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.
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 [Or has it in a positive way?]. 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.
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:
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: