In a study by Dupre+Scott they found a growing number of apartment building investors in the Puget Sound region are charging tenants for water, sewer and garbage which make up can make up a pretty large chunk of operating expenses:
Two-thirds of the properties we surveyed pass through water and sewer charges to residents, and 50% also pass through garbage costs. The average monthly water/sewer charge in the region ranges from $46 for studios to $70 for three-bedroom units. Adding garbage charges increases costs to $55 for studios and $90 for three bedroom units. Our March Apartment Expense Report found that utility charges paid by residents increased 50% between 2008 and 2012.
CBRE Econometrics is out with a new report showing population growth trends in major US metros has shifted towards urban centers since 2010 but apartment building investors have been keeping pace (or exceeding it) with new construction. Author Gleb Nechayev, Senior Managing Economist lays it out nicely in a series of charts:
As reported by CoStar: “Given that the multifamily market’s reliance on the enterprises has moved to a more normal range, to move forward with the contract goal, we are setting a target of a 10% reduction in multifamily business new acquisitions from 2012 levels,” Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said. “We expect that this reduction will be achieved through some combination of increased pricing, more limited product offerings and tighter overall underwriting standards.”
CoreLogic is out with their quarterly report and map of underwater homeowners. Their analysis is “showing approximately 200,000 more residential properties returned to a state of positive equity during the fourth quarter of 2012. This brings the total number of properties that moved from negative to positive equity in 2012 to 1.7 million and the number of mortgaged residential properties with equity to 38.1 million. The analysis also shows that 10.4 million, or 21.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012. This figure is down from 10.6 million* properties, or 22 percent, at the end of the third quarter of 2012.
Negative equity, often referred to as “underwater” or “upside down,” means that borrowers owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Negative equity can occur because of a decline in value, an increase in mortgage debt or a combination of both.
HUD and the Census Bureau released the latest version of the Rental Housing Finance Survey. The “Survey fills an important gap in our understanding of who owns multifamily rental housing – mostly individuals, not large companies — and how multifamily rental housing is financed, especially as the structure of finance is changing. In light of recent changes in the availability of capital for rental housing, the Rental Housing Finance Survey also provides important insight about the financial health and stability of multifamily housing properties.” said Erika Poethig, HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development.
This is one table from the xls on the Census Bureau’s site here. Note the tabs on the bottom which have the data broken out by different types.
A few bullet points from HUD’s release linked at the top of the post:
Approximately 20 percent of American households live in multifamily rental buildings.
There are 2.3 million such properties in the United States.
…. “Only six markets advanced their position on the [Dividend Capital Apartment Market] cycle chart.” Once again with the notable exception of Seattle who has left in the basement of the cycle despite overwhelming evidence that it has moved well up in the cycle by his own definition. See my post from last quarter detailing the definitions and why Seattle’s apartment building investment cycle location according to Dr. Mueller is incorrect here. For other cities have a look and let me know if your markets are accurately placed:
In their latest apartment building permitting report Axiometrics says: “permitting increased 44.3% or 84,308 units from the January 2012 figure of 274,640 units.” This is very near the long term average of 280,000 units, see the chart: