Archive for April, 2012

Competition for CRE Lending Heating Up Among Banks

Looks like lending for commercial real estate is finally thawing out:

While a host of banks are still working through mounds of distressed commercial real estate assets, a number have decided the time is right to jump back in. Those banks that are lending again see lower risk owner-occupied properties and multifamily properties as preferred targets. But with lenders focusing on the same ‘safe shelter’ property sectors, it is creating widespread competition for the better-quality borrowers in those areas. 

The real battle ground may be next year from the coming opportunities in construction and development lending – the one area that more than any other brought down a significant number of banks when the subprime housing loan market collapsed and drove the world economies into a Great Recession. 

From Winston-Salem based BB&T’s Kelly King:

For its part, BB&T is looking to Florida.

“I would say the real estate market in Florida is stabilized and improving. For example, if you go to the Gulf Coast, clearly, prices have firmed up and beginning to go up. Activity is substantially up,” King said. “If you go to Miami where, as you recall, there was a huge glut from 28,000 condo units on the market. There’s been a major surge of Latin America investors coming in, and the latest report I saw was there’s a — is a 90% — 93% occupancy. So all of that is because they turned the condos into rental properties. So I’m sure you could probably find some spots of Florida that still have some issues. But overall, I’d [say] it’s stabilized to improving.” 

Where King won’t go he said is back to financing the super high-rise, office buildings and hotels that other banks may be doing. 

And it looks like the southeast is promising to others as well:

Bank of the Ozarks will be opening a new office in Atlanta in June that will be a satellite office of its Real Estate Specialties Group team. The bank will also be opening a second office in Mobile, AL, later this year. It is relocating its Bluffton, SC, and Wilmington, NC, offices to new expanded facilities and relocating its Charlotte loan production office into a full-service banking operation in a new facility it is building there. 

“We think there is really good potential in the Southeast and that’s going to be a real important growth area for us in the future,” Gleason said. “That’s going to be much more 2013, 2014, 2015, than it is 2012 growth, but you’ve got to put the platforms in place and build what you need to capitalize on those future opportunities now. So we want to start getting in and really carefully cherry pick and mining some good business opportunities.” 

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April 27, 2012 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment

Happy People

According to this report property management is the second happiest job in America:

Citing the work that they do and the people they work with as the main drivers of their happiness, property managers ranked No. 2 – tied with executive chefs and surpassed only by software quality assurance engineers – in a recent survey conducted by the online jobs site CareerBliss.com to determine the 20 happiest careers in America. Property managers have had the added distinction in recent years of appearing twice in CNN’s and Money magazine’s annual ranking of the 50 “Best Jobs in America.”

Thanks to Emily Goodman for passing this along.

April 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

How Would You Like to Turn This Apartment?

It probably took more than a quick coat of paint to get this apartment turned.

April 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

Supreme Court Rejects Rent-Control Challenge

From the LA Times:

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a constitutional challenge to New York City’s famed rent-control ordinance, a post-World War II housing measure that limits the rents of more than a million apartments.

The court’s action is a setback for property-rights activists, who had hoped a more conservative court would protect landlords and a free market in rentals. For decades, critics have said rent-control laws deny property owners the right to fully profit from their investment…

In his appeal, James Harmon said the rent control law violated the 5th Amendment, which says “private property [shall not] be taken for public use without just compensation…”

For decades, critics have urged the justices to strike down rent-control measures as unconstitutional, but they have refused.

April 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

Contest, Sweepstakes or Lottery – Only 2/3 Are Legal

A nice, short NAA blog post about why contests and raffles are okay, but not lotteries:

As an apartment marketing professional, it’s important to understand the differences between a contest, a sweepstakes and a lottery—because while the first two are legal, a lottery is not.

When defining the differences, there are three elements to consider: chance, consideration and prize. If two are correctly included, your promotion is legal; if all three are, it’s not.

April 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Saxapahaw Rivermill – Lessons in Mixed-Use, Historic Tax Credits and HUD Backed Loans

An interesting story in the Triad Business Journal on the redevelopment of Saxapahaw Rivermill in Alamance County into a mixed-use success story. Here’s a highlight:

During the next decade, with historic tax credits, a mortgage from a Raleigh bank, a federal HUD-backed loan and a good bit of their own money, the Jordans created Saxapahaw Rivermill. They then poured $11 million into the lower factory to transform it into 175 stylish, riverfront apartments and lofts. The units rented quickly after opening in 2006. There’s been a waiting list for years.

Read the whole story here (subscription required).

April 20, 2012 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

What the Future Holds for Apartment Industry Careers

According to this post on NAA’s blog, explosive growth is forecast for the apartment industry and one result may be a shortage of qualified employees that could lead to a sharp increase in on-site pay:

Our industry is so broad and so diverse that we accommodate people with a wide variety of experiences. For example, John says one big area of growth is in the information technology departments of property management companies. They need data analysts who can help them sort through information and use it to better run their business. He also expects the industry will see continued demand for service and maintenance personnel. We may even see a shortage as the applicant pool for these positions shrinks. That’s alarming.
Property managers know maintenance staff are critical members of a community’s team. They are the ones who are on the front lines of customer service and who often interact the most with residents. The low wages typical of manual service jobs may be deterring people from pursuing these positions, he says.
 
That may soon change. To attract and retain the best talent, John says, companies are realizing they have to increase salaries. He predicts the industry will soon see significant pay increases, especially for on-site staff. “If you’re trying to complete for the top level talent, you have to pay to play.”

April 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

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