Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Portland Seeks Public Comment on Affordable Housing Bond Framework

The Portland Housing Bureau released a report written by the Affordable Housing Bond Stakeholder Advisory Group, which lays out a plan for how the money should be spent. The affordable housing bond was passed last November, and the city has pledged to use the $258 million dollars it expects to be generated by the levy to build 1,300 units available to households making less than 60% AMI. The Draft Policy Framework includes targeted goals that identify communities the city wants to prioritize for potential new affordable units. The PHB is conducting mail and online surveys, and will be holding hearings on the policy between September 6th and 11th. The final vote is scheduled for October 11th. Read more.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

State of Oregon Expects to Return $464 Million to Residents

Oregon collected $464 million more in personal income taxes than expected this biennium, triggering the "kicker" rule, which goes into effect when revenue exceeds expectations by more than 2%. The increased revenue is largely do to the strength of the state's economy, which has seen steady growth over the past few years and currently has an unemployment rate below the national average. Oregon's general fund will also receive an additional $87 million. The kicker will not provide a windfall to individual residents, however - the middle 20% of income earners should expect to receive an estimated $91. Read more.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bend Looking to Encourage Middle-Market Housing

The city of Bend, Oregon has seen a spike in housing costs over the past few years, and is actively looking for solutions that would encourage the building of new units. The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee met in the city last week to discuss some the Bend 2030 Work Group proposals that they may include in their recommendations to the city. Among the proposals discussed were:

-Deferment of development fees or long-term loans for developers building homes for families that make less than 125% area median income
-Tiered system for development fees based on home size
-Measuring density by radius rather than lot-by-lot
-Allowing four-plexes to be built in single-family neighborhoods
-Altering the requirement for open space when a home is built near a park
-Raising allowable lot coverage for multifamily housing from 40% to 60%

Read more

Portland's Central City 2035 Plan Will Have Public Hearings

 Since 2010, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Bureau of Transportation, and other city agencies have been working on a proposal to update design requirements for Portland's central core. When the final 2035 Plan is implemented, it will affect zoning and height restrictions, FAR, setbacks, and other important design features. The goal of the overhaul is to increase density in the central city, and encourage the use of public transit as well as biking and pedestrian infrastructure. The plan will have its first public hearing September 7th, and the city is expecting a great deal of public input at that time. The final vote will likely be in January 2018, with a March 2018 effective date. Read more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

City of Seattle Prohibits Housing Providers From Screening Applicants Based on Criminal History

The City of Seattle has passed 8-0 an ordinance called the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance prohibiting housing providers from screening applicants based on past arrests or criminal convictions.

Landlords are still allowed to screen applicants on employment, credit scores, income ratios and other criteria.

Read a statement on the City of Seattle website.

News Reports: City of Portland Plans to Extend Relocation Assistance Following Landlords' Judicial Appeal

The Portland Mercury quotes Portland Housing Bureau Manager Matt Tschabold as stating the Portland City Council will be asked to extend the relocation assistance for six months and then possibly even longer.

The news comes on the heels of two Portland landlords filing an appeal of a recent judges' ruling allowing the relocation assistance.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - August 15, 2017

This week: The City of Portland considers special tax breaks for projects approved before inclusionary zoning took effect; Mayor Ted Wheeler criticized for lack of action on affordable housing initiatives; and Portland's relatively low rent-to-income cost average.



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Monday, August 14, 2017

Relative to Income - Portland's Rents are West Coast's Lowest

A new report demonstrates that Portland's rents are the lowest on the West Coast relative to income.

As of the second quarter, Portland's rent-to-income ratio is just a shade under 25%, at 24.96%. The average income in metro Portland is about four times average rents. That is higher than some places, such as Raleigh at 18.77% or Austin at 21.53%, but a lot less than other markets, and less than the national average of 28.99%.

The highest rent-to-income ratio in the country is New York, at 51.33%. Other pricey markets include LA at 42.95%, San Francisco at 38.57% and San Diego at 33.28%. Among major West Coast markets, Portland has the lowest of all rent-to-income ratio.

Source: August, 2017 report from CBRE.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Oregonian Report: Wheeler Slow to Deliver on Affordable Housing

Portland mayor Ted Wheeler made the urgency of affordable housing a key part of his 2016 campaign, promising to deliver results quickly. Eight months since his election, not much has happened. Read today's story in the Oregonian.

Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - August 9, 2017

In this week's news: REIS announces the national vacancy rate; streamlining Portland's design review; affordable housing bill proposed in U.S. Senate.



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Multifamily Marketwatch Special

In an interview with HFO partner Greg Frick, Portland attorney Andy Hahs discusses the 2017 legislative session and Portland's relocation assistance program, which is likely to be modified and extended this year by Portland's City Council.



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Friday, August 4, 2017

Seattle Tightens Rental Inspection Rules on Landlords

The Seattle City Council has reduced the amount of notice that landlords receive before building inspections. The Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance (known as RRIO) provides for inspections for heating, infestations, leaks, etc. A property must be inspected at least once every decade.

Landlords were previously provided with 60 days' notice on which units would be inspected. Now they will receive a 60 day notice of pending inspection and a 10 day notice of the exact day, but they will not know which units will be inspected.

Previously, landlords could hire a private inspector if they didn't want the city inspector to conduct the inspection, but landlords weren't required to provide the resulting written report. The rules will now require inspectors turn over the resulting report to the city.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Clark County Tax Appeals Due Beginning August 7

Many Washington State counties have mailed the Value Change Notices for the 2017 assessment for taxes payable in 2018. 

Appeal Deadlines
You have 60 days from the mailing date to file an appeal with the local board. 
  • The state and most counties offer a 60-day appeal window, but some only offer 30 days. 
City of Vancouver - Multifamily Abatement Program
The City of Vancouver has adopted abatement programs for new apartment construction depending on location. Developers and owners contemplating development should be aware of this program. Contact the City of Vancouver at (360) 487-8600 for details. See fact sheet. 

When considering your increase (and it will increase) the focus should be on whether the NOI supports the new value. While there is nothing wrong with trying to mitigate the value increase through an appeal, owners should be judicious with this approach.

Washington has a preference for using the sales comparison approach but also uses the income approach.

Some potential reasons to appeal your assessment
  • Your property has significant deferred maintenance or capital needs 
  • Your property has construction defects
Need help?
Contact your attorney or Christopher K. Robinson at (503) 635-9330 for assistance.

Read more.

Freddie Mac Forecast: Portland Among Leaders in 2017 Rent Growth


Portland will remain among the highest income growth for multifamily in 2017, even as vacancy rates increase. Freddie Mac estimates Portland gross income will increase by 5.7% with a year-end vacancy rate of 5.1%.
 


Download the full mid-year report here.

Rental Occupancy Rates Could Fall in Downtown Portland

Yardi Matrix reports that overall occupancy of stabilized properties in the U.S. was 95.6% nationwide in June, down 20 basis points year-over-year. Annual completions are expected to see a peak in 2017.

Yardi forecasts that as that new supply is absorbed, occupancy rates are likely to fall, especially in construction-heavy submarkets like downtown Portland and Austin's Hyde Park, which have seen occupancy decline by more than 3% in the past year.

Yardi expects the second half of 2017 to have slow rent growth the second half of 2017 with increases more in line with wage growth and increases in supply reducing occupancy. Occupancy rates in Portland and Austin have fallen as much as 80 basis points, according to Yardi.

The company forecasts effective annual rent growth in Portland this year will be 2.5%.

A mid-year report by Fredie Mac Multifamily Research Group forecasts Portland's gross rent growth at 5.7% for 2017, with an end of year vacancy rate at 5.1%.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

U.S. Census: Portland Rental Vacancy Rate Climbs to 6.7% - Middle of the Pack

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the rental vacancy rate for the Portland-Vancouver- Hillsboro metro area was 6.7% percent for the second quarter of 2017* -- an increase of 2.8% from Q1. The next definitive report on the area's vacancy rate -- by Multifamily NW -- is due out in October.

Seattle's Vacancy Rate Jumps 2.8%
Census estimated Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue's vacancy rate has also increased the same amount -- 2.8% in the past three months -- from 1.9% to 4.7%.

The nation's lowest vacancy rates:

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ (1.2%)
Fresno, CA (2.2%)
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI (2.7%)
Jacksonville, FL (3.2%)
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (3.5%)
Syracuse, NY (3.5%)
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (3.6%)
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY (3.7%)
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA (3.8%)
Worcester, MA (3.8%)

Average National Rental Vacancy Rate
The average national rental vacancy rate for Q2 2017 was 7.3 percent for multifamily dwellings of five or more units -- up 0.6% from one year earlier.

Year-over-year vacancy rates in the western U.S. have climbed from 4.9% to 6.0%.

Click to Enlarge

U.S. Homeownership Rate Increases
After falling to a 26-year low last year, homeownership rates have been increasing. The current homeownership rate in the West has increased the past 12 months by 1%.

Click to Enlarge

*The margin of error for the Greater Portland MSA is 2.9%





Multifamily Marketwatch Podcast - August 1, 2017

This week: housing shortage to possibly worsen by 2030; developers underbuilding to avoid Portland IZ rules; Clark County tax appeals due 8/7.



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