Apartment Building Investors: Everything You Need To Know About Water Rights In AZ, Part 1.

Apartment building investment broker ABI Multifamily’s Research Director, Thomas M. Brophy is out with part 1 of a pretty in-depth ‘overview’ of water rights in Arizona this week (Part 1 of 3). This is important not just because most of AZ is a desert (duh) but because Phoenix is expected to grow by the size of Denver over the next twenty-five years (See Phoenix population to add 2.6 million by 2040, housing supply not keeping up). They’re going to need a lot more apartments but  the biggest limiting factor will be the ability to provide water for that many new tenants.

Water rights critical for Arizona apartment building investors

Source: ABI Multifamily.

Brophy begins with the background so that as the story unfolds we will understand how things got to be the way they are, and most importantly, how to make sure your residents aren’t walking to the town well every morning with a big jug on their heads. Not light reading but it just might give you an edge- See part 1 here: The Motions, Notions and Commotions of Water!  Part 1: Arizona Water, an Overview.

Have a great weekend and good hunting-

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CA Retirment Plan Commits Additional $2 Billion to Apartment Builidng Investments.

September 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Commercial Real Estate, Multifamily Investments 

Updated 1:46pm Correction: CalPERS is only shutting down its hedge fund investments. See Calpers Is Done With Hedge Funds; Paid $135 Million in Fees Last Year for 7.1% Return at Bloomberg.com

Was just on a call this morning with Peter Linneman, Chief Economist at NAI Global where they were discussing CalPERS’ decision to eliminate their investments in hedge funds. That hasn’t had any effect on their apartment building investments however. While I was on the call I received a note from PERE announcing that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension plan in the US has committed more than S2,000,000,000 additional funds to multifamily investments during meetings this past July:

  • $1.33 billion to Institutional Multifamily Partners, seeking multifamily acquisition and development opportunities throughout the US.
  • $412.79 million to a partnership with Invesco Real Estate for core apartment properties in the West and Midwest.
  • $200 million went to a joint venture with Pacific Urban Residential for Class B multifamily assets in the western US.
  • Note that the 200M was in addition to the 214M committed when the JV was formed in January this year.
  • A less than $100M commitment to apartment lender and asset manager Centerline Holding which is now owned by Hunt.

All this was part of a 6.6B commitment to commercial real estate joint ventures, one of the largest single month investments made by the $300 Billion retirement plan. For the details see CalPERS commits $6.6bn to RE on PERE. Note: registration may be required.

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Increase NOI at Your Apartment Building with Fannie Mae’s Energy Star Findings

Fannie Mae launched their Energy Star program for apartment building investors by releasing their study on utility use. The report, called Transforming Multifamily Housing: Fannie Mae’s Green Initiative and ENERGY STAR for Multifamily (PDF). It’s loaded with great info on reducing energy and water use as well as stats on use broken up by unit, square foot and region. They also talk about their Green Preservation Plus loans which combined with certified Green Buildings they have financed $130 million in loans on as of Q1 2014. But let’s cut to the chase, key findings [Emphasis mine]:

  • On average, a 100,000 square foot property spends $125,000 on energy and $33,000 on water annually.
  • If this property saved 15% on energy and water costs, it would increase asset value by almost $400,000, at a 6% cap rate.
  • The least efficient properties use over three times as much energy and six times as much water per square foot as the most efficient properties.
  • When owners paid for all energy costs, median annual energy use was 26% higher than when tenants paid for them.
  • High-rise properties use almost 10% more energy per square foot than low-rise properties
  • Properties in the West use almost 50% more water per square foot compared to properties in the Northeast.

Clearly reducing common area utility costs and getting tenants to pay for their own use are the two of the best ways to improve Net Operating Income (NOI) and they have a nice graphic showing  just how to do that:

Reducing Utility Costs on Apartment Building Investments raises NOI

It’s an interesting finding that buildings in the West use Read more

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Apartment Building 10yr Loan Rates: Is 4.5% The Lower Limit?

September 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Apartment Finance, Apartment Rates 

The apartment building investment loan rate we track was down to the high 4.5s the last couple weeks of August and clocked in today at 4.603%. The spread between it and the 10 year Treasury has been trending above the 120 day average for five weeks and I’ll have more on that below. The ULI <60LTV rate has been noisy and almost looks like it’s fighting to continue lower:

10 Year Treasury versus Apartment Building Loan Rates Sept 8 2014

Click for full size image.

While the ULI rate works its way south, it seems like 4.5% is the hard boundary for the Read more

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Suburban Apartment Building Development Returns Bringing New Competition

In an Axiometrics piece out today “Multifamily Completions Will Continue to Rise” they had a chart showing apartment building completions versus starts lagged 1 year:

Apartment Building Starts v. Completions

Why lagged 1 year? Because “the Census Bureau’s average length of time from start to completion for projects with 20 or more units was Read more

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10yr Apartment Investment Loan Rate Steady While ULI <60LTV Rate Drifts Lower

August 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Apartment Rates, Multifamily Investments 

The apartment building loan rate we track remains in the 4.6-4.7% range where it’s been since the middle of July. Meanwhile the ULI <60% LTV loan rate has fallen 10 basis points over the same period with its spread to the 10 year Treasury coming in from 1.32% to 1.27%. That’s a very slim margin indicating a very competitive market for those loans. Typically the 10yr apartment loan rate loosely tracks the ULI rate with a lag so we’re hoping to see the rate come in a little more for deals closing in the next few months.

While everyone seems to ‘know’ that rates must be going up influential economist Anatole Kaletsky (the Kal in GaveKal Research) makes a pretty convincing argument that the central bankers in the US, UK and Europe will be following their contemporaries over at the Bank of Japan, keeping rates ‘lower for longer’ in a piece out this week from Evergreen/GaveKal. Note that registration is required but they will only send you the weekly ‘Virtual Advisor’.

Chart of 10 year apartment building investment loan rates

About the spread between the T10 and the apartment building rate we track, Read more

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It’s a 3 cap but it’s a Sweet 3 cap and if we jack rents 13% year 1…

Do the pitches you’re getting on apartment investment deals sound like this lately?

LOL but true right? Have a great weekend; we’ll think about what happened last time prices got this crazy next week-

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Value Add Deals Needed To Keep Up With Apartment Building Demand- Freddie Mac

July 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Multifamily Investments 

Apartment building investors should be looking at renovation, value add and repurposing deals according Freddie Mac’s David Brickman, EVP for Multifamily Business. In an Executive Perspective note published last week Brickman covered these points:

  • Demographic forces alone could create as many as 4.7 million more renter households by 2023.
  • That even the 3.1 million new units expected over the next 10 years will not be enough to meet demand.
apartment kitchen remodel

Photo credit: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com

  • Compounding the issue, the existing rental housing stock is aging.  Nearly 60 percent of U.S. rental properties with 20 or more units were built before 1980.
  • Supply already could be 1.5 million

Read more

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Apartment Building Investment Still Leads as CRE Prices Up 11% YoY in CoStar’s Repeat Sales Indexes

CoStar is out with their latest Commercial Repeat Sale Indices (CCRSI) showing that:

  • Commercial Real Estate prices post double-digit annual gains in May
  • Momentum picks up in the General Commercial segment
  • Improvements in market fundamentals underpin growth in commercial property pricing
  • Capital flows remain healthy
  • Distress levels continue to dissipate
  • See link for numbers and details-

Commercial Real Estate Up 11% YoY in May 2014

CoStar has been tracking the indexes of repeat commercial real estate sales since 1996. Note that the Value Weighted index is driven mostly by core properties while the Equal Weighted index is mostly driven by smaller, non-core property sales.

For apartment building investors the good news is that Read more

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#Multifamily REITs best performers in 1st half 2014

REIT.com had a piece called REIT Returns Outpace Broader Market in Solid First Half Showing out late last week and the part that caught my eye was the section titled: Apartment REITs Lead the Pack in First Half:

  • Apartment REITs were the strongest performers during the first half.
  • Total returns as of July 7 in the sector stood at 23.8 percent.
Apartment Building Investment REITS perform best during 1H 2014

Click image to view article on REIT.com

“There was increasing comfort in the market that fundamentals in the [apartment] sector were not decelerating as fast as many had feared,” said James Sullivan, managing director at Cowen & Co.

Apartment REIT managers are some of the best multifamily operators in the world and it pays to pay attention to what they’re doing. Unfortunately the returns on REIT shares are too often driven  by capital flows from the stock market rather than the pure performance these managers generate. Patient contrarian investors  can be rewarded however by waiting for apartment REITs  to fall out of favor with stock market investors and pick them up at bargain prices.

Click on the image above or use this link to see the article on REIT.com: REIT Returns Outpace Broader Market in Solid First Half Showing

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