Friday, December 28, 2012

Just Like Apartments, Single-Family Rentals Going Strong

The Wall Street Journal reports that the business of investing in portfolios of distressed single-family homes has come to the point in its current cycle that investors who got into the game early are beginning to cash out. Read More.
Some profit-taking in this area makes sense in light of the fact that the Census Bureau has just reported that 1.07 million new householdswere created during the year ending September, 2012.  For 2008-2011 new household formation was averaging 650,000.  The 1.15 million is nearly back to the 1.25 million average households forming before the Great Recession.

Single-family rental housing is the subject of a brief in the latest edition of Units magazine. Simply stated: demand is outstripping supply.  Families who have lost their homes to foreclosure are generally unable to qualify for new mortgages, so they seek out single family rentals and demand has increased by more than 2 percent in some markets.
According to CoreLogic, Inc., without additional single family rentals coming to market, the entire supply of for-lease houses available in August would have been gone in about 2.6 months, that compares to a 3.2 month supply a year earlier.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lenders plow over $700 million into new apartments

Recent FDIC data says that banks have loaned over $700 million to developers constructing apartments in the Portland metro area.  This number is a low estimate, as it does not include loans by out of state banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo.  Check out the story in the Business Journal.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Parking Meters Slated for NW Portland

The Portland City Council has approved installation of parking meters in NW Portland.  Residents will be able to obtain passes for $60 per year.

Meanwhile, the meters themselves are estimated to generate about $1.4 million in revenue for the city, with nearly half of it going back to the neighborhood in the form of other area parking services.

Read more at the Portland Business Journal.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

PMI: Portland Apartment Market Leads Again in Q3

The Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton metro area ranked among the nation’s best-performing apartment markets as of 3rd quarter. The metro’s occupancy rate of 96.5 percent well exceeded the national norm, as did the 5.2 percent growth rate in effective rents for new leases.

Read the full story at Property Managment Insider.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

For Sale in Klamath Falls! 47 Units Plus Retail

Located in downtown Klamath Falls, this 47-unit apartment building also boasts approximately 18,500 sq. ft. of retail space. Rents are increasing and retail is stabilized with triple-net leases in the restaurant and dance hall. 

The Elk Apartments was originally built in 1929 as the Elk Hotel and was converted to apartments in the 1980's.  The building has elevator service and parking is available to residents and retail tenants.

Learn more about the Elk Apartments in Klamath Falls.

Investors! Get Ready for the Most Exclusive Apartment Event of the Year!

Portland Apartment Investor Event HFOHFO's exclusive Investor Roundtable series continues on Tuesday, January 8th 2013.
This exciting January presentation features economist John W. Mitchell and HFO partner Greg Frick. Mr. Mitchell -- former economist with US Bancorp Western Region -- will provide an up-to-the-minute state of the national and local economy. Greg Frick will share the official HFO Apartment Market Report - a 2012 Market Recap and our 2013 Forecast.

Space is limited to 300 apartment investors and is already over 50% full!

Reservations are required. Parking and buffet lunch are complimentary. Apartment investors - don't miss the Portland area's most exclusive annual event of the year!
To request a reservation, send your contact information to: or call marketing director Aaron Kirk Douglas direct at (971) 717-6337.

See all of HFO's current apartments listed for sale by clicking here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Prevent Your Ads From Vanishing on Craigslist

E. Ashley Clark wrote an interesting article for the California Apartment Association recently.  This article appeared this month in the Rental Housing Association of Greater Portland newsletter and seemed like a great article to share.  "Have you noticed that sometimes your Craigslist ads get traffic and sometimes no traffic at all?" Here are some hints to keep your ad from being cast aside by the ghosts in the machine.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Two Perspectives on SE Portland Apartment Parking

Apartments being developed without parking in SE Portland continues to be a hot topic among neighborhood associations and community advocates.  This month's issue of The Southeast Examiner offers two perspectives on the issue.

The first is from Lee Perlman, who writes "Some say allowing large new apartments without off-street parking decreases neighborhood livability and endangers business vitality. Others say parking is still available, if not convenient, and parking requirements increase rents and work against City goals." The full article can be found here.

The second perspective was written by Don MacGillivray, who concluded that "Neighborhoods want a stronger voice in the planning of such projects. This was promised by the City in the Public Involvement Principles adopted in 1996 and 2010." Don MacGillivray's story can be found here. (Scroll down.)

MacGillivray points out that these issues will become part of the discussions about the Comprehensive Plan update that is underway.

The first draft of this plan will be available for public review and comment in late 2012 or early 2013.

HFO has been following the ongoing debate over apartments developed without parking spaces.  

The City of Portland invites you to keep up on what is happening with the Apartment Parking Task Force! Click here for updates:

See even more on the subject at the City of Portland website. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Generation of Homeowners Underwater

Today's Oregonian features an article about a generation of homeowners underwater on their mortgages.  By some reports half of homeowners under 40 are "upside down." Many cite this as a reason that Generation Y fear buying homes and prefer to rent.
Read more at the Oregonian.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Greg Frick to Speak at 25th Annual Institute of Real Estate Management Forecast Breakfast

HFO is pleased to announce that partner Greg Frick will be a featured speaker at this year's IREM Forecast Breakfast.  The event is December 6th at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom.  Hundreds of Portland's real estate professionals attend to learn what experts predict for the coming year in office, industrial, retail and multifamily real estate. This year's guest speaker is Portland Timbers' owner Merritt Paulson.  
If you'd like to hear Greg's predictions, don't despair! He'll be updating his speech in time for HFO's annual investor roundtable event in January.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Red Capitol Group With Portland 3rd Quarter 2012 Update

If you missed your edition, this month's Lordlord Times provides a great story on Q3 2012 Payroll Trends and Forecast, along with current absorption and vacancy rate trends. 

Important points:

  • Red Capital Research forecasts that Portland will hold the #2 lowest vacancy rate in the U.S. behind NYC through 2012.
  • Axiometrics, which surveys only larger, professionally managed properties shows a vacancy rate of 5.1%
  • Reis reports average effective rent increases of 5.4%
  • Portland ranks #3 in the Red Capital Group's "RED 50" list for effective rent summary increases

Click here to read the full paper.  

Click here to see all of HFO Investment Real Estate's Current Listings.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manufacturing in Portland Outperforms Rival Cities

Portland metro's manufacturing sector provides 11 percent of all area jobs. The Value of Jobs coalition produced a report stating:
  • In 2010, Portland-metro’s manufacturing sector produced $32.6 billion worth of output, which constitutes more than 26 percent of total regional output;
  • The manufacturing sector is a gateway for workers from a variety of backgrounds to gain access to family-wage jobs and good benefits;
  • Roughly 70 percent of all manufacturing firms in the region have fewer than 20 employees; and
  • Portland-metro is home to a number of “tipping point” industries that positions the region well for possible growth in the future.
Since 1990 Portland has outperformed 8 rival cities in terms of manufacturing jobs, including Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver.

Click here to read the full report.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

May we Honor the Nation's Veterans EVERY DAY

Josephine County Veterans' Walk of Honor Memorial
I know many of you have the same experience I do:  we have relatives or friends that have served or who currently serve in the armed forces of the United States.  Like some of you, I also have members in my family who work every day in service to members of the military - either at V.A. Hospitals or clinics, education and job services, and many others. 

May we all take time on a regular basis, not just one day each year, to consider, appreciate and honor the many sacrifices of personal freedom and liberty our service men and women make for the sake of our nation and for their friends and loved ones.  And let us ask ourselves what we might do for them in return.

--on behalf of the entire team at HFO
Aaron Kirk Douglas, Marketing Director

Monday, November 12, 2012

Freddie Mac: Multifamily To Remain Strong Through 2015

FREDDIE MAC reports the multifamily market will remain strong through 2015. 
Here are the highlights of its recent forecast:
  • Recent declines in homeownership related to economic stress and high foreclosures in the single-family housing market have benefited the multifamily market;
  • The homeownership rate will drop 1 to 2 percentage points if the current slow recovery continues;
  • The single-family rental market, a growing and distinct market from multifamily, has expanded 16 percent (about 3 million units) since 2007;
  • Multifamily market demand is expected to be strong through 2015 primarily due to demographic trends and a decreasing national homeownership rate;
  • Rental demand will continue to grow faster than historical averages;
  • Multifamily demand is likely to be 1.7 million new renter households between now and 2015 (slow growth prediction). If the economic recovery accelerates, demand will be in 1 million new renter range; and if no recovery, then in the 1.6 million range for new renters.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

City of Portland Conducting Online Survey on Apartments With No Parking

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is conducting an online survey of Apartments with no parking.  Click here to take the survey.

The Bureau has a website devoted to this hot topic, including the results of a recent study that the Oregonian reports found little neighborhood impact from apartments built without parking

The City of Portland invites you to keep up on what is happening with the Apartment Parking Task Force! Click here for updates:

The City is holding a public forum for additional discussion of parking issues. The public forum will be from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday in city offices at 1900 S.W. Fourth Ave., room 2500A.

To see earlier stories about this issue click here, and here.

Thank you for reading HFO's Northwest Apartment Investor Blog! Click here to visit our website home page.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

City Council Approves Housing/Neighborhood Goals For Central City

The Portland City Council has just approved the Central City 2035 Concept Plan.  The Plan includes goals for Economic Development, Housing and Neighborhoods, the Willamette RiverHealth and the Environment, and Urban Design.
Goals for this study will directly impact multifamily development in all four quadrants of the central city.
To see the entire 58-page Central City 2035 Concept Plan, go to

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top Tips for Property Owners on Working with Portland Police

If you're a Portland metro area property owner who has sometimes wondered how to best interact with local police, this video provides some important tips, no matter what city you live in.


Over 15,000 Multifamily Units Under Construction, Planned or Proposed in Portland Metro

What's going on? It has been all over the news! Portland has one of the tightest rental markets in the nation. The past few years, limited construction took place in the Portland Metro area and the apartment market and renters are feeling the effects. Even with conservative adjustments by MMHA, the vacancy rate is expected to remain below 5.0% in 2012 and rents are trending upward. As a result, the anticipated increase in apartment construction is well underway.

What's going up? Approximately 3,093 market rate apartments in 25 different complexes are currently leasing up or under construction with leasing beginning in Q3 and Q4 of 2012 and into 2013. The largest number of units under construction are located in the suburban westside markets followed by the close-in Portland submarket on both east and west sides. A total 538 income restricted units in six different complexes are in development. The majority of the income restricted units are located in the South Waterfront. Reach Community Development is building Grays Landing, a 209-unit complex under construction on Block 49 with an expected completion date in the fourth quarter of 2012. The remaining income restricted units are found in North Portland, Vancouver and Close-in Portland.

What's coming up? Another 6,548 market rate units are planned for 2013 and beyond; permits have been pulled or properties are undergoing development review for 52 different properties. Similar to the apartments currently under construction, the majority of development is taking place in the suburban westside submarkets followed by the close-in, urban east and westside submarkets. An additional 512 planned units are income-restricted. These complexes are smaller with an average size of 51 units among 10 different complexes.

Announced prospective units include 4,180 units in 26 new apartment communities and 164 additional low-income units.

What's it mean? Not all of the above-referenced apartment projects will likely be built. Still, new construction is clearly on the uptick in the Portland/Vancouver metro apartment market and it looks like this is a trend we can expect to continue. The end result for multifamily owners is increased competition for tenants as newer properties are added to existing inventory.

Resources for this report include: Daily Journal of Commerce, Portland Business Journal,, City Permit Offices and HFO Research.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Census Reports Portland/Vancouver Multifamily Vacancy at 4.5%

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today the Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton vacancy rate rose from 4.2 percent in Q2 2012 to 4.5 percent in the third quarter, making it 9th lowest vacancy rates among the top 75 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). This estimate is slightly above the 3.6 percent vacancy rate reported by the Metro Multifamily Housing Association in its Fall, 2012 survey.

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ranked #24 with a Q3 2012 vacancy estimate of 7.3 percent, up 4.1 percent from the prior quarter.

The nation's 10 lowest vacancy rates were as follows:
  • Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NJ - 1.0%
  • Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA - 2.1%
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA -2.5%
  • Syracuse, NY - 2.7%
  • Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA - 3.4%
  • Alburquerque, NM - 3.8% (Tie)
  • Toledo, OH - 3.8% (Tie)
  • Worcester, MA - 3.9%
  • Columbia, SC - 4.1%
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA - 4.5%
  • Denver-Aurora, CO - 4.6%
The MSA's with the five highest vacancy rates were as follows:
  • Tucson, AZ - 15.3%
  • Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI- 15.5%
  • Orlando, FL - 15.7%
  • Richmond, VA - 20.7%
  • Dayton, OH - 25.7%
Average national vacancy rates in the third quarter 2012 were 8.6 percent for rental housing and 1.9 percent for homeowner housing, the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau announced today. The rental vacancy rate of 8.6 percent was 1.2 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in the third quarter 2011 (+/-0.4 percentage points) and approximately the same as the rate last quarter (+/-0.4)*.  The homeowner vacancy rate of 1.9 percent was 0.5 percentage points lower than Q3 2011 (+/-0.2) and 0.2 percentage points lower (+/-0.1) than the rate last quarter (2.1 percent).
Click to see the data for all Metro Areas

See HFO's current apartment listings

The 18-car parking garage by day that becomes 8 apartments at night!

Multifamily Executive Magazine reports on this new concept: a daytime parking garage that becomes nighttime apartments.  Thoughts? Click to see the design.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Portland and Seattle Top Cities for Multifamily Rent Growth

Rental markets in the Pacific Northwest are among the hottest for national effective rent growth.  Real Facts reports that both Portland and Seattle were tied for seventh place in the U.S. with average rent increases of 6.2 percent. Click here to see the rankings.

Apartment Construction Surges in Bay Area

Apartment construction is up all across the country.  Here is the latest from Portland's sister city to the south, San Francisco.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vancouver Wins Funds To Prep 58 Acres for Industry, Jobs

The Port of Vancouver announced it has received a substantial grant to prepare 58 acres of its property for industrial development, which it hopes will lead to the creation of 500 new jobs.  Read this story in the Portland Business Journal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Portland Apartment Rents Continue to Rise as Vacancy Falls

Elliot Njus of the Oregonian reported on news from today's Metro Multifamily Housing Association breakfast.  Click the link below for details:

Portland Apartment Market: Stable Vacancies, Rents Increasing

The Metro Multifamily Housing Association reported at its bi-annual breakfast this morning the following key indicators of the Portland/Vancouver Metro Area Housing Market:
  • A 3.63% vacancy rate, down from 3.7% in spring, 2012
  • Rent rates increased by 3% over the prior six months, reflecting an annual rent increase of 6.2%
  • Inner/Central SE and NE Portland continue to be very tight markets with vacancy factors of 2.3% and 2.6%
  • The average number of days a unit stays vacant has dropped from 43 to 37 days
  • Rent overall has increased to $1.03 per square foot
Salem and Eugene
  • In Salem vacancies are 3.07%, up slightly from spring 2012; rents have declined
  • In Eugene/Springfield, vacancies are at 3.7% and rent rates are on the rise.
Bend and Redmond
  • Vacancy rates have decreased from 8.4% to under 3.9% in the past six months.
Each six months, Metro Multifamily Housing conducts a survey; the survey released today represented a survey of 869 properties with a total of 56,080 apartment units.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

January 2013's New 3.8% Medicare Tax on Real Estate Income = More Incentive for Sec. 1031 Exchange

New tax provides another reason to participate in a Section 1031 Exchange after January 1, 2013.

Beginning January 1, 2013 individuals with a modified adjusted gross income of at least $200,000 ($250,000 for couples filing jointly) will face a new 3.8 percent Medicare tax. For purposes of calculating the tax investment income will include rental income. There will be certain ways to avoid the tax, such as qualifying as a real estate professional and materially participating activities that generate the income. 

Read more in this article by Jenee Hilliard, attorney with Miller Nash LLP.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oregon Economy Rebounds After Short Slide

University of Oregon economist Tim Duy reported today that the UO Index suggests continued economic growth. The baseline scenario remains steady but relatively slow growth for the national economy, with Oregon following a similar trajectory. The possibility of either a sharp fiscal contraction in the early part of 2013 or deterioration in the global economy (or both) remains a risk to the outlook. Read more in Oregon Business Report.

U.S. Multifamily Trend: Apartment Demand Slowing But Not Stalled

CNBC reports that the multifamily real estate analysis firm REIS has new data showing that "Apartment vacancies fell by just ten basis points in the third quarter of 2012, from 4.7 percent to 4.6 percent. . . . While that is still an improvement, it is the slowest rate since the recovery began in 2010."

According to CNBC, many analysts still believe apartment demand will remain robust in the near term, relative to where it has been historically, as so many potential home buyers are shut out of the mortgage market due to damaged credit. They also point to a shift in the homeownership mentality of younger Americans, who have seen what the housing crash did to their parents and who are gravitating more and more to urban centers.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Satellite Provider Ordered to Pay Dish Removal Cost to Multifamily Owner

After spending six months negotiating with Dish Network trying to get some relief for costs to remove satellite dishes from his apartment building, an L.A. owner sued in small claims, winning $850 to cover the costs and $110 in court costs.  Click here to read the full story.

Looking for multifamily properties for sale in Oregon or SW Washington? Click here to see many of HFO's current listings; call our office for more information at 503-241-5541.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

U.S. Apartment Rent Growth Levels Ease, But Remain Strong

MPF Research reports that Apartment Growth levels eased in Q3 of 2012; fundamentals remain quite healthy. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Minorities and Higher-Income Housholds Dominate Increase in Renters

Between 2001 and 2011 the number of renters increased by 5.1 million -- the largest number in the postwar era.  A full 1 million renters were added in 2011 alone, the most since the early 1980's. 

Married couples comprised 50 percent of the growth in renter households from 2006-2011. 

As the number of renters has been increasing, multifamily housing starts have increased to an annual rate of 225,000 in early 2012 -- still far short of the 340,000-unit annual average seen in the decade prior to 2007-2009.  In many markets, developers are planning substantially more multifamily construction, leading to the current debate over whether certain U.S. markets will soon be oversupplied. 

Read the complete 2012 Harvard Study "State of the Nation's Housing."

36-Unit Multifamily Investment Property in SE Portland - With Parking - $2.75M

Lassam Terrace is a well-maintained property with unique features not typically found in a property of this size. The two bedroom and one and one half bathroom apartments all include air conditioning and washer/dryer hookups.  Lassam Terrace is a newer complex for this area; a neighborhood of established single family homes and retail businesses.
The Lassam Terrace Apartments boast a strong eastside location near Mall 205 and Portland’s green line MAX light rail. The property is within the Gateway Area business district in close proximity to retail and commercial services including Target, 24 Hour Fitness and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

21 Townhouse Units Near Multnomah Village $1,750,000

These 21 townhouse tyle units near Multnomah Village are just minutes from city center.  This low-density property is in a peaceful setting - some units have views.  A professionally managed, turnkey property.  Click here for more information on Capitol Terrace.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Apartment Owners: Find Peace of Mind Requiring Renter’s Insurance

A National Multi Housing Council Risk Survey last fall reveals that 66 percent of respondents now require renter’s insurance regardless of the state or municipality.  The debate over whether requiring renters to carry insurance will lead to increased vacancies is sometimes a loud one.  Read more in the Property Management Insider.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Action Strategy Checklist for A Green Improvement Guide

The City of Portland has a new guide with practical ideas and strategies that will help you save energy, improve comfort, minimize waste and help Portland reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 as described in the 2009 Climate Action Plan.

Many of the items outlined in this guide for businesses are applicable to new and retrofitted apartments.  To download a PDF of this 49 page guide, click here.

To see HFO's current apartment listings, click here.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bedbugs - Driving Owners to Bankruptcy?

The Oregonian reports that some apartment owners with an outbreak of bedbugs have been forced into bankruptcy trying to deal with the problem. Read More in today's Oregon Live.

What can you do to be proactive? Start here:  National Apartment Association - Bed Bugs Resource Center.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Multifamily Development on Division St. - 224 Apartments And No Parking

Seven of the 11 new buildings won’t have on-site parking—thanks to a city zoning rule that exempts developers from having to provide it. That’s 224 new rental units in 13 blocks without a single new parking space.  Read more in today's Willamette Week article.

Meanwhile the Oregonian reported today that a 68-unit apartment building on N. Interstate being built without parking has neighbors in an uproar.  Read more.

OPB is now compiling its stories on the issue -- Click here.

See all of HFO's current multifamily investment properties in Oregon and SW Washington.

Study: Young People Flock to Portland to Work!

Despite ranking 42nd out of 50 metro areas for annual income ($42k) -- a study finds that young people move to Portland to work, and not just to "put a bird on it," as Portlandia fans might have been led to believe.  Read more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Update on Citizen Concerns over New Apartments Without Parking

At last week's Portland City Council meeting neighborhood residents expressed concern over the number of apartments under construction without parking.  Read or listen to OPB's report.

Click here to see all of HFO's listings.

Apartment Owners - Time to Plan Now for 2013's Possible Tax Increases on Future Capital Gains and Ordinary Income

By Michael Lortz and Erin Dulley
Geffen Mesher & Company, P.C.

It's time to switch to high gear for the possible federal tax changes coming our way in 2013. Although the future tax landscape remains foggy, planning can go a long way in minimizing the impact of potential tax increases. As things stand today, a number of tax increases are scheduled to take effect in 2013.

Ordinary Income Tax Rates
Tax cuts that became law in 2001 and 2003 will expire at the end of 2012 unless legislative intervention occurs. Since this is an election year, highlighted by contention and gridlock in Congress, it is uncertain whether Congress will pass an extension of these tax cuts before year end. It is important to consider these changes now in your financial planning.

One of the biggest changes on the horizon is an increase to ordinary income tax rates. The lowest marginal rate would jump from 10 percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2013. The top tax rate would climb from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. In addition, actual rates will be even higher after factoring in a new 3.8 percent Medicare tax on passive investment income, and the 0.9 percent Medicare payroll-tax increase, both of which will affect individual filers making more than $200,000 and joint filers with income above $250,000.
Capital Gains Tax Rates
Cuts to capital gains tax rates also expire at the end of 2012. In 2013, the capital gains tax rate is scheduled to rise from 15 to 20 percent. In addition, qualified dividends, which are currently taxed at capital gain rates, are scheduled to be taxed as ordinary income once again, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.

The change in capital gains taxes will have even more of an impact on low and high income earners. Consider that earners in the 15 percent marginal income tax bracket currently have zero capital gains tax liability. In 2013, the capital gains tax is scheduled to increase from zero to 10 percent for the lowest tax brackets. This change will particularly affect retirees who have low taxable income but have long-term investments with significant gains.

After 2012, individual taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $200,000 (or $250,000 if married filing jointly) will have an additional 3.8 percent Medicare tax added to their capital gains tax rate. Effectively, this will increase the capital gains tax rate from today’s 15 percent to 23.8 percent in 2013.

Given these circumstances, some investors will find it advantageous to sell assets resulting in long-term capital gains during 2012 in order to have those gains taxed at the current lower rate.**

Estate Tax Changes
Another key issue that may affect an owner’s decision to sell in 2012 is the possibility of an increased Estate Tax in 2013. One of the following options seems likely to play out in Congress this year:

·       Do nothing. Congress does nothing and allows the current tax law to expire December 31, 2012. If this happens, then a $1 million estate tax exemption and 55 percent estate tax rate take effect January 1, 2013.

·       Extend current tax law. Congress extends the current tax law to 2013 and beyond. This increases the current $5,120,000 exemption by an inflation-indexed amount for 2013. Assets above the exemption amount are taxed at the current rate of 35 percent.

·       Pass a compromise bill. Congress passes an estate tax compromise lowering the estate tax exemption and increasing the estate tax rate to something more in line with the 2009 numbers of $3,500,000 and 45%. This might also include a repeal of portability between spouses, which has been in effect for the 2011 and 2012 tax years.
·       Repeal the estate tax completely. Congress would completely repeal the federal estate tax. This seems fairly unlikely given the current political and economic climate.

The uncertainty regarding the estate tax has prompted many taxpayers to take advantage of 2012’s favorable gift tax opportunities, including the ability to potentially gift up to $5,120,000 of value tax free. Gifting can also reduce potential state death taxes that are often based on a lower exemption amount such as Oregon.

For more information contact Michael Lortz or Erin Dulley, Geffen Mesher & Company, (503) 221-0141.

**Note: Any decision to sell capital assets should be based on consideration of economic fundamentals in conjunction with your investment goals in addition to the potential tax ramifications.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Developer Joe Weston Concerned About Development of Small Close-In Apartments

In a Portland Business Journal Real Estate Roundtable, Portland developer and apartment mogul Joe Weston said he worries about the proliferation of apartment projects bringing no parking and tiny units to Portland’s inner neighborhoods. Click here to read more.

To see more of HFO's current apartment listings throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, click here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Multifamily Listing in SW Portland - 21 Units $1.75m

HFO is pleased to announce the listing of Capitol Terrace, a 21-unit apartment investment property in SW Portland.  Just minutes from city center with large townhouse style units, this property offers an opportunity to purchase a well-located westside multifamily investment on over an acre of land.

Click here to learn more! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Expert Rent Growth Predictions: Steady For The Next Few Years

Axiometrics predicts that average apartment rents will settle into a steady pace of growth over the next few years, similar to rental markets in the mid-1990s, as occupancy rates stay very high.

Annual effective rent growth slowed from 3.83 percent in June to 3.73 percent in July, according to Axiometrics. That’s the lowest year-over-year growth since August 2010. Rent growth peaked last July at annual rate of 5.32 percent, but it has been close to an annual rate of 4.0 percent the past nine months due primarily to the under-performance in August, September and November last year.

However you slice it, rents are rising faster than inflation overall. The Consumer Price Index has grown at a rate of less than 2 percent a year this summer and grown less than 3 percent a year since the financial crisis. Read the Full Story at National Real Estate Investor online.

See all of HFO Investment Real Estate's Portland Investment Properties at

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top 10 Cities Where It's Cheaper to Rent than to Own. Guess Where Portland Ranks?

Now that home prices are declining and rents are increasing, the advantages of renting over owning is reaching a tipping point in many metropolitan areas.  But not in Portland.  Click here to read more in Multifamily Executive. 

Portland Creates Plan for Central City through 2035 That Will Set Public Investment Priorities

It's been 40 years since the City of Portland last created a plan for downtown Portland. (Yes, that's right -- it was the "1972 Downtown Plan"!).

Now comes word there's a draft update of that plan based on priorities set forth in the recently unveiled "Portland Plan," among other things.

The new plan is called "Central City 2035".



The plan will be presented for public comment as follows:

Tuesday, September 11th
1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 2500A

For additional information visit the City's website at:

Will Your Multifamily Investment Property Lose Value As The Housing Market Recovers?

Rents are sky high in most of the largest U.S. markets, and vacancies are down and still falling. Multifamily housing starts were up 30 percent in July from a year ago, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, and multifamily permits were up over 47 percent... With the housing market "recovering" what does that mean for apartment investments? Read more at CNBC.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oregon Posts Five Months of Job Gains

The state employment department reports that Oregon has sustained five months of slow job gains, the longest steady gain since March of 2007.  Last month government agencies accounted for nearly all of the job growth last month, according to the Oregon Employment Department. Public payrolls added a seasonally adjusted 1,700 jobs. Private hiring, meanwhile, slumped to a mere 100 jobs, seasonally adjusted. Construction posted the biggest gains, but manufacturers and private educators shed more than 1,000 positions apiece. Read More at Oregon Live.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Axiometrics: National Apartment Market Softer in June

Axiometrics Inc. reports that most apartment markets across the country, while still strong by historical standards, have moderated from peak effective rent growth levels recorded last summer. Weak job growth, as recently reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), appears to be having an impact on the apartment market as national sequential effective rent growth from May to June was just 0.52%, as compared to 0.76% in the same period of 2011. Still, despite the most recent slowdown, 2012 could be the third consecutive year that the national apartment market posts effective rent growth of 4.0% or more.  Read the full story - click here.

To see all of HFO's current listings - click here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Apartment Market Hot Streak Continues - 18 Months of Growth

For the sixth quarter in a row, the apartment industry improved across all indexes in the National Multi Housing Council’s (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. The survey’s indexes measuring Market Tightness (76), Sales Volume (54), Equity Financing (58) and Debt Financing (77) all measured at 50 or higher, indicating growth from the previous quarter.

Read the full story online at the National Multi-Housing Council.

Looking for an apartment investment in Oregon or SW Washington? Click here to see our currently available exclusive listings or call us today at 503-241-5541 to help you locate that perfect investment property.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Portland Apartment Buildings Built Without Parking, Some Complain

Apartment buildings are going up all over Portland, this summer. The construction is a positive trend in the sluggish economy. But nearly two-thirds of the recent projects are going up without any parking places.

OPB News reported today on this latest trend. Click here to listen to audio or read the report online.

Looking for an Apartment Investment in Portland? Click here to see HFO's current listings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Portland Apartment Market Rent Growth Cools in Q2

A year ago, Portland ranked among the nation’s rent growth leaders.  In 2012’s 2nd quarter Portland fell below the U.S. average although it still compares favorably to many markets.  The slowdown to effective rent growth traces to units built since 2000.

Apartment Investors! Five Ideas to Step-Up On-Time Rent Payments

How do you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to cultivating high-value, on-time payers? It’s a fact: seeking is easier than chasing. With that in mind, here are five ideas to consider for a low-cost, low-effort, proactive strategy to address payment compliance. Read the full story.

New Listings! Exclusive Apartment Listings throughout Oregon and SW Washington - Click Here.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Energy Trust of Oregon Offers Cash Incentives for Multifamily T12 Lighting Upgrades

Now is the time to change antiquated T12 fluorescent fixtures to energy-efficient light fixtures. Federal legislation requires new efficiency standards for the manufacturing of linear fluorescent lamps as of July 14, 2012. Energy Trust offers cash incentives to customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power for upgrading T12 fixtures to high-performance T8 or T5 lamps with electronic ballasts. Incentives range from $20 to $42 depending on the size of the existing fixture. Efficient lighting upgrades lower energy usage and have one of the quickest payback periods of efficiency improvements, ranging from one to three years, particularly when combined with Energy Trust incentives. Take control of your energy costs. For more information, contact an Energy Trust representative at 1.866.368.7878 or visit for more information.

For all the latest apartment listings click here to visit HFO's exclusive listing website.

Monday, July 30, 2012

U.S. Census: Portland / Vancouver Multifamily Vacancy Rate Q2 2012 is 5.8%

The U.S. Census Bureau reports Portland's vacancy rate rose from 4.2% in Q1 2012 to 5.8%, landing it in the middle of the pack of the nation's vacancy rates among the top 75 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA had a Q2 2012 vacancy estimate of 3.2 percent, down from 7.5 percent a year earlier.

The nation's 10 lowest vacancy rates were as follows:

  • Bakersfield, CA - 0.7%
  • Worcester, MA - 0.8%
  • Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA - 1.1%
  • Rochester, NY - 1.4%
  • Fresno, CA - 2.4%
  • Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ - 2.5%
  • Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI - 2.9%
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA - 3.2%
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - 3.2%
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 3.5%
  • Denver-Aurora, CO - 4.1%

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

  • Richmond, VA\28 - 14.9%
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL - 15.5%
  • Tucson, AZ - 16.2%
  • Memphis, TN-AR-MS - 16.5%
  • New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA - 21.3%
  • Orlando, FL - 21.3%

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Apartment Investments in Portland and Surrounds Traded by HFO Multifamily Brokers for $23 Million

HFO Investment Real Estate (HFO) is pleased to announce recent sales of apartment investment properties in excess of $23 million. HFO recently sold The Meridian in Salem for $8.5 million, Hawthorne 44 in SE Portland for $5.5 million, Tamarack Village in Vancouver for $2.875 million, Griffin Court on SE Division for $1.589 million and Brackney Estates in Beaverton for $4.975 million. Read more.

Click to visit HFO's website to see all our current listings.

Portland Apartments Being Added Without Parking: Neighbors Worried

The Oregonian reported some neighborhoods have a growing concern over apartments being developed without parking.
The number of projects that will not have parking has caused such consternation that the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently sent out a fact sheet to help neighbors and community groups better understand zoning laws and other city policies that allow developers to build apartments without parking. This summer, two city bureaus will survey car ownership rates and usage at apartment buildings and condo projects that provide little or no on-site parking.
Read the full story at Oregonlive.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Apartment Investments in Portland Going Strong According to Holliday Fenoglio Fowler Report

A Multi-Housing Pulse report released by the Commercial Real Estate lender Holliday Fenoglio Fowler highlights Portland as one area of the country doing exceptionally well in the apartment market. The report cites:

  • REIS vacancy rate report for Q1 2012 of 2.4 percent
  • Delivery of only 71 units in 2011 with population growth of 41,000
  • Oregon's second highest growth rate in GDP from 2011 to 2011 with a Gross Domestic Product rate of 4.7%
  • Portland metro has been creating new private-sector jobs adding 11,500 new jobs (1.37 percent) as of April 2012
  • Compared to 2010 and 2011 institutional investors are reportedly accounting for around 30% of the buyer pool
Download the full report.

Portland Apartment Investors - Here's a Free City of Portland Perk You Should Know About!

The City of Portland offers a program called Enhanced Safety Properties. Owners who participate get a huge perk from the city that other property owners don't get! Check out our interview with program manager Stephanie Reynolds to learn more.

Multifamily Marketing Using Social Networks and Mobile Devices Proceeding at Warp Speed

In the latest edition of Units Magazine is an article about the swift adoption by the multifamily industry of marketing strategies tailored to social networking and mobile devices. Read the full article.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

REIS Reports National Vacancy Rates Below 5% With Portland at 2.2%

"With overall vacancy below this level, it appears that rents are beginning to accelerate,” according to Reis Senior Economist Ryan Severino. This is only the third time in Reis’s 31 year history that the national vacancy rate has fallen below 5 percent. Read the full story on National Real Estate Investor.

Meanwhile for Portland, REIS reported the Rose City and surrounds are enjoying a 2.2 vacancy rate, second only to the Big Apple.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gen Y Moving From Mom and Dad's to Apartments Soon?

Harvard University's "State of the Nation's Housing" report revealed that 2 million 18-34 year olds moved back with parental units between 2006-2010. That leaves #multifamily experts thinking the Generation Y housing boom is all set to happen...just as soon as the job market picks up. Read More.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Portland Second Lowest US Multifamily Vacancy Behind New York City

Oregonian Reporter Elliott Njus reports that the real estate analytics firm REIS reports Portland's Apartment vacancy rate is 2.2 percent, just slightly behind New York City, at the nation's second lowest. Click here to read more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Apartment Rents Rise Most Since 2007 - Vacancies Fall

REIS reports that all 79 top U.S. Markets see effective rents for apartments rise at 2 percent or more. Read More.

Apartment Laundry Rooms: What Renters Expect and Want Most

While the very provision of laundry services is something that can boost the appeal of your property, proper maintenance and renovation of this amenity is quite important. Read more at this month's Multi-Housing News Online.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Apartment Investments Across the US Do Well Second Quarter

The Numbers are out for multifamily investment properties for the second quarter of 2012 and MFP research says things are still looking good.

Monday, July 2, 2012

National Apartment Occupancy At Lowest Rate Since 2006

Nationally, effective rents increased 0.74% from April to May. Year-to-date (YTD) growth remains very similar to the past two years, with the national data set up 3.29% YTD. Read the full press release from Axiometrics.