Rehabbing Historic Apartments and Mixed Use Commercial Buildings

Mixed Use Building Apartments over Retail, built 1904
The Daylight Building, built in 1904. Apartments over retail/office. Photo Credit: Western Washington University http://faculty.wwu.edu/talbot/BhamPhotoIndex.html

Developer Bob Hall got his start buying an old building in a deteriorating downtown to house his import business. He didn’t know about due diligence, deferred maintenance or building codes and after having to refinance then sell his house to fund the required repairs swore he’d never buy another building… until he looked at his tax return. He was making more money renting out the extra space than the import business was pulling in… and he was hooked.

At the time Continue reading Rehabbing Historic Apartments and Mixed Use Commercial Buildings

It’s All About the Dogs for Apartment Building Investment

[Insert latest cute pet pic from your Facebook friends]
It Is All About the Dogs for apartment building investment according to industry insiders speaking at a recent Bisnow conference: Woodbranch Management President Philip Schneidau says Market Square’s dog run was the best thing about the project. (The second-best part is the building’s liquor license. “What happens is you get home from work, walk your dog, grab a bottle of wine and meet your neighbors,” Schneidau said. “It’s a great life. That’s the magic.”)

Here’s my Exec sum of their salient points:

The Demographics:

  • Households with at least one pet jumped 35% during last decade to 74.1 million
  • Dogs are the favorite pet, with 43.3 million
  • Dog ownership surging among singles and renters.

The Competitive Situation:

  • Being pet-friendly has shifted from competitive advantage to

Continue reading It’s All About the Dogs for Apartment Building Investment

Is Builder Sentiment a Better Predictor of the Apartment Investment Cycle?

Builders Predict the Apartment Cycle

Are apartment builders better predictors of the Apartment Building Investment Cycle? Based on the latest cycle at least (a sample of one, admittedly) it appears that they are.

On the chart above the blue line represents the NAHB’s Multifamily Production Index (MPI) which began falling in the 3rd quarter of 2005 and fell for four straight Continue reading Is Builder Sentiment a Better Predictor of the Apartment Investment Cycle?

What do FHA mortgages, shopping malls, urban renewal, master planned communities, Architect Frank Gehry and LITCH housing have in common?

Columbia City’s original master plan model

(The Exec Sum for this post is at the end)

Recently I was watching the Harvard Joint Center on Housing’s State of the Nation’s Housing panel discussion which coincided with the release of their annual housing report. On the panel were Terri Ludwig, Enterprise Community Partners CEO; Mayor Catherine E. Pugh of Baltimore as well as Robert C. Kettler, Chairman & CEO, Kettler, a large East Coast developer of tax credit and market rate housing. I thought this particular panel couldn’t have been put together randomly.

The connection to the items in the headline as well as to the people on the panel was a single Continue reading What do FHA mortgages, shopping malls, urban renewal, master planned communities, Architect Frank Gehry and LITCH housing have in common?

Falling Spread Helps Apartment Loan Rate Weather Rise in 10yr Treasuries.

The 10yr apartment loan rate we track rose 12 basis points (bp) to 4.60% from 4.48%, where is was on our report last month. During the same period the 10yr Treasury (T10) rose from 2.21% last month to a high of 2.39% last week before backing off 2bp as of yesterday. What saved the apartment rate from rising 50% further alongside the T10 was that the spread was reduced from a high of 2.9% to 2.22%.

The ULI <60LTV loan we track did not Continue reading Falling Spread Helps Apartment Loan Rate Weather Rise in 10yr Treasuries.

How to know when your apartment market cycle is peaking…

Apartment Investment Cap Rate Vancouver BC

Quote: “[A] very active market that continues to give strong weighting to underlying land value and potential future use, even if this use is far off in the future.” – James Glen, VP, Colliers Vancouver, BC [Emphasis mine]

Any time you see future and potential in the same sentence referring to real estate, watch out…

Oh and another sign is when the average cap rate for a low-rise apartment deal is 3% while high-rises are at 2.5! Just for reference, a 2.5 cap is the equivalent of a 40x multiple (aka PE or Price Earnings Ratio) on a stock meaning that it would take 40 years of earnings (NOI in the case of real estate) to repay the purchase price and that is definitely “far off in the future“.

You can see all the Canadian Cap Rate reports from Colliers here: Canada Cap Rate Report Q1 2017

Happy summer everyone-

P.S. If you’d like a handy chart for converting Cap Rates to Earnings Multiples shoot me a message with Cap Rates to Earnings in the subject line.

Apartment Loan Rates Continue To Drift Lower- June 2017

The apartment investment loan rates we track have continued their downward trend. In March the 10yr loan (details below) hit 4.92%, the highest its been since February 2014, and has drifted lower since coming in at 4.48% this week. That and the Continue reading Apartment Loan Rates Continue To Drift Lower- June 2017