Industry News | Week of Dec. 16
HOT & RELEVANT TOPICS
How One Company Used AI to Buy a $57M Apartment
Fantastic commercial investment details can often be found in surprising places. That’s why some investors are partnering with AI technologists to help uncover some of them. Recently, an Atlanta investor partnered with an AI provider that vetted a $57 million, 396-home garden-style community and determined it to be a solid value-add investment. As part of the vetting process, the AI utilized its machine learning models to scrape data from review sites with natural language processing. Online reviews of the community were flagged by the system and indicated an opportunity for optimization.
Seven Resident Trends for 2020
The multifamily landscape is continually evolving and 2020 will put its own stamp on the industry. Seven new resident trends stand out as we enter the new year, according to the results of the recently released 2020 Apartment Resident Preference survey from NMHC and Kingsley Associates. The demand for short-term rentals will continue to grow, alongside the need for reliable cell reception and high-speed internet service, and pet-centric community features like dog parks and pet-washing stations. Nearly 50 percent of residents polled require the use of voice assistant technology and more than two-thirds want the energy savings delivered by smart home tech.
Kin Focuses on Community
Startup company Kin, which partners with developers to provide programming to alleviate the isolating nature of urban living for young families, is beginning to carve its niche. A creation of co-living operator Common and global developer Tishman Speyer, Kin’s initial project was to offer its app and programming to residents of Jackson Park in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island. Occupants of 75 apartment homes were using the app six months after launch. More projects are in the works for Chief Executive Britt Zaffir, former real estate director of Common, who has increased her team from one to four.
IN THE NEWS
HUD Seeks Investigation into Online ESA Documentation
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson recently called for an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission into online companies that sell phony assistance animal documentation. The online certifications aren’t valid and are used to exploit consumers, bypass pet restrictions and abuse the law intended to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Such websites, which often falsely imply that they are affiliated with the federal government, take advantage of consumers who are unfamiliar with the required process and documentation for service or emotional support animals by offering invalid certifications and registration documents, sometimes for hundreds of dollars.
These Markets Will be Best Bets for Multifamily Investment in 2020
With the price tag on gateway markets becoming increasingly expensive, multifamily investors might shift their focus in 2020. While the sector remains attractive across the board due to its resilience compared with other asset classes, suburban markets and smaller areas could hold the greatest value (Albuquerque, N.M., Birmingham, Ala., and Colorado Springs, Colo., are candidates to outperform projections, according to CBRE). While some major metros will continue to thrive, investors should cautiously approach New York, California, Illinois and Oregon due to budding rent control laws.
U.S. Renters Paid $4.5 Trillion in Rent in the Last 10 Years
U.S. renters paid $512 billion in rent in 2019 alone, and about $4.5 trillion over the past decade, according to Zillow. To put the figures in perspective, the total paid by U.S. renters this year is more than the GDP of Germany – the world’s fourth biggest economy. New York renters spent the most this year at $56.6 billion, followed by Los Angeles ($39.2 billion) and San Francisco ($16.4 billion). Not surprisingly, those three markets are among the highest in terms of cost of living, and each has limited affordable housing. Thanks largely to hard-to-attain home mortgages, younger generations are opting to rent at increasing rates. This year was a record-breaker for multifamily housing in terms of occupancy with 43.6 million people renting across the U.S.