Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Once Again - Portland Ranked As Having Nation's Lowest Apartment Vacancy Market by U.S. Census

The U.S. Census Bureau reported today the Portland/Vancouver metro area vacancy rate fell from 5.2 percent in Q4 2012 to 3.3 percent in the first quarter, tying with Grand Rapids for the nation's lowest rental vacancy rate among the top 75 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). This estimate is slightly less than the 3.55 percent vacancy rate reported by Multifamily NW in their spring 2013 survey.
The nation's 11 lowest vacancy rates were as follows:
  • Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR - 3.3% (tie)
  • Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI - 3.3% (tie)
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - 4.0%
  • Honolulu, HI - 4.3% (tie)
  • Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.J. - 4.3% (tie)
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA - 4.4%
  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - 4.6%
  • Rochester, NY - 4.9%
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, FL - 5.1% (tie)
  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island - 5.1% (tie) 
The MSA's with the five highest vacancy rates for Q1 2013 were as follows:
  • Dayton, OH - 14.3%
  • Memphis, TN-AR-MS - 14.6%
  • Las Vegas-Paradise, NV - 14.9%
  • St. Louis, MO-IL - 15.6%
  • Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI - 15.7%
  • Tucson, AZ - 20.8% 
Average national rental vacancy rates for Q1 2013 was 8.6%.

Download the Census Bureau table here.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oregonian: Seattle Firm Proposing 280 Units on South Waterfront

The Oregonian reports today that Harbor Urban LLC of Seattle proposes to build a six-story 280-unit building with underground parking and street level retail on the South Waterfront.  A 118-unit apartment building is currently under construction nearby.  Projects have begun to pick up in light of the Portland-Milwaukie light rail bridge currently under construction.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

March 2013 Multifamily Permits Approach Long Term U.S. Average

Axiometrics reports that in March, annual multifamily (MF) permits increased by 24.7% at the national level from the comparable period a year ago.

With the March 2013 MF permit number at 283,000 units, annual MF permitting has now been above 200,000 for 17 consecutive months. The anticipation of moderating but still healthy apartment market fundamentals over the next two years and stable long-term demographics and economic outlook is stimulating developers and investors to start new projects. Even with the first waves of permits during this upward cycle being turned into completions this year, completions will still remain slightly below the long-term historical average for the U.S. and most metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). By 2014, most MSAs will see their inventory growth pass the historical average However, there are some MSAs like Charleston; Raleigh; Washington, DC; Baltimore; Austin; Nashville; Philadelphia; and Seattle, where new supply will outpace the historical average rate this year.   (March 2013 permitting numbers by metropolitan area will be released on April 24, 2013.)

Although still positive, apartment market fundamentals slowed somewhat in March 2013. Nationally, annual effective rent growth in March 2013 slowed to 3.2%, down from 3.5% in February 2013 and 4.1% in March 2012. Prior to March 2013 annual effective rent growth had remained at or around 3.6% since June 2012. The occupancy rate increased to 944% in March 2013, up 20 basis points (bps) from February 2013 and 40 bps from the same period a year ago.  U.S. apartment occupancy is forecasted to peak at 95.2% in 3Q13 before the effects of the supply pipeline are felt and occupancy begins to decline.  The annual effective rent growth is forecast to continue to moderate throughout the remainder of 2013.

The top ten MSAs for MF permitting for the trailing 12 months ending February 2013 were: New York, NY (14,638 units); Houston, TX (14,253 units); Austin, TX (12,770 units); Dallas, TX (12,006 units); Los Angeles, CA (9,210 units); Seattle, WA (9,178 units); Denver, CO (8,243 units); Washington, DC (7,912 units); Raleigh, NC (6,208 units); and Charlotte, NC (5,613 units). Urban infill locations account for the bulk of the supply being delivered this year, although construction activity is now starting to pick up in the suburbs of some of these MSAs as the urban core is getting a little too crowded in a few of them.

Some of the top MF permitting places on a trailing 12-month basis through January 2013 were: City of Austin (8,941 units); City of Houston (8,378 units); City of Seattle (7,173 units); City of Los Angeles (6,709 units); City of Dallas (5,864 units); City of Denver (4,967); and Mecklenburg Co., Charlotte (4,651 units).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Why Facebook "Likes" for Your Apartment Building on Facebook May Suddenly Become Important

Facebook has just begun to roll out a new search feature it calls "Graph Search."  This search feature is being developed with the expertise of two former Google employees.

And when this new search is fully deployed nationally, it will significantly alter the way people perform all kinds of searches.

Watch this short video on Facebook. 

What does that mean to you as an apartment owner? In the future, as users of Facebook pile up more and more "likes" for pages that include apartment buildings they have lived in, condo buildings they have lived in, etc., those likes will be searchable.  A Facebook user would be able to type in "what apartments do my friends like in Boston?" and if their friends have liked an apartment building Facebook page it will appear in search results.

Read more on this coming change in this article.

Read more on the status and development of Graph Search on Wikipedia.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oregonian: Apartment Market Grows Tighter, Rent Increases Slow

New apartment construction throughout the metro area is expected to slow the pace of recent rent hikes.

A speaker at the MultifamilyNW Association breakfast last week predicted that 2014 and 2015 would see the end of an apartment market that is "out of balance," effectively eliminating the "landlord's market."

Click here to read the full story. 

Learn more about HFO Investment Real Estate.

MultifamilyNW Survey Results:

Spring 2013 Vacancy Rate
Downtown Portland
NW Portland
Inner & Central SE Portland
Inner & Central NE Portland
N. Portland|St Johns
SW Portland
Outer SE Portland
Outer NE Portland
Troutdale|Fairview|Wood Village|Gresham
Lake Oswego|West Linn
Oregon City|Gladstone
Hillsboro|N of Hwy 26
West Vancouver
East Vancouver
Salem and vicinity

Friday, April 19, 2013

Leafy Folk Remedy Found to Kill Bed Bugs - NY Times

The New York Times recently reported that scientists are studying a folk remedy proven to kill bedbugs can be harnessed to work like a bed bug version of a roach motel. Bean leaves spread on the floor impale the bedbug's armor, rendering them immobile. Scientists are working on a synthetic version of the leaf's "killer hooks."

Read more.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MultifamilyNW: Portland Metro Apartment Vacancy Rate Falls to 3.55%

Apartment vacancies in the Portland/Vancouver area declined to 3.55% according to Multifamily NW (previously the Metro Multifamily Housing Association).

Multifamily NW held its bi-annual Apartment Report breakfast this morning.  The area's lowest vacancies are reported as follows:

2.5% - N. Portland/St. Johns
2.7% Tigard/Tualatin/Sherwood
2.8% SW Portland
2.9% Inner & Central SE Portland
3.1% Milwaukie
3.3% in NW Portland.

Vacancy rates throughout the metro area were forecast to increase to 5% by 2015 as a result of new apartment construction.

This morning's report release event was sponsored by HFO.

See HFO's current listings of apartment buildings for sale in Oregon and SW Washington.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oregon Second in Nation for Inbound Migration According to United Van Lines Survey


Dueling migration reports of United Van Lines and U-Haul have recently been released.  Both show Oregon as a top in-migration state.

For the third year in a row, Oregon ranked #2 for in-migration according to a United Van Lines report.
The Northeast region leads the United States in outbound migration, according to the results of United Van Lines’ 36th annual “migration” study, which tracks which states the company’s customers move to and from during the course of the year. Washington, D.C., led the nation in inbound moves based on the study findings.

United has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2012, the study is based on all household moves handled by United within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. United classifies states as “high inbound” if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into a state and “high outbound” if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state or “balanced” if the difference of inbound and outbound is negligible.
The top-five inbound states of 2012 were:
  1. District of Columbia
  2. Oregon
  3. Nevada
  4. North Carolina
  5. South Carolina
This is the fifth consecutive year the District of Columbia (64 percent) was the top moving destination in the United States.

The Western United States is also represented on the high-inbound list with Oregon (61 percent) and Nevada (58 percent) both making the list. Oregon is number two for inbound migration for the third year in a row. Nevada returned to the high inbound traffic for the second consecutive year.

“The United Van Lines Annual Migration study shows the movement of people from frost belt to more sun belt states in the South and West,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “While big states such as California, Texas and Florida have more total moves than other states because of their sheer size, other high inbound states such as Washington, D.C., Oregon and the Carolinas may be attractive places to move because of their lower housing costs, more temperate climate, diversified and growing economies, as well as maturing manufacturing bases and high technology clusters.”

The top-five outbound states for 2012 were:
  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. West Virginia
  4. New York
  5. New Mexico

The U-Haul Report
Meanwhile, U-Haul International, Inc., has released the results of the annual U-Haul National Migration Trend Report, reflecting the nation’s top-growth states for families that moved during 2012.  The report shows Washington state with the highest percentage with 4.27 percent percent more families moving into the state than out.

Top states were:
  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Alabama
  4. North Carolina
  5. South Carolina
  6. Oregon

Friday, April 12, 2013

HFO-TV - What HB 3433 Means For Oregon's Tax Free Exchanges

Is the Oregon legislature going to start taxing federal 1031 tax-free exchanges? We sat down for a conversation with David Moore, CEO of Equity Advantage, Inc. to discuss the latest developments.

Call your legislator to let them know how you feel about HB 3433.  Don't know who to call? Click here to find your legislator.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gen Y - 75% Influenced by Apartment Ratings Sites

Apartment renters are rating where they live, and other Gen Y users are reading those sites.

Studies by Houston-based J. Turner Research "Trends in Resident Technology and Communications Preferences" report that only 5 percent of apartment prospects look at social media pages, but 75 percent of potential leasers look at online rating and review sites.

What sites are they looking at?
When asked "How Much Did Review Sites Affect Your Decision to Rent?" Respondents reported that these top 5 sites had a strong effect.

#1 move.com
#2 ApartmentReviews.net
#3 Yelp.com
#4 ApartmentRatings.com
#5 Rent.com

Other respondents "could not recall" the site they used but use of the Internet and the information they found there had a strong impact on a decision to rent.

Read more at Multifamily Executive.

See all of HFO's current listings.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Apartment Employee Turnover Rate Forecast to Increase in 2013

Multifamily Housing employee turnover rates are expected to continue edging higher in 2013, to 31.5 percent. Since data collection began in 2000, the lowest turnover reported was 28.6 percent in 2010 and the highest turnover was 40.3% reported in 2000. Data from Christopher E. Lee & Associates, Inc. and compiled from proprietary information provided by multifamily housing companies representing more than 300,000 units managed or owned nationwide. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yale Economist Robert Shiller: Diversify and Live in a Rental

Robert Shiller, creator of the Case-Shiller index of property values in an interview on Bloomberg in February noted that from 1890 to 1990 the appreciation in real terms of U.S. housing was just about zero percent. He sees no major rally for homeowners. 7

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Apartment Occupancy Dips, Rent Growth Slows in Top 100 Markets

With Portland still among the nation's leaders in low-occupancy and rent growth, the picture from the country as a whole indicates slowing rent growth and slightly lower vacancies. . .

Portland's Rent Growth Pegged at #7 for Q1 2013

U.S. Top 10 Rent Growth Leaders

MPF Research reported that the San Francisco Bay Area leads the nation for the title of top rent growth leader among top U.S. metro areas.

Rent Growth Leaders in Q1 2013
1 (Tie)San Francisco6.3%
1 (Tie)Oakland6.3%
3San Jose5.6%
9New York3.6%
10West Palm Beach

Data from MPF Research.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Over 300 New Apartments in Lloyd District Pipeline

New Apartment Projects Under Review for Lloyd District
Projects that would bring over 300 apartments to the Lloyd District are in the works.  The largest includes 238 units in a 20-story tower with ground floor retail proposed by American Assets Trust of San Diego. The project is the subject of an article appearing today in the Portland Business Journal.

A second smaller project in the area will bring 65 residential units to the former Broadway Furniture store site. As reported by the Daily Journal of Commerce in December, the project is being developed by Langley Investment Properties.  The building would include 18,000 SF of retail, 22,000 SF of office and 65 residential units on the two upper floors.