Archive for January, 2012

US Apartment Vacancy Expected to Fall to 5 Percent in 2012

According to a report by Marcus & Millichap the vacancy rate for apartments in the US is expected to decline to 5% by the end of 2012:

Hessam Nadji, managing director, research and advisory services at the firm, tells GlobeSt.com that “Demand for rental housing will remain robust in 2012 as strong demographic trends combine with shifting consumer behavior. The total population within the prime 20-34 year old renter cohort has increased dramatically, and will increase by an additional 2 million through 2015,” he says. “As this age cohort continues to face significant hurdles to homeownership and as the tight employment market encourages flexible housing decisions, many of these new households will continue to favor renting.”

In addition, Nadji says, though foreclosure activity has begun to recede from peak levels, homeownership rates have declined dramatically since reaching their 69.2% peak in 2004. “The most recent readings place homeownership at 66.3%, and this sharp decline has significantly added to rental housing demand. As a result, rental housing will remain a favored choice for the coming year.”           

Nadji tells GlobeSt.com that “strong demand trends will continue to pressure rental housing stock, and although many developers have begun to ramp-up construction plans, substantive increases in construction remains one to two years out.” Presently, only 85,000 new apartments are anticipated for 2012, he says, “a significant shortfall from the forecast demand of 120,000 apartments in 2012. This will press vacancies to the 5% range by year-end, the lowest level since 2001, and empower owners to advance effective rents by 4.8%.”

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January 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

HAWS’ H.A.G.

Hairy Audacious Goals (HAGs) are exactly what they sound like – goals that, on the surface, are so outrageous they seem unattainable. A classic example would be President Kennedy’s “we choose to go to the moon in this decade” quote, but there are plenty of goals here on Earth that seem equally audacious. One of those could very well be figuring out how to revitalize a depressed section of just about any city in America, and that’s why the Winston-Salem Journal’s editorial board seems to be encouraged by (PTAA member) Housing Authority of Winston-Salem’s Cleveland Area Master Plan:

The transformative idea? That public housing, in the way that we know it, is the problem. Concentrating low-income people in one area is an outdated model that can cause a neighborhood to decline, Woods said. And relying on government entirely is also no longer desirable. “We must have private investment and we must make a return on our investment so we can fund the next project,” said Katrina Redmon, chief financial officer for HAWS.

The Cleveland Area Plan covers about 130 acres along Cleveland and Highland avenues between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and 21st Street. The area is spotted with vacant lots, abandoned buildings and two large housing projects, Cleveland Avenue Homes and Sunrise Towers. The plan calls for a mix of houses, garden apartments, retail businesses and parks with those who receive public-housing assistance spread out and living among homeowners. The Housing Authority’s board approved the plan last summer, and last month the Winston-Salem City Council endorsed it.

“What we’re looking for is for (the Cleveland Avenue neighborhood) to become a distinct community of its own with its own personality that will attract a wide range of families and individuals who will become stakeholders,” Woods said.

January 31, 2012 at 12:50 pm Leave a comment

Proposed Amendment to Raleigh’s PROP Ordinance

Last summer North Carolina’s legislature passed a new law that would limit the ability of municipalities to enact rental registration and inspections ordinances.  The city of Raleigh is considering changes to its PROP ordinance as described in a recent issue of NAA’s Hotsheet:

The Raleigh City Council is considering amendments to its existing Probationary Rental Occupancy Permit (PROP) ordinance program. The changes, based on recommendations from the City Attorney’s office, would increase permit fees significantly and would allow the city to revoke an owner’s permit to operate, prohibiting the owner from renting out an entire property for the violations of a single unit.

A property owner is required to have a PROP permit if the property receives repeated violations, such as nuisance, occupancy, or inspections violations. In the program’s current form, a property owner may apply to have violations removed—to avoid the PROP permit requirement—if he or she evicts or removes the problematic tenant(s). The proposed revisions would limit an owner’s ability to contest violations. Other onerous provisions include:

  • Expanding the types of violations included in PROP, such as failing to register a rental property, underage drinking, or if a tenant is otherwise engaged in several forms of criminal activity;
  • Revocation of owner’s PROP permit if a unit receives 3 violations within a 24 month period; and
  • Permit fee increases from a $200 administrative fee, a $300 permit fee for the first year and $500 for any additional year to a $500 non-refundable deposit and tiered system of permit fees ranging from $1,000 for 1 to 4 dwelling units to $10,000 for 20 or more dwelling units.

The City Attorney’s office has been charged with rewriting the PROP ordinance to comply with a newly enacted state law. The new law, Senate Bill 683/Session Law 2011-281, limits the ability of cities and localities to enact rental registration and inspections ordinances. The city of Raleigh claims that the law would reduce revenues from the PROP program. The City Attorney’s revisions would increase the number of properties flagged by PROP, raising revenues and offsetting the shortfall created by the new law. The Triangle Apartment Association plans to work with the City Attorney’s office as it plans further revisions.

Please contact < href=”mailto:nicole@naahq.org“>Nicole@naahq.org to request a copy of the ordinance. (Raleigh Public Record, North Carolina League of Municipalities, Triangle Apartment Association)

January 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

Does your company have a Social Media Policy or handbook?

We hope your community or company hasn’t had a problematic situation when it comes to social media. The best way to avoid these types of situations, where your company could endure an embarrassing social media problem, is to have a policy in place.

Ragan.com suggests “teach employees how to drive a car before they get in it, not after they crash.”

We’ve stumbled across an interesting article about having a social media handbook here.

January 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm Leave a comment

HAWS Makes Plans for Redevelopment in Cleveland Avenue Area of Winston-Salem

The Winston-Salem Journal has an article about the long-term redevelopment plan that the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem has for some Cleveland Avenue neighborhoods in Winston-Salem:

Concentrating low-income people in one area is an outdated model for public housing that can cause a neighborhood to decline, he said.

“We believe that the need for income-based communities is over with, that we really need to figure out a way to integrate individuals of different income means within a wider community,” Woods said. “What we’re looking for is for (the Cleveland Avenue neighborhood) to become a distinct community of its own with its own personality that will attract a wide range of families and individuals who will become stakeholders.”

To achieve that, the housing authority is working on a master plan for those neighborhoods to spread public-housing residents out and to draw businesses to the area.

“What we’re looking to do is not just to rebuild our public housing site, but actually begin to stimulate private investment and rebuild an entire community,” Woods said.

The plan, called the Cleveland Area Master Plan, is ambitious, officials say.

It covers about 130 acres, and includes the neighborhoods between Highland and Cleveland avenues from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to 14th Street and the school system’s new campus by Kennedy Learning Center.

It calls for traffic circles and landscaping, new parks and public art, an expanded library and retail shops. It also calls for garden apartment complexes, which would be home to people who receive public-housing assistance, and to those who would pay fair-market prices, Woods said.

January 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Stafford Place (Winston-Salem) Project Could Grow

PTAA member Chris Parr’s project on Peters Creek Parkway in the southern part of Winston-Salem caught the attention of the Winston-Salem Journal:

The apartment phase of Stafford Place off Peters Creek Parkway could end up being bigger than originally planned.

Developer Chris Parr wants to increase the number of apartments in Stafford Place, a mixed-use development on the new Stafford Village Boulevard, from 266 to 363 units…

“My plan is to build an upscale apartment community consisting of upgraded amenities, which I feel the area is in need of and will support,” said Parr, the owner of Parr Investments Inc. in Greensboro.

His apartment project, near Walmart, Lowe’s home improvement and other retailers and restaurants, is called Stafford Place LLC. There would be 12 buildings. The rent would range from $699 to $859 a month. The square footage of units would range from 800 to 1,200.

The City Council approved a zoning request in February 2008 for the overall 36-acre Stafford Place developed by Tetra Cos. The Stafford Place complex will include commercial space as well as the apartments.

January 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Tami Fossum Named VP of Management Services at Blue Ridge

In the Greensboro News & Record’s Business Awards & Achievements section (January 22, 2012) they carried the following announcement:

Blue Ridge Companies, a High Point-based apartment management firm, has promoted Tami Fossum to vice president of management services in its High Point office.

Congratulations Tami!

January 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm 1 comment

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