Industry News | Wk of July 15, 2019


The Pros and Cons of Short-Term Rentals
Short-term rentals have become more prominent in the multifamily industry that they’ve even developed their own widely utilized acronym. But advantages and disadvantages exist within STRs, as many apartment operators are beginning to discover. Among the pros are immediate opportunities for occupancy and revenue at new communities, staggered expiration dates and higher rents for less-than-full lease terms. The cons include more frequent occupancy needs, complaints from fulltime residents about wild behavior of short-termers and softer screening protocols for STRs that could lead to problems. Read Les Shaver’s article in UNITS Magazine.

Why Affordable Housing is Key to Overall Economic Prosperity
As the affordable housing issue continues to be a hot topic in the industry, its ramifications stretch far beyond multifamily. According to Richard K. Green of the Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate, adequate supply of affordable housing would be a boon for the economy as a whole. Overpriced markets reduce living standards and inhibit job growth, as businesses that must pay higher wages to attract and retain talent are prevented from growing. In theory, one new job should result in one new home, and that’s not happening in many major metros. Read Green’s ViewPoint in Multi-Housing News.

How Technology Works as a Catalyst in the Evolution of Leasing
Between attracting new prospects and appeasing current residents, sometimes it seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day for a leasing associate. Tech to the rescue! JVM, for instance, is utilizing call centers and iPads with mobile leasing software to eliminate much of the busywork and create streamlined processes for both prospects and the leasing team. Apartment operators are also starting to partner with automated pet screening services and utilize technology funds to help save time and enhance daily operations. Read Stephen Ursery’s article in Multifamily Executive.


Rental Prices Hit a Median of $1,465 in June
Rents grew in 88 percent of the nation’s cities in the first half of 2019, marking a $37 rise from last year. It’s a $117 increase from median rents in Jan. 2017. Coastal cities continued to pad the average, led by Manhattan, which featured rents as high as $4,190. Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Seattle featured rents in the $2,000 to $2,500 range. Meanwhile, Wichita, Kan. remained the country’s lowest average rents at $656 per month, followed by Tulsa, Okla. ($696) and Toledo, Ohio ($721). Read Alcynna Lloyd’s article in Housingwire.

Exclusive Research: Feeling Good
The current real estate cycle has seemed too good to be true. For years, many have forecasted a downturn in apartment fundamentals, because the cycle had to mature eventually, didn’t it? Well, according to research by National Real Estate Investor, the current cycle is entering its second decade with no slowing in sight. Signs of caution existed in 2018, but if anything, investors are even more bullish on the sector in 2019. When asked whether the time is right to buy, sell or hold multifamily properties in the next 12 months, 47.1 percent of respondents indicated they’d hold, marking a six-year high. The percentage of those poised to sell remained low at 15.5. Read David Bodamer’s article in National Real Estate Investor.

A Vast Majority of U.S. Renters Use Ratings and Reviews in Apartment Search
While it’s no secret that prospective renters regularly scour review sites amidst a search for a new apartment, Binary Fountain took a deeper look into the numbers. Research in conjunction with SurveyMonkey discovered that a whopping 93 percent of renters have perused online ratings and reviews in their search, and 64 percent indicated that they are willing to pay more for highly rated properties. In addition, the survey revealed that 31 percent of respondents cited their primary challenge as “finding accurate information about the property.” Read Mary Salmonsen’s article in Multifamily Executive.

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