Archives by: John Bergin

Investors Gaga Over Multi-Family

Which do investors want more in greater Charlotte, Class-A or Class-Bapartments? Neither, ARA principal Blake Okland tells us. They've been going after As for a while, but as those opportunities dwindle, Bs will do quite nicely. (The sale of Alpha-Bits cereal is also through the roof.) Blake says that 2012 and 2013 were dominated by new urban infill properties... >>Click here for full story Read more

North Carolina & Texas headline nation’s most affordable cities

Every few days there seems to be a new ranking of the "best" cities that features North Carolina locales, and here's a new one that takes into account affordability. Charlotte ranks fourth and Raleigh ranks sixth among the nation's six most affordable cities evaluated by consumer website Cheapism.com. Texas claims the top three and fifth spots. >> Click here for full story Read more

Politics & CRE Sales (Déjà Vu)

The failure of Congress and the administration to reach a budget agreement before the Oct. 1 deadline, the possibility that the debt ceiling will not be raised before the nation is unable to pay its obligations, and the huge swings in the stock and bond markets are all too familiar. After the last time we went through this and our nation’s credit rating was downgraded and the sequester became law, we thought our politicians would have learned to put politics aside ... Read more

What do students really want in housing?

When it comes to student housing, one thing is pretty much clear: The dorm days are over. To satisfy both cost and quality-of-life concerns, most students have moved off campus into modernized student housing communities. Competition for their rent dollars hinges on several key components of the rental property: proximity to school; apartment size and plenitude of storage space; availability of one bathroom for every resident (even if they share a bedroom); and a fitness center as the crown jewel in your ... Read more

Confidence in Multifamily at All-Time High

The apartment and condominium market continued to gain momentum in the second quarter with builders’ and developers’ confidence in the sector soaring to an all-time high, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ multifamily index.  The index rose to its highest reading since 2003, which is the year the index began. The index measures builder and developer sentiment in the apartment and condo market. The latest reading for the second quarter was 61. Any number above 50 indicates that more respondents ... Read more

Second Quarter Apartment Markets Mixed in Latest NMHC Survey

While demand for apartment homes remained strong, rising interest rates exerted negative pressure on the industry’s ability to secure debt financing according to the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) July Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. Only the Market Tightness Index (55) remained above the breakeven line of 50 this quarter. Sales Volume (46) and Equity Financing (49) dipped, with Debt Financing dropping sharply to 20.   » Click here for full story Read more

America’s 10 Fastest Growing College Towns

Raleigh checks in at #1 in America's fastest growing college towns according to NREI.  » Click here for full story Read more

Highwoods to Develop MetLife’s Global Technology and Operations Hub in Cary, NC

Raleigh-based Highwoods Properties has unveiled its plans to develop a $110 million office park for MetLife on Weston Parkway in Cary. Called Weston Lakefront, the 100 percent pre-leased build-to-suit campus along the shores of Lake Crabtree will initially include two, 213,500-square-foot, LEED-certified office buildings with structured parking. The facilities will be located on 26.5 acres of a 40-acre site Highwoods owns near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The remaining 13.5 acres of waterfront land will be pre-graded to accommodate a third potential building, ... Read more

Top Metros with Rising Apartment Rent Rates

The Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor are the earliest leading indicators of how asking prices and rents are trending nationally and locally. They adjust for the changing mix of listed homes and therefore show what’s really happening to asking prices and rents. Because asking prices lead sales prices by approximately two or more months, the Monitors reveal trends before other price indexes do. With that, here’s the scoop on where prices and rents are headed. Trulia Price Monitor & ... Read more

Motel Makeover

Developers are turning roadside ruins into affordable housing The Luna Lodge once welcomed weary travelers making their way on old Route 66 through New Mexico. One of the many motels that sprouted up along the famed highway in the 1950s, Luna was built at a time when families vacationed by car and stayed in mom-and-pop motels advertising cheap rates. But as Route 66 was replaced by faster freeways, roadside businesses dwindled and fell into decline. Luna Lodge, which is listed on the National Register ... Read more

EPA Study: Infill Represents 21% of New-Home Construction

Nationally, infill development qualifies as a widespread trend that many housing and planning experts love to discuss. But a new study by the EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities shows that the presence of infill varies significantly in housing markets across the country, with infill accounting for just 2% of new-home construction in Prescott, Ariz., and 80% in San Jose, Calif. “The biggest surprise was the wide range of outcomes across metropolitan areas,” says Kevin Ramsey, a policy research fellow with the EPA ... Read more

Exclusive Research: 7,000 Students Reveal Their Housing Wants and Needs

To satisfy both cost and quality-of-life concerns, most students have moved off campus into modernized student housing communities, and competition for their rent dollars hinges around several key factors: be close to school, build big apartments with lots of storage, and make sure residents have their own bathroom (even if they share a bedroom).  » Click here for full story  Read more

Apartment Owners Tackle Negative Online Reviews

ApartmentRatings.com has long been considered the most controversial of the ratings websites out there. Many managers and owners consider it a hotbed for resident hostility. In a recent small scale survey distributed and compiled by Houston-based Multifamily Insiders and sponsored by Lutherville, Md.-based SatisFacts Research and Corralville, Iowa-based Apartment Grade, 58 percent of respondents said they felt they received a false rating. » Click here for full story  Read more

The Interest Rate Surge and Its Impact on Multifamily

We all knew the ultra-low mortgage rates seen over the last couple years wouldn’t last forever. Still, the recent rise of a full percentage point over a two-month period left even the steeliest of apartment professionals reaching for their Pepto-Bismol. » Click here for full story  Read more

National Apartment Trend Q2 2013

Reis VP of Economics & Research, Dr. Victor Calanog, provides an update on the apartment sector performance for the 2nd quarter of 2013. 13 quarter streak of declining vacancies came to an end in Q2 2013 27,000 units came online in the second quarter Asking rent grew by 0.6% while effective rent grew by 0.7% East coast and California vacancy rates are tight » Click here for full story Read more

CHARLOTTE: Carolinas Attracting Institutional Capital

The Carolinas are on the national stage now for multifamily investors looking for properties......   » Click here for full story Read more

Riding the Interest-Rate Wave….Sellers take note..

We all witnessed the recent volatility in the stock market that was spurred by commentary from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, on the potential unwinding of quantitative easing. The commercial real estate industry also took a collective breath when 10-year Treasury yields increased over 100 basis points over a 45-day window in response to his commentary. None of this should come as a surprise as many experts have stated for years that interest rates have only one direction to move.  » Click here ... Read more

Student-Housing Sector Gets “A” Grade from Experts

After showing impressive resilience during the Great Recession, the student-housing sector is set for a strong future and is attracting increased interest from investors. Those were some of the points made by a panel of student-housing experts on a recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show.” My guests and I examined many topics related to the sector, including in-demand amenities, rent growth, financing and construction costs.  » Click here for full story Read more

A Deep Dive into the Federal Reserve’s View of CRE….

The Federal Reserve Bank’s plan to ease its monthly bond acquisitions, otherwise known as quantitative easing, has sent reverberations through the markets. Most notably, yields on 10-year Treasuries have jumped to around 2.5 percent—up from a low of 1.66 percent in early May. Since Treasuries are the basis for many types of debt...... » Click here for full story Read more

Students’ Housing Choices Focus on Value

Yesteryear’s undergrads may have spent money frivolously, but today’s students, with the recession in their rear view mirror, are intent on curbing debt and getting the most for their rental dollar. The term “budget-conscious college student” might seem like an oxymoron, but nowadays it’s not. Today’s undergrads are more conscious of expenses than their predecessors.   » Click here for full story Read more

Five Unexpected Design Trends

We don't mean the skinny jeans and scarf your hipster neighbor wears—we're talking about features that make a Class-A multifamily property really pop in the luxury world. Humphreys & Partners Architects CEO Mark Humphreys shared the hottest amenities, David Letterman half-style. » Click here for full story Read more

CFO Survey Preview: Cap Rates to Rise Next Year

Jay Hiemenz is hopeful that the first markets into the recession are now, finally, making their way out. The Alliance Residential CFO is keeping a close eye on specific markets that may have room for growth. Phoenix-based Alliance is using a green movement to attract potential residents while employing aggressive research and development and marketing tools to keep NOI in the black..... » Click here for full story Read more

Disposition Watch: Is Now the Best Time to Sell?

Record prices paid on trophy assets suggest we’re not too far from reaching the top of the upturn. It sometimes seems like every day, another apartment building is sold for a record price. But is now the best time to sell? A 250-unit building in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood recently went for $158 million, or $632,000 per unit, a new record for the Windy City. In Washington, D.C., the 125-unit District Apartments recently sold for $76 million, the highest per-unit sale in the ... Read more

25 REITs Most Likely To Buy Your Property in 2013

This may well be the year that property owners in secondary and tertiary markets get a chance to cash in on the spending spree of the nation's largest publicly held REITs and real estate operating companies. (more…) Read more

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation To Acquire Alliant Capital LLC

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE: ACRE) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire EF&A Funding, L.L.C, d/b/a Alliant Capital LLC from The Alliant Company, LLC and Alliant, Inc., for approximately $62.8 million through a combination of cash and stock. Under the terms of the transaction, Alliant Capital LLC is expected to become a wholly owned taxable REIT subsidiary of ACRE. Alliant Capital, Ltd., which on a national scale provides tax credit equity for the financing ... Read more

Moore: CRE pricing momentum will likely be sustained

Commercial property values have reached and even surpassed 2007's valuations, according to Green Street Advisors' Commercial Property Price Index. "Lower rates, an overall drop in yields and real estate catching up to other capital markets has attributed to rising values," says Jason Moore, an analyst with Green Street Advisors. He says the upward momentum in pricing will likely be sustained. » Click here for full story Read more

New CMBS delinquencies drop under the $1B mark

Fitch Ratings reported that delinquencies on commercial mortgage-backed securities dropped to 7.44% in April from 7.63% in March. New delinquencies dipped below the $1 billion mark for the first time since February 2009. » Click here for full story Read more

Equity Residential sells Phoenix multifamily property

Equity Residential Trust has sold a multifamily property in Phoenix for $37.7 million. Henderson Global Investors bought the 350-unit property called Sycamore Creek apartments. » Click here for full story Read more

Dwindling inventory slows sales of existing homes

A tightening supply of existing homes in the U.S. largely was responsible for a 0.6% decline in sales between February and March, analysts say. The National Association of Realtors says existing-home sales eased to an annual rate of 4.92 million. The number of potential buyers increased 25% last month compared with March 2012, but the inventory of houses for sale decreased 17%. » Click here for full story Read more

MHI Hospitality rebrands as SoTHERLY Hotels

MHI Hospitality Corp. has changed its name to SoTHERLY Hotels Inc. The REIT changed the name to better reflect the shifts in its portfolio and approach to the market. » Click here for full story Read more

Vornado nets $156M in proceeds as it strives to focus on core holdings

Vornado Realty Trust is aiming to simplify its portfolio holdings to focus on core properties. It has sold a few properties in recent weeks to that end, netting proceeds of $156 million. » Click here for full story Read more

CMBS expected to see continued smooth sailing

Financing for commercial mortgage-backed securities is not as likely to plunge now as the economic recovery gains momentum. There could easily be temporary spikes in spreads, but that is typical of the market. » Click here for full story Read more

Program to finance energy-efficient upgrades launches

A new financing program, Property Assessed Clean Energy, has launched to support energy-efficient upgrades. Lack of funding has been a top barrier to retrofits, says Katrina Managan, program manager with the Institute for Building Efficiency at Johnson Controls. » Click here for full story Read more

CSO Insights: 2013 Sales Performance Optimization Study Results

In this analysis, see an overview of the eight key attributes found in high performance sales organizations, and some of the major trends that positively and negatively impacted sales behavior in 2012. Compare how your sales team's best practices align with the high performing organizations in this study. Download the free study now. Read more

CommonWealth REIT adopts provisions to fend off takeover attempts

CommonWealth REIT has adopted board rules that will help it thwart unsolicited takeover attempts. The REIT recently turned down a $2.9 billion buyout offer from two shareholders. » Click here for full story Read more

Bachia: Brookfield pushes deeper into sustainability

Brookfield Office Properties has focused on sustainability in its portfolio for several years, says Richard Bachia, senior vice president of operations technology. More recently, it began reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international, not-for-profit organization, and using its Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for its sustainability reporting. » Click here for full story Read more

REIT institutional rankings led by Vanguard, BlackRock

The number of REIT positions held by U.S. institutional investors at year-end 2012 posted an average 8.5% year-over-year increase, according to SNL. Vanguard and BlackRock were at the top of the institutional owners of REIT rankings. » Click here for full story Read more

Chinese cities resist efforts to cool real estate market

China's central government says it is committed to slowing down the rise in home prices, but local governments aren't cooperating because bringing down property prices will hurt them financially. Money from land sales accounts for about 25% of local governments' fiscal income. » Click here for full story Read more

Track performance of U.S. and global real estate markets

Updated daily, the FTSE NAREIT U.S. Real Estate Index Returns and the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Global Real Estate Index Returns provide index performance data, industry segment returns and comparisons against other major market benchmarks. Read more

Regulators prepare recommendations on rate-setting process

Martin Wheatley, CEO of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority, and Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, are leading a panel of regulators in preparing recommendations for setting benchmark interest rates. The regulators are striving to eliminate conflicts and other issues that have resulted in manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate and possibly other benchmark rates. Click here for full story Read more
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