because of its low taxes, fair legal system, educated workforce and attractiveness to new businesses.

Marcus & Millichap reports on the city reflect an economy that is on the rise, in great part due to the employment boost given by oil-field service companies. The Eagle Ford Shale area is a great provider, even more so since Halliburton Co. opened its 150-acre, 400,000-square-feet operation center; they alone announced 1,000 job openings in 2013. The oil industry triggered a second round of employment in adjacent industries such as health, education and government. Among the major employers of the northern region there are the University of Texas at San Antonio, USAA and the Medical Center District; they are, in fact, part of the reason for the projected 65,000 new households between 2012 and 2017.

Read more...MARKET SNAPSHOT: San Antonio Apartment Market Report | Multi-Housing News Online

Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey 3-31-14 via Dallas Fed

Texas factory activity increased for the eleventh month in a row in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, rose from 10.8 to 17.1, indicating output grew at a stronger pace than in February.

Other measures of current manufacturing activity also reflected more robust growth. The new orders index rose to a nine-month high of 14.7, with nearly a third of manufacturers noting an increase in demand and less than a fifth noting a decrease. The shipments index rose from 13.3 to 19.5, posting its strongest reading in nearly four years. The capacity utilization index rose as well, climbing four points to 13.1.

Read more...Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey - Dallas Fed

Should You Require Residents to Have Renters Insurance? via Appfolio.com

Requiring residents to carry renters insurance is one of the most valuable property management levers that you have at your disposal. Unfortunately, a recent Insurance Information Institute (III) poll indicates a major discrepancy in the number of homeowners that have insurance at 96 percent compared to an estimated 35 percent of tenants who had renters insurance in 2013.

Inform and Empower Residents by Encouraging Renters Insurance

We all know that most anything can occur anytime – so why is there so much tenant hesitancy to invest in renters insurance? The core of the quandary is likely lack of knowledge on behalf of the tenant, many of whom believe that the contents of their abode are covered by your property insurance policy, which, as property managers know, is not the case.

Read more...Should You Require Residents to Have Renters Insurance?

Texas Employment Update 4-1-2014 via Dallas Fed

The Texas economy continued to expand in February; the state added 28,700 jobs. Year to date, Texas has gained 54,500 jobs. (Table 1).

Read more...Texas Employment Update - Dallas Fed