Our nation’s housing policies should reflect the importance of multifamily rental housing, the range of capital sources that support this market, and the need for liquidity and stability in all market cycles.
The NAHB was out with their weekly Eye on Housing report and this week’s edition took a look at the Q3 SOMA data from the Census Bureau. SOMA stands for Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments and overall things are looking pretty positive for developers. One interesting chart they had showed the types of properties that were being built since 2005:
The Fiscal Times had a piece the other day reviving the good old rent vs. buy meme. The new angle was that Zillow has updated its method for comparing the costs of renting and the costs of buying and uses it to produce what it calls a ‘Breakeven Horizon.’ Besides sounding vaguely like the title of an old sci-fi movie, beyond the breakeven horizon is where buying a home makes more sense than renting and in theory the less time to the horizon, the more the market is tilted towards buying.
Now I have to admit I was intrigued with the thought that Zillow had re-examined their methodology because as I have written about earlier, their previous calculation ignored the real costs of maintenance, repairs and saving up for replacing big expensive things like the roof, the furnace and the driveway and that is a pretty big chunk of money over time. Industry figures for repairs and maintenance on single family housing run from one to three percent of the home value. Have a look at the chart* below to see how much a relatively modest 1.5% adds up to over time.
Biggerpockets began publishing their top 35 List of Real Estate Blogs in 2006 and the list has generated over 100,000 views. Only ten of the original honorees still remain on the list, a statement to the hard work involved in building and maintaining a good blog and surviving tough times in the market.
At Ashworth Partners we’ll keep doing what we can to make sure the valuable time you spend here is well invested. We don’t have all the answers though so if you have a suggestion or comment about how to improve the blog we appreciate your feedback.
His paper discusses the effects of financial repression on portfolio stock and bond allocations and by implication the effects on real estate and particularly apartment building investments. Financial repression is the term used to describe central bank’s strategies for forcing interest rates to zero or negative to spur investment and spending at the expense of saving. Take it away James:
William McChesney Martin was the longest-serving Federal Reserve Governor of all time. He is probably most famous for his observation that the central bank’s role was to “take away the punch bowl just when the party is getting started.” In contrast, Bernanke’s Fed is acting like teenage boys on prom night: spiking the punch, handing out free drinks, hoping to get lucky, and encouraging everyone to view the market through beer goggles. [Emphasis mine]
The paper goes into depth on the effects of financial repression on investments, which grow the longer the repression lasts, up to twenty years. Does the phrase: “… for an extended period” ring a bell? How about QE1, QE2, QE3, and now QE-infinity?
Dividend Capital’s Q3 Market Cycle Monitor Report is out and naturally I looked at the apartment building investment cycle chart first. Specifically these days I’m looking to see where the author, Glenn R. Mueller Ph.D. has placed the Seattle market in the cycle.