Thursday, January 31, 2013

HFO Announces $7.8 Million Sale of Springfield Apartment Complex

Portland, OR – HFO Investment Real Estate (HFO) is pleased to announce the sale of the 98-unit Countryside Apartments in Springfield, Oregon for $7.8 million.

Countryside benefits from a strong rental market, good maintenance and a growing population. Demand for housing in the Eugene-Springfield area is increasing due to an expanding economic base.

The recent completion of Sacred Heart at River Bend and an increase in the U of O student population are major economic drivers in the area.  Nearby major employers include Symantec, Royal Caribbean International and Peach Health medical campuses.

Working on behalf of northern-California based owners, HFO was able to attract interest in the property from both regional and local investors through our team’s extensive database of contacts. The property ultimately sold to a Portland-based investment group; an example of HFO’s ability to import investor capital from outside an investment property’s immediate area.

Countryside was attractive to investors because of its strong location, low density, increasing income and the overall strength of the Eugene-Springfield apartment rental market. 

HFO represented the parties in the transaction.

HFO's 2012 Apartment Recap and 2013 Forecast

Greg Frick provided the HFO 2012 Apartment Market Recap and 2013 Forecast at this month's Investor Roundtable.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

HFO Announces Annual Corporate Philanthropic Contributions

At the close of each brokered apartment sale, HFO makes a contribution in honor of our clients to their charity of choice. In addition to thousands of dollars distributed each year to our client-preferred charities, HFO team members each pick one charity for an end-of-year contribution.

In addition to more than 1000 hours in volunteer time by our team members, total HFO cash donations in excess of $25,000 were made to these and other charities in 2012:

Advocates for Africa's Children
Alzheimer's Association
Big Brothers | Big Sisters Columbia Northwest
Boys and Girls Aid
Campaign for Equal Justice
Community Partners for Affordable Housing
Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation
Dougy Center for Grieving Children
Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis
Girls, Inc.
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Habitat for Humanity
Historic Preservation League
Human Solutions
Mittleman Jewish Community Center
New Avenues for Youth
Oregon Food Bank
Pacific Pug Rescue
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Planned Parenthood
Portland City Blessing Church
Portland Public Schools Foundation
Rapheal House
Ronald McDonald House
Salem Public Library
Salvation Army
Self Enhancement, Inc.
Union Gospel Mission
United Negro College Fund

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Census Reports Portland/Vancouver Multifamily Vacancy at 5.2%

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today the Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton vacancy rate rose from 4.5 percent in Q3 2012 to 5.2 percent in the fourth quarter, tied with L.A. and Springfield, MA for the 11th lowest vacancy rates among the top 75 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). This estimate is above the 3.6 percent vacancy rate reported by the Metro Multifamily Housing Association in its Fall, 2012 survey and lower than .

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ranked #26 with a Q4 2012 vacancy estimate of 7.7 percent, up 0.3 percent from the prior quarter.

The nation's 11 lowest vacancy rates were as follows:

  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT - 2.2%
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA -2.8%
  • Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA - 3.5% (tie)
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA -3.5% (tie)
  • Toledo, OH - 3.6%
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA - 3.7%
  • Honolulu, HI - 4.0%
  • Rochester, NY - 4.4%
  • Denver-Aurora, CO - 4.7%
  • Bakersfield, CA 5.0%
  • Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NJ - 5.0%
  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro, TN 5.1%
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA - 5.2% (tie)
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA - 5.2% (tie)
  • Springfield, MA - 5.2% (tie)
The MSA's with the five highest vacancy rates were as follows:
  • Orlando, FL - 15.0%
  • Las Vegas-Paradise, NV - 15.3%
  • Richmond, VA - 15.4%
  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI - 17%
  • Dayton, OH - 18.8%
Average national vacancy rates for Q4 2013 was at 4.5% the lowest since 2001 and far below the Q4 2009 high water mark of 8.0%.

Download the Census Bureau table here.

The Census Bureau statistics compare to private research firms Axiometrics' and Red Capital Research (RCR) as follows:

Vacancy Rate - Forecast
Red Capital Research

 Effective rent growth forecasts:

Effective Rent Growth – Forecast
Red Capital Research
See all of HFO's current listings.

Monday, January 28, 2013

City of Portland Publishes "Frequently Asked Questions" On Apartment Parking Issue

The City of Portland has published a "Frequently Asked Questions" on New Apartments and Parking

This document outlines what has happened at recent meetings of the Planning and and Sustainability office and the City Council, and discusses what happens next.  This 12 page document is extensive and thorough.

Highlights of the document include:

  • Discussion of the results of the studies conducted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
  • Citizens concerned with building height, design, compabilitiy, and other zoning and design issues have an opportunity to comment on the City's Comprehensive Plan Update which was just released 1/16/13.  Comments can be made at
  • Evidence for a moratorium on apartment construction without parking has not been sufficiently established and will not occur. Other methods for effecting immediate change are also discussed.
  • The city may not adopt a design review process that always allows for citizen input on major development projects on commercial corridors.
  • A list of where upcoming apartment projects with no on-site parking are being built, and how many residential units are proposed for each building.
  • Why no on-site parking is required for these parking projects.
  • What the rationale is for the parking exemptions.
  • Whether outcomes of parking exemptions have been evaluated and information on data about residents use of alternative methods of transportation.
  • Requirements for providing bike parking for residents.
  • Whether neighbors can achieve modifications to apartment development proposals.
  • Whether design review is required for apartment projects.
  • Why no ground floor retail is included with certain apartments.
  • Why there is a boom of upcoming multifamily projects in inner Portland.
  • How Portland's Comprehensive Plan Update will address issues related to development along Portland's commercial streets.
Click here to download and read the PDF.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HFO Sells 192-Unit Multi-Family Investment Property for $19.65 Million

HFO Investment Real Estate (HFO) is pleased to announce the recent sale of the 192-unit Avalon Park Apartments in Tigard for $19.65 million.  Avalon Park was considered an “Add Value” investment in the strong Westside suburban Portland metro submarket.  This low-density, garden-style asset boasted a fully renovated clubhouse in addition to its own private 8-acre riverfront park.  Click here to read the full release.

National Construction Pipeline for 2013 and Beyond

Given the two-year lead time on new construction projects, and the fact that construction lenders awoke from recessionary slumber roughly two years ago, the flood gates are starting to crack open. Read more at Multifamily Executive Online.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Exclusive Listings Sold: Two North Portland Apartment Buildings

HFO represented the parties in the $1.45 million sale of Bristol Court, a 20-unit property built in 1963 adjacent to 90-acre Pier Park in St. Johns.  This unique property features one-story units with full size washers & dryers with white picket-fenced front yards and private backyards.  The property had some physical challenges which HFO worked through with the buyer.
HFO’s exclusive listing the Louis York sold for $3.83 million.  This 47-unit property was built in 2011.  The Louis York is a new, energy-efficient building just two blocks from downtown St. Johns.  Louis York presented the unique challenge of being one of the first market-rate apartments in the St Johns neighborhood. HFO’s marketing of the property highlighted its unique qualities. The HFO team successfully uncovered a buyer familiar with the location's unique obstacles.

Seattle Times: Days of Big Rent Increases May be Over

The Seattle Times has reported that the days of big rent increases may now be over, especially on the Eastside.

Read More.

Facebook Will Change The Way Residents Find Apartments

Last week Facebook announced its new search engine. This is going to change how apartments are found by renters!

In the new Facebook search, if you are moving to Seattle and have a lot of friends who live there or who are from there, here's how Facebook's new search engine will work.  You might type in: "Apartments in Seattle my friends like" or "Apartments in Seattle near my friends"

Google can't really answer that.  But Facebook can. 

Here are some tips to be sure your apartments can be found on Facebook. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Apartment Market in the Emerald City of Seattle Glints With Fresh Green in Q4

With new supply surging in 4th quarter of 2012, Seattle was expected to see apartment fundamentals take a hit. Instead, the market turned in much-better-than-expected performance.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

City of Portland Considering Restrictions on Apartments Without Parking

The City of Portland is drafting short-term measures to curb development of apartments without parking. The restrictions could be drafted by February and adopted as early as March.  Read the article on Oregon Live. As reported by +Elliot Njus 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sold! 51 Units in Close-In SE Portland $4.9M

HFO’s exclusive listing Moreland Place has sold for $4.9 million.  Moreland Place is a recently renovated 51-Unit apartment community located near 28th and Powell. This highly desirable property was constructed in 1980 and has seen increasing rents following recent upgrades and was attractive to local investors seeking ongoing upside potential. 

Moreland Place is an example of HFO’s ability to work well with other commercial real estate firms.  The seller needed to close by year end.  HFO not only went to market with top prospects in its database, but reached out to other brokers. This enabled HFO to find a buyer who was able to meet the seller’s tight time frame. HFO’s team of apartment transaction experts was able to close 25 days from start to finish.  Both the Seller and Buyer achieved their goals: Close by year-end and complete their 1031 tax-free exchange.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

With New Construction, Will We Have Enough Apartment Demand in 2013?

MPF Research reports that apartment demand is expected to increase in 2013? With job growth expected to strengthen, the loss of renters to home purchase is unlikely to be the big headwind that some fear it will be. Watch the latest report.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

City to Send "Undercover Testing Agents" to Check Landlords for Racial Discrimination

The City of Portland has announced landlords will face undercover testing for discrimination this year and select violators can expect enforcement action. Read this important and developing story in today's Oregonian.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Apartment Construction Ramps Up Again!

MPF Research discusses the industry's biggest buzz at the moment -- the sudden climb of apartment development. What cities are the top 10 leaders in the industry growth rate? Watch this video and find out. . .

Thursday, January 3, 2013

U.S. Apartment Rent Growth Slowing

MPF Research reports that on the national level, the peak growth period for apartment rents is in the rear view mirror.