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Are Multifamily's Best Days In the Past?

Are Multifamily's Best Days In the Past?
With the way that the real estate markets have fluctuated over the last decade - from strong and steady to a full-blown recession - it’s no wonder that some multifamily investors and other industry professionals have undoubtedly asked themselves, “Are our best days behind us?” The short answer? No way. Here’s why… Across the country vacancy rates are steadily decreasing, rental rates are on the rise, and new construction is breaking ground at an impressive rate. Looking at the Marcus & Millichap’s 2014 National Apartment Overview, we see that national vacancy rates for multifamily sector are expected to reach 5.1% in 2014 mostly because of the 215,000 new multifamily units under construction this year. In addition, the reports project that rental rates will increase by another 2.6% over the 4.2% we saw in 2013. From Seattle to Miami and San Diego to Colorado, the multifamily markets are booming as an aging demographic is moving from single family units into easier-to-maintain multifamily units and a coming-of-age demographic is branching out on its own for the first time. According to the experts, we shouldn’t look for the multifamily market to slow down anytime soon. As a matter of fact, these experts feel that when the time comes we will see a “tapering off” when interest rates begin to rise, but that shouldn't happen anytime within the next 3-5 years. Described as a “feeding frenzy”, both developers and commercial lenders seem to share the experts’ opinion, citing that a large percentage of their investments and partners still regard multifamily as a valued and necessary part of t......
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Top Dog: Multifamily Remains Construction's Hottest Properties

With all the construction that the real estate industry has endured in the last decade, it looks like one sector has risen above all others to claim the top spot in development coming out of the recession: multifamily. As the demand for new apartment units surges and rents for those units are projected to rise for a fifth straight year, experts speculate that even with a ton of multifamily construction breaking ground it’s unlikely that we’ll see any real relief anytime soon. So, even with the 6% rise in apartment rents that we saw take place over the last decade and the accompanying 13% drop the average renter saw in their income, we’re still seeing more first-time and returning tenants looking to rent. These renters are not only seeing multifamily as a financially viable solution to their living needs, but also as a lifestyle choice that puts them in a community that affords them proximity to both work and play. A growing trend that we can expect to do nothing but thrive in the upcoming years. That’s also why we’ve seen multifamily construction spending continue to increase throughout the first half of 2014. The idea of multifamily becoming the hottest sector in the real estate industry really boils down to the shifting job market. The lack of access to available credit and the struggles in the employment sector have taken ownership off the table for a majority of Americans. Also, as job markets begin to return, we’re seeing more urbanization as these new employment opportuniti......
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Top 10 Apartment Resident Customer Satisfaction Complaints

J Turner Research, a leading marketing research firm exclusively serving the multifamily industry, today announced a ranking of the top 10 apartment resident complaints, as revealed in an analysis of 10,000 customer satisfaction surveys completed over the past two years at communities nationwide. Results from the survey analysis were released last week at the National Apartment Association Education Conference and Exposition in San Diego. According to the analysis, apartment residents are most likely to complain about rental rates more than any other issue. In fact, rent rates were more than twice as likely to be mentioned compared to concerns over pet waste, which perennially rank high in renter dissatisfaction. Additionally, rent prices were almost three times more likely to be highlighted by disgruntled residents than noise, which did not even crack the top 10:             Top 10 Multifamily Apartment Resident Complaints: 1)    Rental rates 2)    Poor grounds / common area upkeep 3)    Disorganized staff / lack of communication with staff 4)    Quality of response to maintenance requests 5)    Overall customer service of management staff 6)    Quality of parking / parking availability 7)    Concerns over security / safety / lighting 8)    Lack of upgraded amenities 9)    Pets not on leash / poor pet waste removal 10) General lack of preventative maintenance Renter complaints regarding rates could signify a broader softening in rent fundamentals, which have enjoyed a relatively steady rebound since the beginning of U.S. economic recovery from the Great Recession. Following rental rates, residents are also most likely to be concerned with......
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