Garden Style Apartments Out of Vogue?

Axiometrics has an article (found via NAA’s Industry Insider) about the current trend towards high- and mid-rise apartment developments:

According to “Number of Multifamily Buildings Completed by Number of Floors: Built for Rent,” a section in the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual Survey of Construction, the number of apartment buildings with four or more stories is taking an increasingly larger share of the total completed in the national apartment market…


Source: Axiometrics

After ranging from 3% to 7% and averaging 4% from 1999-2007, the share of new apartment buildings of four or more stories increased to 9% from 2008-2011, with a 16% peak in 2010. The share increased from 10% in 2012 to 13% the next year and finished 2014 at 15%.

The share of buildings with 20 or more units also is increasing. Those properties averaged about 21% from 1999-2007 before climbing to 31% in 2008 and rising steadily to reach 47% by 2014…

Garden apartment projects, which typically average less than 20 units per building and once represented almost half of all rental buildings constructed, now comprise less than one-third of apartment construction.

February 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

FHA Initiative Intended to Boost Development of Affordable Housing

From Housing Wire (via NAA Industry Insider):

The Federal Housing Administration announced a new plan to reduce multifamily insurance rates in order to encourage capital financing of affordable and energy-efficient apartments…

The rate reductions will take effect on April 1, 2016, and will directly impact FHA’s Multifamily Housing Programs and properties housing low- and moderate-income families and/or developments installing energy-efficient systems or building within federal energy guidelines.

As a result, the FHA said it expects the multifamily insurance rate reductions to cause the rehabilitation of an additional 12,000 units of affordable housing per year nationally…

The FHA also announced that it is reducing upfront premiums to support its affordable housing and energy efficiency goals. Upfront insurance rates will be set at 25 basis points for Broadly Affordable and Energy-Efficient properties and 35 basis points for Mixed-Income properties. 

February 5, 2016 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

Report on “Overincome” Families in Public Housing

A nationwide audit by HUD’s Office of the Inspector General revealed that 25,000 overincome families are living in public housing and Fox 8 took a look at it from a local angle:

Local entities with overincome residents in the report included: Greensboro (17 families listed overincome), High Point (6), North Wilkesboro (12), Winston-Salem (3), Madison (3), Mt. Airy (3), Asheboro (2), Troy (2), Mt. Gilead (1), East Spencer (1), New Randleman (1), and Burlington (1).

Many were barely over the income threshold. Those on the higher end included a Greensboro family making $73,097, a High Point family making $66,744, a Madison family making $70,923 a year, and a Wilkesboro family making $65,286 a year.

That summary reflects the OIG data in 2015 and may not represent current situations in individual housing authorities…

Referring to the highest examples on the Greensboro list, Akers Brown explained, “That report would have been a point in time. Because our families are so transient, that is not the case today. So you could have somebody overincome today and they’re not overincome tomorrow because they lost their job or one of their children lost their job, a variety of different reasons. So we do not have anybody that has that income level today.”

As of Wednesday, GHA now has eight overincome families in their portfolio, she said, and six of them have been over the threshold for less than a year.

“Some are overincome by as little as $34. So there’s a wide range of overincome families that are served. When you’re talking about eight families total, that’s not a lot a lot of families when you look at the number we serve.”

Akers Brown emphasized GHA serves more than 12,000 people in the greater Greensboro area.

You can read the full report from HUD’s OIG here.

February 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment

Emotional Service Animals a Problem Not Exclusive to Apartment Industry

NBC’s Today Show aired a segment about how airline passengers are abusing the emotional service animal designation in order to avoid paying airfare for their pets. From the story:

There are legitimate cases of people who need an emotional support animal in the air. But experts say that far too often, people are abusing the system to save a buck and get their pets onto flights for free.

“You get on an aircraft and the cabin looks like a barnyard,” said Hollis Gillespie, a former flight attendant. She said she’s seen snakes, birds and pigs. “Often it’s about the money, because one way to travel with a pet on some airlines can be up to $600, depending on the size of the animal.”

But if a pet is designated an emotional support animal, “it gets to come with you for free,” Gillespie pointed out. All you need is an emotional support vest on the animal and an official letter from a mental health professional.

And plenty of websites offer emotional support animal certifications; all you have to do is fill out a questionnaire.

Here’s a link to a full video of the story.

February 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

Jon Bell Steps Up to CEO Role for Bell Partners

The Triad Business Journal has a nice article on Jon Bell’s ascension to the CEO role for the company his father founded 40 years ago.

After seven years as president of the apartment investment and management company his father founded in 1976, Jon Bell has moved up a rung and will begin serving as CEO on Feb. 1.

In that new role, Bell said he’s going to be more focused on the “big picture” and long-term growth of the company, while new President Lili Dunn will be more involved in the day-to-day operation of Greensboro-based Bell Partners.

“The CEO role is more strategic, more big picture, involved with guiding the organization,” Bell told me Wednesday. “We’ve had a lot of evolution at Bell Partners over the past five or 10 years. But we’re just getting started.”

That evolution has included shifting its focus exclusively to high-end multi-family residential complexes in growing markets, a change Bell Partners announced five years ago this month that included rebranding its communities with the Bell name.

You can read the full story here.

January 25, 2016 at 4:26 pm 1 comment

Signature Ready to Get Going in Burlington and Mebane

Signature Property Group, a longtime presence in the Greensboro apartment market, is ready to expand into other Triad markets:

Work should begin next month on a $32 million, 288-unit complex in Burlington around the same time work starts on a $30.2 million, 264-unit complex in Mebane.

Signature CEO Frank Auman said he’s excited to begin building in both cities, and the locations of each fit into a model he says has proved successful — within walking distance of amenities, and close to interstate access.

“We want to expand our presence outside the market,” Auman said. “My strategy is to first move toward the greater Raleigh area, so we’re kind of marching in that direction.”

As part of his explanation for why he sees potential in this sector of the apartment market, Auman was quoted as follows:

“Our rental demographic keeps expanding, especially in this rental class,” he said. “You’re as likely to get recently graduated college kids on their first job as you are to get retirees who are tired of mowing the grass and want to be more mobile.”

You can read the full story here.

January 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm 1 comment

Utah Company Expands Its Triad Footprint, Buys Two Greensboro Properties

RealSource, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has purchased two apartment communities with a combined 448 units for a total of $27.7 million. The Triad Business Journal carried the story earlier this week:

Salt Lake City-based RealSource purchased Friendly Ridge Apartment Homes, a 216-unit complex on St. Croix Place, for $12.5 million and spent $15.2 million on The Park at Oak Ridge, a 232-unit complex on Old Oak Ridge Road…

RealSource plans to invest $3.25 million in upgrades and repairs at The Park at Oak Ridge, and to spend $2.5 million enhancing Friendly Ridge.

The bulk of that cost will be spent on upgrades, with a focus on interior improvements in the one-bedroom and two-bedroom units that make up each community, he said. Anderson said a contractor has not yet been selected for the work.

January 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm 1 comment

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