The Pacific Coast Builders Conference focuses heavily on single-family construction. But this year’s PCBC (June 27-29, San Diego) had a strong dose of multifamily-related content, according to an excellent report by Patricia Kirk, in National Real Estate Investor. Among the trends Kirk noted:
1. There’s a lot of growth ahead for the multifamily sector, said Kim Edwards, SVP, J.P. Morgan Real Estate Banking. Long-term growth in occupancy rates is projected, Edwards told PCBC attendees.
2. Millennials in the 20- to 34-year-old age bracket are not the only group looking for apartments, said Ron Witten, Witten Advisors LLC, a multifamily market advisory firm. All age groups under 65 are showing demand for rentals.
3. Mixed-use projects are entertaining more non-traditional uses, such as museums and conference centers, said Jonathan Cox, SVP, AvalonBay Communities, a publicly traded multifamily REIT.
4. It is wise to lease the retail component of mixed-use projects first, said Kimberly Byrum, Principal, Meyers Research. The retail creates a “destination” that helps in leasing the multifamily units.
5. Apartment units in mixed-use projects don’t necessarily outperform the market in rent growth, according to Byrum, but they may stimulate rent growth for the larger neighborhood. A walkable environment can add $100 to $125 a month to rentals. It also produces higher yields.
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