Apartment Building Investors: Everything You Need To Know About AZ Water Rights, Parts 1, 2 & 3

UPDATE Oct. 14: See below for Part 3-

UPDATE Sept. 24: See below for Part 2-

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.

Water rights critical for Arizona apartment building investors
Source: ABI Multifamily.

Brophy begins with the background so that as the story unfolds we will understand how things got to be the way they are, and most importantly, how to make sure your residents aren’t walking to the town well every morning with a big jug on their heads. Not light reading but it just might give you an edge- See part 1 here: The Motions, Notions and Commotions of Water!  Part 1: Arizona Water, an Overview.

Water Rights for AZ apartment building investors
Source: ABI Multifamily

Part 2 is Continue reading Apartment Building Investors: Everything You Need To Know About AZ Water Rights, Parts 1, 2 & 3

Apartment Building Investment Rocks Q2 across the US (video)

That happy feet sound you hear is coming from apartment building investors as they see their results from the second quarter:

  • Rents Up
  • Vacancy Down
  • New Supply Being Absorbed as soon and it’s built

Here’s the video report from MPF Research:

And it’s not just the usual Continue reading Apartment Building Investment Rocks Q2 across the US (video)

5 Key Trends from the ULI Report for Apartment Building Investors and Commercial Real Estate Pros

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.

Emerging Trends Barometer for Apartment Building Investors and Commercial Real Estate 2014

As always with real estate, sectors and markets are so distinct from one another it’s almost pointless to generalize as the chart above attempts to do so next week I’ll dive into the apartment sector to see what gems they’ve unearthed. Meanwhile for the Continue reading 5 Key Trends from the ULI Report for Apartment Building Investors and Commercial Real Estate Pros

Job growth vs. revenue growth chart of top apartment building investment markets in the US- updated.

Back in February we posted an Axiometrics chart plotting the revenue growth vs. job growth in leading apartment investment markets in the US. They were out last week with an updated chart but not just in the way we might think since the numbers are Axiometrics’ 2013 forecasts for revenue and job growth updated through May this year. To me the real ‘update’ is that they reversed the axises on the chart and I think it makes more sense laid out this way:

Job Growth and Rent Growth for Apartment Building Investment
Click for full size image. Source: Axiometrics

Before I get sidetracked onto a long discussion on the importance of understanding just Continue reading Job growth vs. revenue growth chart of top apartment building investment markets in the US- updated.

Apartment Building, Commercial and Residential Real Estate state of the market video from Tom Barrack of Colony.

Tom Barrack was on CNBC last week to talk about real estate with the traders. Great TB quote to open the show: “It’s always great to be the slowest guy on Fast Money”. There’s more wisdom in that statement than any of the show’s regulars understood.

A couple bullet points but definitely worth watching the video. The link on the image below goes to the Colony website where they edited the three segments together (commercial free too):

  • Housing [of all types] is the best opportunity. Today there might be a Fed bubble but there isn’t a housing bubble.
  • The rise in interest rates while not big and still low historically speaking, will hit entry level housing. 100bp (basis point, where 100bp = 1%) rise in interest rates will cost a borrower an extra $150+/- a month on their mortgage payment for a $200,000 home. That will keep more people renting.
Apartment Building Investment and single family
Click on the image to go to the Colony website video (no commercials)

The ‘Twin Peaks’ of Seattle Apartment Building Investment Plus MPF Research says rent growth holding strong there.

Friday twofer on Seattle. First is Dupre+Scott’s  entertaining and enlightening video on apartment building construction and property sales:

Mike has two nice charts showing apartment development numbers back to 1988 and sales volume back to 1981. Note that on the sales volume chart 2013 numbers are Continue reading The ‘Twin Peaks’ of Seattle Apartment Building Investment Plus MPF Research says rent growth holding strong there.

Apartment Building Replacement Costs Rising: lumber back to housing boom highs, growing labor shortages.

The NAHB has a piece out called Producer Prices in March – Building Materials Prices Approaching Housing Boom Highs talking about how far gypsum (main ingredient in drywall +18%), softwood lumber (2x4s, 2x6s, etc. +30%) and chipboard (oriented strand board and waferboard which have replaced plywood, joists and beams in many applications +68%) prices have risen in the last year, the chart tells the story:

Apartment Building Material Prices 2012 to Mar 2013
Click on chart for full size image.

Bill McBride over at Calculated Risk has a piece showing the longer term price history for Random Length Lumber (2x4s only, both cash and futures) and a link to a pretty depressing Vancouver Sun article on pine beetle devastation in BC (Spoiler alert: the Continue reading Apartment Building Replacement Costs Rising: lumber back to housing boom highs, growing labor shortages.

CBRE Research: Since 2010 population shifting towards urban but apartment building construction is outpacing growth in

… A number of major metros

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:

First Population Growth Average Change 2000- 2010

Population Growth in major Apartment Markets 2000 t0 2010
source: CBRE Econometrics

Raleigh is the only metro with significant urban vs. suburban population growth. Note that one-county metros such as Continue reading CBRE Research: Since 2010 population shifting towards urban but apartment building construction is outpacing growth in

SOMA (Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments) charted by apartment type from the Census Bureau

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:

Apartment Building Investment since 2005 by type

Condos and co-op deliveries are Continue reading SOMA (Survey of Market Absorption of Apartments) charted by apartment type from the Census Bureau

Apartment Building Investment Cycle Analysis via Dividend Capital. Can this be right?

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.

US Q3 apartment building investment cycle analysis from Dividend Capital

In this latest report you can see that it is listed at position 2 with only Norfolk listed lower at position 1. What does position 2 signify? According to the good Doctor, position 2 lies in the Phase 1 – Recovery Quadrant defined as having “No New Construction” and position 2 specifically having “Negative Rental Growth”. But how can this be? Continue reading Apartment Building Investment Cycle Analysis via Dividend Capital. Can this be right?