HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Leasing Lessons Learned During Pandemic
The pandemic is hopefully winding down in the U.S., but the past year will leave a long-lasting impact on apartment leasing. Technologies like virtual tours, self-guided tours and other components of contactless leasing are here to stay and that has important ramifications for associates, according to industry experts. For starters, leasing agents will still have to find ways to personally engage prospects, as prospective renters still crave rapport with associates even if they’re interacting with them less.
Spring Presents Opportunity for More Outdoor Community Events
Spring is here, and more apartment residents are getting vaccinated and craving interaction with people outside their households. That has property managers looking to hold outdoor events that build camaraderie between renters and drive retention. Among the outdoor events that apartment communities should consider: movie nights, scavenger hunts, fitness classes and food-truck rallies. Of course, COVID-related restrictions on outdoor gatherings still apply in many areas, so operators should continue hosting virtual events to provide an accessible menu of resident activities.
Home Builders Find Eager Buyers in Single-Family Rental Operators
Resident demand for single-family rentals continues to grow, and that means home builders are finding increasingly willing buyers in large-scale single-family rental operators. “SFR operators … can be a great sales channel for builders who are open to selling an entire rental community to one buyer instead of to numerous individual buyers,” says Sudha Reddy, managing principal of Haven Realty Capital. Among the markets where robust home construction and strong resident demand for single-family rentals are overlapping: Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C.
IN THE NEWS
Rent Prices Show Largest Jump in April Since 2017
The average apartment rent in the U.S. rose by 1.9% in April when compared with the preceding month, according to Apartment List. That marks the biggest month-over-month increase in four years. In addition, coastal gateway markets – where rental rates took a beating at the height of the pandemic – have begun to stabilize. “The data continues to show significant regional variation, but the days of plummeting rents in pricey coastal markets have come to an end,” said Rob Warnock, senior research associate with Apartment List, in the company’s latest report. “The cities with the sharpest year-over-year rent declines are now experiencing positive rent growth again, and in some cases, prices are rapidly rebounding.”
NAHB Urges Biden Administration to Address Lumber Costs
The National Association of Home Builders is asking President Biden to tackle rising construction costs. Specifically, NAHB has asked the White House to hold a summit on lumber and building material supply chain issues and to temporarily ease 9% tariffs on Canadian lumber. According to a statement from the organization, the Administration “was noncommittal on both requests but the door remains open for future talks.” The requests come as the recent surge in lumber prices has added an average of $119 in the monthly rental rate of a new apartment, according to NAHB.
Investors Walking Away from ‘Walkability’
“Walkability” has become a popular buzzword in the apartment industry in recent years. But according to analysis from Real Capital Analytics, multifamily investment sales prices have been rising in suburban areas with lower walkability scores, while they’ve been falling in downtown and urban markets with higher scores. Dense urban markets have become overbuilt in recent years and the pandemic caused many residents to move to less expensive, roomier suburban units.B.