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.
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.