Category: Real Estate

Market Monitor: Six Top Multifamily Metros

Take a look at how multifamily is faring in Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

With data and insight from RealPage as well as Hanley Wood’s Metrostudy and Meyers Research, the Multifamily Executive staff takes a deep dive into the state of housing in six of the nation’s top metropolitan areas for multifamily activity: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Miami, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., which includes its surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

The following reports offer some insight as to how the markets will fare in 2020. Each one is chock-full of data, from building activity to average rents. Consistent across all six of these markets are job growth and strong local economies, which are positive signs for the apartment market.

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U.S. Tightens Rules for Foreign Deals’ Security Risk Reviews

The new rules will have an increased focus on real estate transactions.

(Bloomberg)—The Trump administration on Monday issued long-awaited rules that will intensify scrutiny of foreign investment in U.S. companies.

The final regulations, which will go into effect on Feb. 13, put teeth in a 2018 law that expanded the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or Cfius, to examine national security risks posed by foreign deals. More cross-border transactions will now be subject to reviews by the inter-agency panel, exposing a greater number of deals to the risk of rejection by the U.S. government.

“These regulations strengthen our national security and modernize the investment review process,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “They also maintain our nation’s open investment policy by encouraging investment in American businesses and workers, and by providing clarity and certainty regarding the types of transactions that are covered.”

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Buying A Home Is More Affordable Than Renting In 53 Percent Of U.S. Housing Markets

Renting More Affordable Mainly in Suburban and Urban Counties; Home Price Gains Outpacing Wages in 66 Percent of U.S. Markets

IRVINE, Calif. – Jan. 9, 2020 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its 2020 Rental Affordability Report, which shows that owning a median-priced, three-bedroom home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 455, or 53 percent, of the 855 U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

However, the analysis shows a split between different-sized markets, with ownership more affordable mainly in lightly populated counties and renting more affordable in more populous suburban or urban areas.

The analysis incorporated recently released fair market rent data for 2020 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with public record sales deed data from ATTOM Data Solutions in 855 U.S. counties with sufficient home sales data (see full methodology below).

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Here’s where rent prices surged – and where they didn’t – in 2019

Nationally, cost of rent went up 4.1% for one-bedroom units

As 2019 saw historically low vacancy rates among multifamily housing, it also led to a rising cost of rent, too.

According to realtor.com, a report from Abodo said rental prices went up in 38 states, including Washington, D.C., in 2019. In the other 12 states, the cost of rent actually fell, but only slightly.

Nationally, median rents for one-bedroom units went up 4.1%, making monthly rent $1,078 at the end of 2019.

Prices for two-bedroom units went up 5.5%, making monthly rent $1,343.

In 2019, multifamily occupancy rates reached as high as 96.3%. The demand of multifamily housing keeps rising, as home prices are also continuing to climb.

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Lenders Enter 2020 Willing to Fund New Apartment Construction

Lower interest rates are helping offset rising labor and materials costs and helping sustain apartment construction levels.

As fears of a possible recession and overbuilding in the multifamily sector diminish, lenders are showing they still have an appetite for financing construction projects. The availability of mezzanine loans and lower interest rates are helping fuel this activity and helping to offset rising construction costs.

Even if the economy shrinks sometime in 2020 or 2021, multifamily pros believe demand for apartments is still strong enough to prevent major damage to apartment properties in most markets—even with the thousands of new apartments recently opened by developers across the country. “There is clear evidence that multifamily is the asset class best equipped to weather a downturn,” says David G. Shillington, president of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp., based in Atlanta, pointing to overall fundamentals in the sector that remain healthy.

“Occupancy rates continue to stay steady in the face of new supply,” adds Bill Leffler, senior vice president of equity and structured finance for CBRE, based in based Atlanta. “The strong economic conditions, job creation and population increases (in the southeast) still fill up the new product hitting the market.”

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Banks Focus CRA Dollars on Affordable Housing

The banks see the affordable and workforce housing sectors as steady investments.

Banks provide more than $100 billion in capital each year to low and moderate-income communities as part of their Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) investing requirements. Increasingly, they are focusing those dollars on supporting affordable housing projects.

“As a regulated institution, we are required for CRA purposes to make these types of community development investments, but we are really passionate and purposeful about impacting our communities,” says Keitt King, head of Truist Community Capital. Truist is the new entity from the recent merger of SunTrust and BB&T. “I like to think we would be doing this at Truist whether the regulators required this of us or not. We see it as good business, and an opportunity to build our communities.”

Prior to its merger with BB&T, SunTrust had announced a $60 billion community benefit plan that Truist will now be executing over the next three years. Part of that commitment includes a $3.6 billion commitment to CRA eligible investments.

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Eight Predictions for the Industrial Sector in 2020

Industrial properties have been highly sought-after by investors for the past several years. Will that trend continue in 2020?

New project deliveries, continued cannabis legalization, a decline in manufacturing, faster e-commerce deliveries and the upcoming presidential election will all have an impact on the U.S. industrial sector in 2020, experts say. Here are eight predictions for the industrial sector in the new year:

1. The rush to cannabis production will likely accelerate in 2020, as more states legalize marijuana for recreational use, attracting investors to the higher returns cannabis-related real estate provides compared to more traditional property types, according to Chuck Taylor, director of operations for Englewood Construction, which collaborates with cannabis firms on cultivation and dispensary projects.
2. Demand for “last mile” warehouse space will continue to grow in 2020, as consumers demand same-day and next-day delivery and retailers intensify their delivery efforts to complete with e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, says Nat Kunes, senior vice president of investment management at AppFolio, a property software firm. As a result, he expects to see conversion of traditional retail space to distribution facilities.

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Multifamily Finance Experts Discuss 2020 Outlook

Borrowers still must pay attention to potential recession and macro trends.

As housing demand continues to surge across the nation, finance leaders are predicting that capital will continue to flow for both affordable and market-rate multifamily deals in 2020.

“There is a lot of capital in the multifamily lending space for both market-rate and affordable financing,” says Rich Martinez, senior vice president of multi-family production and sales at Freddie Mac. “We expect the markets to be as strong and robust as they have been in the past several years.”

Hal Collett, managing director of Federal Housing Administration and affordable lending at PGIM Real Estate Finance, agrees. “The interest rate environment has been incredible. It has played a large role in keeping us at a level to continue to spur business in a large way,” he says. “All indications are that we will continue to have a strong environment.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association forecasts record commercial and multifamily mortgage originations and multifamily lending for 2020.

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Will the U.S. Industrial Sector Feel Any Impact from Phase I of the Trade Deal?

The first part of the trade deal with China is expected to be signed in a week, resolving some uncertainty around trade issues.

The Trump Administration is expected to sign a trade deal with China on January 15, a development that is expected to help farmers, electronics producers and financial services firms. However, 25 percent tariffs will remain on $370 billion in goods, including parts used in manufacturing and construction materials.

Although the administration has repeatedly claimed the tariffs are being paid by China, a New York Federal Reserve study confirmed what many tariff-opponents have argued from the start–that the tariffs are simply being passed through by importers and costing Americans an estimated $40 billion annually.

The new trade deal will eliminate a proposed 5 percent tariff hike on $250 billion in Chinese-made cell phones, laptops and toys; will scale back tariffs from 15 percent to 7.5 percent on $120 billion in other Chinese consumer goods; and will feature China’s agreement to buy an additional $200 billion in U.S. goods over the next two years.

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Foreclosure starts fall to lowest level in 20 years

Falls 26% in one year

Foreclosure starts are now at the lowest level of the millennium, according to a new report from Black Knight.

November’s foreclosure starts marked a 26% decline from last year’s total. This is the lowest monthly volume since Black Knight began recording the metric in 2000, the company said.

Nationally, the foreclosure rate fell 3% from October, hitting its lowest level since 2005.

In November, there were 49,898 U.S. properties with foreclosure filings, ATTOM Data Solutions reported. The company also reported that foreclosure starts were up 13% in October then completely made a u-turn and went down 13% in November.

Although in November, delinquencies rose, they still remain around 5% lower than last year’s level.

Prepayment activity also fell 19% from October’s six-year high.

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