HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Impact of COVID on Rents Can Vary Widely by Neighborhood
When it comes to the impact of the pandemic on apartment rents, not all locations have been affected equally. According to GlobeSt.com, apartment markets “across the US experienced unprecedented bifurcation in rent change performance in the past year. But perhaps more surprising is the sometimes extreme differences among neighborhoods just a few miles from each other within the same market.” For example, in the D.C. metro, one submarket in northern Virginia has experienced a 10% increase in rents during the pandemic while a nearby submarket closer to the city has seen rents crater by about 20%.
The Most Common Mistakes of a Smart Home Retrofit
Owners of apartment communities constructed prior to the smart home revolution are conducting wide scale retrofit projects to outfit their properties with the in-demand technology. However, the retrofit process does bring peril, as the lack of careful planning could result in unanticipated expenses and performance problems. The most common missteps center around product selection, software selection, the installation process, training and support provided by the supplier partner and an owner’s expectations about the return on investment.
A Helping Hand in a Time of Need
When the world came to an abrupt halt last spring, the need for housing did not. Apartment operators needed to find ways to continue leasing their properties, and so they turned to self-guided tours. But installing all of the needed infrastructure during a public health crisis presented its own set of challenges. SmartRent, a provider of smart home automation solutions, was one of the supplier partners who worked diligently to enable operators to safely meet the needs of the moment. Among other steps, the company offered full 24/7 online support to help onsite teams through any implementation challenges, and its self-guided tour solution built in buffer times between tours to allow for proper sanitization to be completed.
IN THE NEWS
The Top Markets for Apartment Net Absorption
The U.S. multifamily market has proven remarkably resilient during the pandemic. In fact, the net absorption of apartment units declined by just 12% in 2020 when compared with the preceding year, according to a Wealth Management Real Estate article that ranks the top 20 metros for net absorption last year. Among the top 10, from first to 10th: Dallas, Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix, Houston, Austin, Miami, Tampa, Charlotte and San Antonio.
Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended to End of June
The CDC has extended its moratorium on all residential evictions from March 31 to June 30. According to Bisnow, the moratorium has “been challenged in federal courts several times and on varying grounds, meeting with mixed results. Judges in Texas and Ohio ruled that the CDC exceeded its constitutional authority, while others in Louisiana and Georgia sided with the federal agency.” Many also feel the moratorium has numerous flaws, including a cumbersome application process for residents.
Lending for Affordable Housing Remains Strong
Despite the economic turbulence of the past year, lending volume for affordable housing communities has remained high, as lenders have recognized the continuing need for affordable properties and property owners have sought to take advantage of historically low interest rates. In all, Affordable Housing Finance’s Top 25 lenders made more than $53.6 billion in loans to affordable properties in 2020. That represents a noticeable uptick from the totals for 2019 ($41 billion) and 2018 ($35.2 billion).