If you want to take the temperature of the housing industry, the best place to go could be a car dealership.
Yes, you read that right. There is a strong correlation between the real estate market and auto sales – particularly when it comes to the most iconic American vehicle of all, the pickup truck.
Analysts at TD Economics forecast that trucks will be the “standout” light vehicle for the next two years after sales jumped 12 percent in 2013. That’s because pickups are the workhorse of the construction industry: As home building activity picks up, construction companies hire more people. Workers then buy trucks to get the job done.
As for the weak housing market in 1Q14? Analysts blame the terrible winter and expect housing construction – and pickup truck sales – to ratchet up once spring blooms. With our luck that will be some time in June.
According to a recent NMHC survey resident renewal intent dropped from 65% in the second quarter of 2010 to 54.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013. That number could drop further considering there are 240,300 units scheduled for delivery this year, and considering how expensive turns can be – between $1,500 and $2,000 per unit on average – it’s going to be increasingly important for property managers to focus on retention tactics.
Making sure associates are communicating on a personal level with residents is part and parcel to the corporate culture, one of the most important ways the FSSR office touches base, Casio-Smith says.
“You’ve got to follow up with them every chance you get,” she says. “If you know something personal about them, if it’s their birthday or if you know their wife is in the hospital battling cancer, then you should acknowledge that. Or it could be just following up with them on something as basic as service request.”…
And then there are renewal incentives:
Some of the company’s most popular incentives include one-time complimentary house cleaning or valet laundry service. And it’s easy to develop a relationship with the companies offering the cleaning services since they may garner new business from the apartment community through the renewal gifts…
Interior upgrades, such as accent wall paint, upgraded light fixtures or the addition of ceiling fans, seem to be the most popular kind of renovation that people prefer, Stanton says. And if that doesn’t convince someone to stay, there are other upgrade options as well.
The state of Massachusetts has a real problem – they’re losing many of the coveted demographic of young professionals due to a lack of available apartments. From the article:
Though the production of more rental units is integral to the growth of the state, many communities, namely single-family strongholds, are still staunchly against multifamily projects. But the lack of rental units across the state is starting to cause something of a brain drain among the Gen Y crowd.
“We’re trying to break a stalemate,” Massachusetts’ housing and economic development secretary Gregory Bialecki said at an Urban Land Institute forum in January. “The approach the state has taken is what I call an ‘eat your veggies’ strategy. ‘I know you don’t want this, but it’s necessary.’ It hasn’t been effective.”
The state already lost a congressional district in 2010 after seeing just moderate census numbers, and multifamily starts have been down. So far, Boston’s scheduled completions are well short of the state’s 10,000 unit starts per year goal—the city’s inventory will grow roughly 1.5 percent this year as it sees about 6,500 completions…
A big part of that education process is changing the perception of multifamily in NIMBY-heavy areas. Municipalities should view the production of apartments as integral to the state’s future as roads and bridges. The state is working to create a prompt and predictable permitting process
An interesting read in Mutlifamily Executive about best practices when investing in secondary and tertiary apartment markets. In other words places like the Triad. One of the most important factors? Pent up demand due to a lack of new apartment supply:
Remember the supply side of “supply and demand”: Multifamilydemand drivers like job announcements and immigration receive more press than the local apartment supply pipeline. However, the lack of new apartment supply in secondary and tertiary markets is a crucial, often-overlooked, factor. These markets are consistently less attractive to new apartment developers than primary markets, even though fundamental demand drivers such as capital cities, regional medical centers, and long-standing higher-education institutions help create stable renter demand.
Read the rest of the article here.
Respondents to an Urban Land Institute study have shown a growing preference for mixed-use communities and a willingness to trade space for proximity to work/school:
The needs and wants of renters and homeowners aren’t so very different, as evidenced by the Urban Land Institute’s America in 2013 housing survey: both demographics are big fans of mixed-use communities…
In terms of important community characteristics, both renters and homeowners chose neighborhood safety and the quality of public schools as the top two most-desired attributes. But where homeowners tapped “Space Between Neighbors” as their No. 3 concern, renters chose walkability as the third most important attribute.
Proximity to work/school was the fourth most-desired attribute, and that consideration may even trump square footage. The majority of both renters and homeowners say they would be OK with trading a shorter commute for a smaller home–about 61 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t mind that trade-off.
The preference for suburbs or small towns is still strong: Only 28 percent of respondents said they prefer living in a medium-sized or big city, But the pull of urban living is strongest in some key demographics; about 43 percent of all Latinos surveyed prefer city life, as do 40 percent of Gen Y members.
According to a list put together by REIS, Peirce Eislen and Jones Lang LaSalle the Raleigh apartment market has the 9th most units under construction in the country. Raleigh’s 10,681 is a little more than #10 Atlanta’s 10,201 but well behind #1 Washington, DC’s 23,721.
From the Greensboro News & Record:
Jamestown development company Wynnefield Properties seeks zoning changes to build a multifamily development of up to 72 units in South Greensboro.
The 4.86 acres of land at 4406 and 4408 Rehobeth Church Road is zoned for single family residential use. Wynnefield wants to rezone the properties for multifamily use, with all structures three stories or smaller.