Industry News | Week of September 2
HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
Camden: No Weight Limits
In what could be a trend-setting move in the apartment industry, Camden has eradicated weight restrictions for pets. The apartment operator had previously instituted a 60-pound limit, but the company’s executive team ultimately discovered that larger animals create no greater issues than pets of smaller sizes. While the company will continue to monitor the policy through resident sentiment, occupancy rates and pet income, Camden has received no resident complaints about large pets at their communities in the early going. Read Paul R. Bergeron III’s article in UNITS Magazine.
Uber Planning Skyports for Flying Taxis in LA, Dallas
Uber is aiming to build upon its ride-share services by turning to the sky. The company recently revealed new details about helicopter services it plans to roll out in Los Angeles and Dallas by 2023. In a service dubbed Uber Air, the company plans to oversee production of approximately 10,000 aircrafts on an annual basis. Uber plans to build skyports where commuters can access an aircraft en route to another destination. The skyports will be located at strategic points where passengers can access them like scooters, bikes or other shared devices. Read Elijah Chiland’s article in Curbed LA.
A Really Bad Idea: Sue Customers Who Write Negative Reviews
About Your Company
With reviews becoming more prominent in the decisions of renters every day, it’s tempting for apartment operators to mitigate the extremely negative comments. But filing a libel lawsuit is not the answer, even though some have recently chosen to go that route. Why is it a bad idea? Lost trust from residents, a contentious onsite culture and potential damage to the brand are among the reasons. A more effective strategy, according to Peter Jakel, is to proactively respond to the negative reviews in a cordial, non-defensive manner. Read Jakel’s blog.
IN THE NEWS
Smaller Unit Occupancy Outperforms All Others,
Especially in Core Submarkets
As renters continue to prioritize location over total living space, smaller units are outperforming their larger counterparts. This trend has been particularly prominent in core submarkets, recent CoStar data indicates. The average national vacancy rate for the smallest one-bedroom apartments has fallen 40 basis points since 2015, and in core submarkets, the rate has dropped 120 basis points in the same span. As such, developers are trying to fit more of these valuable units into buildings, causing the average size of one-bedroom homes to drop more than 6.5 percent over the past decade. Read Mary Salmonsen’s article in Multifamily Executive.
Apartment Occupancy Rate Hits a New High
The national occupancy rate rose to 96.2 percent in July, representing the healthiest figure since 2000. Considering multifamily demand has flourished for about a decade, some consider it surprising that occupancy rates continue to rise. Leery of an eventual downturn, some apartment operators are leaving money on the table in an effort to fill their communities now, which is among the contributing factors to the high occupancy rate. In addition, more older individuals than ever are opting to rent, which has widened the pool of potential renters. Read Bendix Anderson’s article in National Real Estate Investor.
Zillow: Starting Teachers Spend Over Half of Salary on Rent
Those who spend 30 percent on rent are considered cost-burdened. A new adjective might have to be developed for entry-level teachers, considering the national median market-rate rent represents 46.8 of a starter-level teacher salary. It gets more extreme in 19 of the U.S.’s 50 largest metros, where entry-level teachers will spend more than half of their salary on rent. Some places, such as San Jose, are unlivable on a starter teacher salary, as rent would take 108.3 percent of the salary. Established teachers nationwide have it a little better, as midlevel teachers spend 35.6 percent of their salary on rent while high-level teachers spend an average of 26.6 percent. Read Julia Falcon’s article in Housingwire.