A MacArthur Foundation survey conducted by Hart Research Associates shows that 70% of Americans polled think that the housing crises isn’t over and 19% think the worst is yet to come, good for apartment building investment I believe. As reported by the Wall St. Journal in an article titled: Allure of Homeownership Slumps Amid Worries of Continued Crisis the worst is yet to come figure is unchanged from last year, which may reflect a segment of the population that has been deeply scarred by collapse of the lending and housing bubbles. The still in the crises figure is down from 77% a year ago but it is still a big number that’s having a positive effect on apartment demand:
The apartment loan rate we track popped up into the 4.70s today after spending the last three weeks in the 4.60s. Today’s 4.71% rate is about the same as it was a year ago, just before the taper tantrum hit. Monday quotes on the 10 year Treasury have climbed two weeks in a row now but remain below most recent highs of March, clocking in at 2.62 today. The downward march of the spread has flattened recently in the 2.0 – 2.15 range, including today’s number at 2.14. The ULI <60%LTV rate still looks like someone bouncing a ball down the stairs but their data is lagged a week so we’ll have to check back on Friday to see if that rate is going to tick up as well.
Are there yet more new renters on the way? More new demand for apartment building investors? Bill McBride over at Calculated Risk has a piece out today on the latest Mortgage Monitor from Black Knight. Reams of data all organized nicely into charts and the good news is that the percent of of mortgages with negative equity has dropped to 10% but…
The numbers on mortgages that have been modified are in far worse shape and the story can be told in two charts. The first (on page 20 of the Monitor) showing that there are almost two million modified loans facing interest rate resets, meaning that the mortgage payment could be going up. The second chart completes the picture:
The apartment building investment loan rate we track continued to trend downward as both the 10yr Treasury (T10) and the spread between the two came in during April. Today’s new rate on the loan is 4.733%, a 212 basis point spread over the T10 which was in the 2.61% area today. The six month moving average spread continues to fall suggesting that lenders are more confident and/or aggressive but the spread itself is above the March 17 low of 209bp.
This month we add a new rate which the ULI (Urban Land Institute) reports on from the Trepp survey. According to the ULI the Trepp rate is what large institutional borrowers could expect to pay on a 10 year fixed rate, less than 60% LTV loan for a “crème de la crème” core apartment property located in a gateway market. We track this rate as a barometer of what the largest lenders are offering their best customers on the most secure loans for any advanced warning about future rate and spread changes. See the ULI<60LTV Rate on the chart below (in gold). Note that the spread we chart is between 10yr loan we track (in orange) and the T10 (in blue):
The apartment investment loan we tract (see below for details) clocked in at 4.861% this week making it the 10th week in a row below 5%. Meanwhile the spread between it and the benchmark 10 year Treasury (T10) held in the 210 -220 basis point range over the last six weeks. The T10 itself had been in the 2.7% range over the last month but dipped to 2.65% this week:
After spending just one week above its six month moving average the spread between the apartment investment loan rate we track and the 10 year Treasury (T10) fell to 2.143 with the apartment loan rate at a nine month low of 4.743%. Meanwhile the T10 bounced up to 2.8%, climbing 20bp in the past week:
Apartment building investment loans in 2014, thoughts and predictions on what’s in store from lenders large and small and the organizations who represent them:
Greystone via MultiHousingNews: We do think there will be more capital available,” says Bob Barolak, co-COO at Greystone. Lenders will become even more eager to make loans in the multifamily space, he says, because of greater confidence in the economy and markets.
Another major reason for an expected bump in capital available in the next 12 months is that CMBS financing has come back into the multifamily sector—from a volume of practically zero in 2012. They will continue to increase market share significantly in 2014.” Currently, CMBS multifamily financings are carrying interest rates of about 5.10 to 5.20 percent, or about 10 to 15 basis points lower than rates in Fannie Mae transactions, according to Barolak.
Maximum LTVs on CMBS loans—up to 75 percent on 10-year terms for multifamily properties—have also become competitive with those of Fannie and Freddie loans. Moreover, CMBS lenders can become “extremely aggressive” for deals they want to acquire to round up a securitization pool, Barolak says. In such instances, “they can dramatically lower the interest rate significantly below what Fannie and Freddie will offer.”
The Urban Land Institute/PriceWaterhouseCoopers annual report on Emerging Trends for Real Estate 2014 was released last week and apartment building investors and commercial real estate pros have some good things to look forward to next year. Note that this post refers to the Americas version of the report with separate sections on Canadian and Latin American markets but they also publish Asia-Pacific and European editions as well. This is the 35th edition of the report is it’s based on individual interviews or surveys from more than 1,000 investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, advisers, and consultants.
Here are the 5 key trends we should all be aware of with my comments:
Survey participants continue to rank private direct real estate investment as having the best investment prospects. Pretty expected from this group but the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) recently released its property performance index for the third quarter of 2013 and on a trailing 12-month basis, the index’s return was 11.0 percent, split about 50/50 between income and appreciation. A pretty nice return compared to fixed income rates and a much safer looking bet than buying equities at their all time highs.
Dependence on cap rate compression to drive value is being replaced by an emphasis on asset management. Especially in the 24 hour gateway markets apartment building cap rates are about as low as they can get (well until you look at Vancouver BC) so property performance has to come from actually making the property perform. You also have the problem of what to do with your proceeds if you do sell, as you would be reinvesting right back into the same cap rate market that you sold in… unless you changed to a higher cap rate sector, suburban strip centers anyone?
Opportunities to develop property are finally appearing in sectors other than multifamily. CBRE Econometrics had a piece out last week showing that large (> 350k sf) warehouse properties are being snapped up as fast as they’re being built. Maybe developers who moved over to doing apartments the last few years will move back to their home sectors and ease off on the new supply of multifamily units.
Value-added investment ranked highest in terms of investment strategy; distressed properties and distressed debt ranked last. We were licking our chops a few years ago waiting for RTC 2.0 fire sales to begin and while we were able take down some bank owned inventory, the anticipated tsunami of defaults on commercial loans never materialized. At this point most everything has been extended and pretended into performing status or sold off and so it’s back to making money the old fashion way: Finding and/or creating value.
Both equity investors and lenders are widening their search for business to include secondary markets and niche property types. This will be a double edged sword for investors who are focused on those secondary and tertiary markets as debt financing will be more available but there will also be more competition from sophisticated outsiders with deep pockets. The key will be to make them your buyers so dig in, find the right properties and tie them up quickly.
Senior living consultants Accent have published a whitepaper on the emerging trends their clients are searching for when selecting an independent living, assisted care, skilled nursing, memory care or other type 0f retirement community. The paper is available for free download on their website (registration required).
“This informative whitepaper provides an in-depth look at how seniors’ and baby boomers’ desire for a more fulfilling lifestyle as they grow older is driving several key developments in senior living communities. Find out how today’s active and engaged seniors are inspiring the current trends that are changing the landscapes of senior living communities. Download this informative free white paper to learn more about the expansion of the following five trends:”
Health & Wellness Programs
Lifelong Learning Programs
Technology-Enabled Health Monitoring
Enhanced Memory Care Programs
One example of the lifelong learning trend is: “Wi-fi hot spots are becoming commonplace in addition to computer lounges, while computer labs with technicians and classes and online courses and activities are expected on the lifelong learning front.”