Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Portland MSA Among Nation's Rent Growth Leaders

MPF Research reports that Portland was among the top 10 markets leading annual apartment rent growth during the second quarter of 2013.

The top 10 year-to-date markets and their annual rent growth rates are:

San Francisco
San Jose
West Palm Beach
Forth Worth

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Western States Lead the Nation's Recovery

Wells Fargo Economics Group report:

Western states expected to outperform the nation for the next two years.
Wells Fargo has reported that Real GDP has averaged 2.1 percent since the recession compared with 3.3 percent averaged during the 25 years before the recession.  A heavy concentration of technology firms, energy resources and ties to international markets has helped the west.  The western states are expected to outperform the nation during the next few years.

U.S. Census Reports Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton Multifamily Vacancy at 2.1 Percent - Nation's Lowest

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today the Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton vacancy rate fell from 3.3 percent in Q1 2013 to 2.1 percent in the second quarter, the nation's lowest among the top 75 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ranked #6 with a Q2 2013 vacancy estimate of 4.0 percent, down from 4.6 percent from the prior quarter. (Several cities tied at 3.3 percent and 3.7 percent.)

MSA's with the lowest vacancy rates were as follows:

Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA - 2.1%
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT - 3.1%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC - 3.3% (tie)
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI - 3.3% (tie)
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA - 3.3% (tie)
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 3.3% (tie)
Bakersfield, CA - 3.7% (tie)
Columbus, OH - 3.7% (tie)
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA - 3.8%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - 4.0%

The MSA's with the five highest vacancy rates were as follows:

Orlando, FL - 15.1%
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI - 14.3%
St. Louis, MO-IL - 13.9%
Las Vegas-Paradise, NV - 13.7%
Richmond, VA - 13.1%

Average national vacancy rate for Q2 2013 was at 8.2 percent for rental housing and 1.9 percent for homeowner housing. The rental vacancy rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than last quarter.

The nation's homeownership rate remains flat at 65 percent.

Download the Census Bureau table here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

HFO Forum Exclusive: What Today's Renters Want Most!

At a special event held recently by HFO -- Riverstone Residential shared results from a national survey of apartment communities it manages.

Most Wanted Community Amenities
  1. Pool 
  2. Fitness Center
  3. Wifi in common areas
  4. Covered Parking
  5. Security Patrol
  6. Clubhouse
  7. Laundry
  8. Access/Control Gates
Most Wanted Interior Features
  1. Dishwasher
  2. Disposal
  3. High speed internet
  4. Patio/Balcony
  5. Storage Closet
  6. Ceiling Fans
  7. Pantry
Top Move-Out Reasons
Property managers indicated they had been seeing an increase in move-outs due to home purchases and job changes. 

Property Managers' Ideal Sizes For 1-Bedroom Apartment Units
1-bedroom apartment for Generation Y: 700 SF

1-bedroom apartment for a Baby Boomer: 800-850 SF

Riverstone manages over 170,000 units.  A total of 436 properties responded to Riverstone's in-house survey. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top 10 U.S. Apartment Resident Complaints

Three out of top five complaints by apartment renters directly relates to customer service as delivered by property management and maintenance professionals. J. Turner Research conducted an analysis of 10,000 customer surveys completed over the past two years at apartment communities across the country.

Read More

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Portland Ranked #1 Most Bikeable US City

Walkscore has ranked Portland the nation's top bikeable city.  Seattle ranked #7.

Meanwhile, Portland's "bike share" program -- already in place in Washington DC and NYC -- is scheduled to start in 2014.

Click here to read more.

HFO-TV Viewership Continues Increasing

HFO-TV continues to reach more apartment owners through its YouTube communications platform. 

2013 (to 7/22)
2013 Est.
Minutes Viewed
Total Hours Watched
Average View Duration
Percent Viewed on Mobile Devices

*Estimated:  YouTube  data began 9/1/12
Upcoming videos include these topics:
  • Oregon 2013 legislative update - more on Section 8 housing & criminal background checks
  • Landlords and Oregon/Washington medical marijuana laws
  • Eviction notices and legal holidays
  • Liability of LLCs in workers' compensation claims

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Building Permits Highest Since 2007; Oregon Economy Continues Improving

Oregon economic indicators pointed toward continued growth in May.

Residential building permits (smoothed) continued to increase and now stands at its highest level since December of 2007, according to the University of Oregon regional economic indexes.

Read the full story.

Monday, July 15, 2013

HFO-TV - How Oregon's New Section 8 Bill Affects All Apartment Owners

House Bill 2639 has passed the Senate and the Governor is expected to sign it, making Section 8 a protected class effective July 1, 2014. HFO's recent lunch forum featured Gwenn Baldwin talking about how the new law would affect apartment owners.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oregon's Economy Has Improved for Eight Months Straight - A Trend Expected to Continue

Oregon's economic activity strengthened again in May, making it the eighth straight month of improvement, according to the University of Oregon’s latest Index of Economic Indicators.

U of O Economist Tim Duy expects activity to pick up speed in the second half of the year and into 2014.

Read More.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Good News: Real Estate and Employment Trends for Portland Metro

The State of Oregon has released the latest information on employment, job growth and real estate trends, as follows:

Real Estate Trends
The region saw permits for 871 units filed in May. Permit numbers jump around every month, but the region has averaged about 1,000 permits over the last three months, a level we haven’t seen since 2007. For the first five months of 2013, permits are up 69 percent from the same period last year. Should this remarkable trend hold, the region can expect to see a major increase in construction projects and employment this summer.

The growing ambition of real estate developers in the region is likely related to the strong increase
in home values. Case-Shiller estimates that home prices were up almost 13 percent in April compared to last year.

Portland Metro Employment
For the Portland Metro region, the May unemployment rate of 7.3 percent is down a full point
from a year ago. This places the regional unemployment rate below the US rate, after several
years of being higher. The Portland metropolitan region saw jobs grow at a healthy pace of 2.3 percent in May compared to May of last year.  The Portland region saw growth across most major private sectors as government was flat. High tech manufacturing is down slightly, while the rest of durable manufacturing is growing.

Area Wages - Hillsboro Leads: 
  • The median earnings by workers in the Portland Metro region was $33,877 in 2011 according to the US Census. The city of Hillsboro stands out in the region, with people who work in that city earning an average of $43,535 -- 29 percent higher than the regional average.
  • Hillsboro’s high wages aren’t the only thing worth boasting about, job growth there has also been strong, with 5,628 new jobs since 2006 despite the major recession that began in 2008. Gresham similarly had impressive job growth for a city of its size.  
Source: Portland Metro Economic Indicators report.

U.S. Apartment Sector Has Great Second Quarter! [video]

Big demand, tight occupancy, and accelerating rent growth. MPF Research says there's lots of good news to share.  Click to see highlights for the apartment market’s performance in the second quarter of 2013.