Investing in Apartments Includes Some Benefits
Apartments are the hottest class of commercial real estate and are likely to continue being hot for a while. Independent of the unique demographic and economic drivers for their success in the current post-Great Recession economy, there are a few basic truths that make them attractive:
- Housing costs usually move up and apartment rents can be adjusted on a regular basis.
- Vacant units are easy to re-rent with little or no cost. In fact, tenant security deposits usually pay for cleaning and repairs.
- Excellent financing with 80 percent leverage is readily available.
- Relatively easy appreciation through making cosmetic upgrades to increase rents.
…But Apartments Also Include Some Downsides
For many investors, though, apartments have three key problems compared with other classes of commercial real estate. They have tenants that break things, complain and fail to pay rent. Apartments have kitchens that tend to start destructive fires. Finally, they have bathrooms that leak and cause damage to surrounding units. At the same time, many cities heavily regulate apartments and, in many cases, favor tenants over landlords. These problems make apartments challenging and time-consuming to own.
Imagine, for a moment, an apartment building without tenants, kitchens or bathrooms and with little or no government oversight. All that you would have are rooms with furniture, clothing and other items in them. If you have ever owned an apartment building, you know that a building like this one would be a dream to own!
The Solution: Self Storage Facilities
In fact, the perfect apartment building is a self-storage facility. Mini-storage facilities offer a similar ownership experience to apartments but without any of the drawbacks. Because they frequently serve apartment tenants, their performance tracks the apartment industry, as well. Furthermore, modern management systems make them much easier to own than many people realize.
Read more of Solomon Poretsky’s blog posts here.
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Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2014 Top Markets to Watch Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2014. Today we are delving into the 2014 Top Apartment Markets to Watch. Not the largest, or the most actively contested markets, the 2014 Apartment Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
TOP APARTMENT MARKET TO WATCH : Las Vegas, Nevada
Apartment developers are playing a game of chance in Las Vegas. Encouraged by the first increase in average rents since the Great Recession and a recent improvement in the vacancy rate, projects in the pipeline could deliver as many as 3,000 multifamily units in 2014, a tenfold increase from the previous year. Granted, the local population will increase by 2.7 percent this year alone, making it one of the fastest growing U.S. cities. Yet this market must dig itself out of a deeper housing hole than most, and still has a ways to go. The apartment vacancy rate of 9 percent is more than 10 basis points above the historical average. Average rents have only recovered to 80 percent of the pre-recession peak, and thousands of single-family homes remain on the rental market. The nascent recovery merits some development but is unlikely to float all boats in 2014.
To read more on Las Vegas, and other top multifamily markets, download the full version of the Top Apartment Markets to Watch report below.
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