HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Believe It or Not, Printer Might Be Your Most Popular Amenity
More residents are working from home than ever, and they need everything their offices once provided, which includes copying, scanning, printing and fax capabilities. Residents are turning to their onsite teams for assistance, whether it’s printing off a resume or a 50-page RFP response, and many apartment communities are spending upwards of $1,000 each month just to maintain their printer paper and toner supplies. In the midst of all of this, property managers are beginning to recognize not only the importance of providing a community printer amenity but also the value in outsourcing that amenity.
Results of NMHC’s Latest Quarterly Market Survey Are Mixed Bag
The survey’s Sales Volume Index stood at 53 (a reading above 50 indicates that, on balance, the market is headed in a positive direction). Meanwhile, the Equity Financing Index came in at 58, while the Market Tightness and Debt Financing indexes both were under 50, at 43 and 49, respectively. “We are continuing to observe a tale of two markets during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says NMHC Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky. “Despite higher vacancy and lower apartment rent growth overall, this weakness has been largely concentrated in high-cost urban areas.” The survey is based on the responses of 122 CEOs and other senior executives of apartment-related firms nationwide.
Smart Home Makes Life Easier for Operators, Residents
Smart-home technology is about more than giving today’s residents the living experience they expect. It’s also a way to provide practical and significant benefits for apartment owners and operators. Those benefits include increased ancillary revenue, asset protection, utility savings in vacant units and efficiencies for onsite staff. For example, access control combined with integrated community mapping allows package carriers to come and go without associates having to interrupt their workflow to let the deliverers in. In addition, access control throughout a community allows leasing agents and maintenance techs to enter vacant units without having to go back to the leasing office to get a key.
IN THE NEWS
Investors on a 1031 Exchange-Fueled Buying Spree in Sun Belt
With concern rising that 1031 exchanges may be a victim of tax reform in the new presidential administration, investors are using the program to snatch up commercial properties and apartment communities in the Sunbelt. Buyers are attracted to metros like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Phoenix because these areas are currently experiencing strong population growth, which means rising apartment demand. And the lower cost of living and business-friendly climates of the Sunbelt states means both businesses and residents should continue to move to these areas.
2021 Could Deliver Strongest Economic Growth in 20 Years
The year ahead could deliver the strongest economic growth since 1984. That’s the word from John Chang, senior vice president and director of research services at Marcus & Millichap. “In the second half of 2021, assuming that we achieve a critical mass of vaccine distribution, we could see stores, hotels and entertainment venues reopen,” he says. “That would bring back jobs and spending, and in turn unlock household formation, creating demand for apartments.” Chang also says that if the economy experiences the 5% to 6.5% growth rates that some economists have predicted, “then the prospects of a major real estate revival in 2021 will be very positive. That would set the stage for 2022 and beyond.”
Uptick in Home Ownership Not Worrisome to Apartment Investors
More people may be buying homes, but that isn’t making the multifamily sector less attractive to real estate investors. According to U.S. Census data, the percentage of people who own their own homes increased significantly during the second and third quarters last year, but industry experts are confident that demand for rental housing will remain strong and that supply is unlikely to catch up with demand.