Monday, December 30, 2013

257 Units Planned for 11th and SE Belmont "Goat Blocks"

At 1:30pm on January 9th the design commission will review initial plans submitted by Killian Pacific and Ankrom Moisan Architects, Inc. for development at the "goat blocks*" at SE 11th and Belmont.

Plans call for 257 apartments, with one level each of underground and above ground parking and are 84,000 square feet of retail space. The buildings will be up to seven stories tall.

*Why is it called the goat blocks? Three years ago, Killian Pacific brought in 50 goats to keep the grass mowed between SE 10th and SE 11th and Belmont.

Word has it they're still there.

Read more. 

Meanwhile, an additional 62-units is already under construction in the Pearl District at the eight-story community dubbed The Janey.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

United Van Lines: Oregon Top Choice for New Out-of-State Residents

United Van Lines released its annual study of top states for  in-migration. After four years of being runner-up, Oregon ranked #1 for inbound migration.

The state most people are leaving? New Jersey.
Read more.

Meanwhile a somewhat unorthodox "best cities" ranking was announced this week. The national real estate blog Movoto ranked Portland best city in the U.S., largely because, despite our high percentage of vegans/vegetarians, it ranks highly among "best cities for meat and movie lovers." Read more. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Axiometrics & REIS: 2014 Rents to Grow Despite Construction Boom

Who will win the battle of the apartment research firms in forecasting the average increase in U.S. rents?

Axiometrics predicts average U.S. rents will increase 3.1%, about the same as this year.  Reis says it will be closer to 3.3%.

A USA Today report quotes Axiometrics' VP of Research Jay Denton, saying:
  • Rents have soared 43% in San Francisco since 2009, including an 8% jump this year. San Francisco is forecast to have a 5.1% jump given strong demand and limited new supply.
  • Seattle, which posted a 6.5% increase in 2013 will see increases of 4.4% next year.
  • Austin, which rose 5.2% this year, will see an increase of 3.7%
Institutionals Developing Exit Strategies?
Meanwhile, Multifamily Executive reported that Victor Calanog, Reis' vice president of research & economics. Recently noted that some large investors are now considering exit strategies, such as the Carlyle Group, which signaled its intent to sell part of its $2.3 billion apartment portfolio in a recent conference call amid fears of growing supply.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fair Housing: Avoiding Disparate Impact Discrimination

In a recent issue, Property Management Insider provides a really nice discussion of disparate impact discrimination.

What is disparate impact?

This might happen if employ an applicant screening system that inadvertently rejects a class that's protected by law. Under the Fair Housing Act Discriminatory Effects Standard, property owners could be subject to liability. The problem is that litigation involving these types of cases have largely been settled out of court, resulting in less-than-clear implications of what's allowed under the Fair Housing Act.
"But the theory is a bit more complicated and can put property owners in a potentially litigious situation while making 'seemingly neutral and common business policies, such as occupancy limitations, criminal background screening and Section 8 voucher policies, among others,' says the NMHC on its website. Such could trigger discrimination claims even though the property owner has no intent of singling out a particular group adversely."
 Read more on the Property Management Insider.

Storefronts No More: Some Apartments Drop Retail Space For More Units

Elliot Njus of The Oregonian recently reported that as property owners are easily leasing up apartments right as first floor retail languishes. Citing what they call forcing the oversupply of retail space, many owners are converting first floor space for additional apartments.

Read the full story.

Out With the Timber and in with the Tech: The New Oregon Economy

Both the Portland Business Journal and The Oregonian have had great coverage recently about reports provided by the Technology Association of Oregon and the Oregon Business Council on changes to Oregon's economy. Over the past 30 years we've shifted from Timber to Tech.

Portland is now among the top 10 cities in terms of information communications and technology jobs. These jobs pay a range of $90,000-$120,000 with an average wage of $105,000.

The Oregonian has a cool infographic on their page here (note: it takes a little while to load).

Read the Business Journal's story here.

The biggest worry for these high paying companies? Lack of skilled workers for all the jobs they have to offer.

Construction Begins on Another 124 Units at Orenco MAX Station in Hillsboro

Holland Partner Group broke ground December 12th on The Core apartments. The multi-story apartment, office and retail development will include a total of 124 units. The building will consist of two floors of parking and four floors of apartments.

The Core is part of Holland's $120-million mixed-use Podium Project. The development will have three six-story buildings of nearly 580 apartments with 20,000 square feet of retail.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

HFO-TV: Apartment Fire Safety Tips with Ted Stark, USI Insurance

Did you know they make stove hood fire extinguishers that cost about 20 bucks? We didn't either. All this and more as HFO and Ted Stark discuss apartment fire safety tips.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Portland & Oregon Jobless Rates Hit 5 Year Lows

Portland metro area's unemployment levels are now below the U.S. average and at the lowest point since before the recession began. The Portland unemployment rate is down one full percentage point from a year ago. 

About 1/3 of the Portland Metro's new jobs being created are in Construction.*

The City of Portland grew almost 10 percent in the past five years.  That is twice as fast as Washington and Clark County, and almost five times faster than Clackamas County.*

This dramatic reversal of historic population growth trends is being driven by large numbers of college graduates moving to the city.  A slight majority of all newcomers to the City of Portland in 2012 had a four-year degree or more.*

Oregon Employment Department reported that Oregon's Unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in October, it's lowest level since October, 2008.

*Oregon Employment Department