US – How Long Can Multifamily Boom Last?

February 7, 2013

Home starts of structures with five or more units, which rose 56% and 38% respectively in the past two years, are expected to be up again, by 22% to 299,000 units, in 2013, according to NAHB estimates. But several builders in the audience of a seminar at which the association presented its projections during the International Builders’ Show last Thursday openly challenged NAHB’s 2013 and 2014 forecasts as being too low and not adequately reflecting what they saw as the increasing share of total starts that rental properties are likely to capture.

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US – Apartment Vacancies Decline to an 11-Year Low in U.S.

February 7, 2013

U.S. apartment vacancies declined to an 11-year low in the fourth quarter as construction of multifamily complexes spurred by rising rents failed to keep up with increasing demand, Reis Inc. (REIS) said.

The number of occupied apartments in the U.S. has been rising since the second quarter of 2009 as millions of people forced out of their houses by foreclosure switched to renting, and stricter mortgage requirements made it harder for potential homebuyers to obtain loans.

The national vacancy rate dropped to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent in the third quarter and 5.2 percent a year earlier, the New York-based real estate research firm said today. It was the lowest since the third quarter of 2001, when the rate was 3.9 percent, according to Reis. New York was the tightest market, with a 2.1 percent vacancy rate, unchanged from a year earlier.

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US – Job Growth Seen in 2012

February 7, 2013

Unemployment rates fell below 7 percent in a majority of U.S. cities in November, suggesting steady job gains are benefiting most parts of the country.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that rates fell in November from October in 215 of the 372 largest metro areas. Rates were unchanged in 33 and rose in 124.

Rates dropped below 7 percent in 192 cities. That’s the first time since the recession ended that more than half of large cities had rates below that threshold. And 52 had rates below 5 percent.

Major metropolitan areas with low unemployment rates in November included: Oklahoma City, 4.5 percent; New Orleans, 4.7 percent; Washington, 5 percent; Boston, 5.6 percent; and Phoenix, 6.5 percent. Bismarck, N.D., which is benefiting from an oil and gas drilling boom, recorded the lowest unemployment rate, at 2.6 percent.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.8 percent in November from 7.9 percent the previous month. That occurred mostly because more Americans out of work gave up looking for jobs and were not counted as unemployed.

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US – Seattle Rent Increase May Be Over

February 7, 2013

Area’s average rent drops slightly, with several Eastside markets reporting the biggest declines. A huge apartment-construction boom and bridge tolls may be having an impact.

 

Local landlords may have to get used to more vacant apartments and smaller rent increases, a recent report suggests.

The average monthly rent in complexes with 50 or more units in King and Snohomish counties fell slightly during the last quarter of 2012, to $1,140 from $1,142, after three straight quarters of “impressive” growth, according to research firm Apartment Insights Washington.

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Calgary Luxury Home Sales Best in Canada

February 7, 2013

CALGARY — Calgary led the country in 2012 in sales growth for the luxury home market, according to firm Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

“The trend has been upward and we don’t see any sign of that changing for awhile,” said McCredie. “There’s more and more investment coming into Alberta. More and more people are moving there. You’ve got a range of jobs. It’s not just simply oil and gas companies that are investing there.

“In the rest of the country, there’s definitely a trend going west and Alberta is probably leading that trend in terms of companies investing in key offices across Canada as well as foreign companies coming in as well.”

He predicted double-digit sales growth for Calgary’s luxury home market this year which will outstrip the performance of other major centres across the country.

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US – Home Construction Boom Led By Apartment Demand

February 7, 2013

Total housing starts rose 12% vs. November to an annualized 954,000, the Commerce Department reported. That’s the most in 4-1/2 years and far above the 887,000 expected. Construction on housing with five or more units shot up 23%. Single-family starts were up 8%.

The strong construction figures and a five-year low in jobless claims helped push the S&P 500 to a fresh five-year high. That’s despite a weak report on mid-Atlantic manufacturing.


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US – Apartment Rent Growth Expects to be 3%, same in 2012 compared to 4.8% in 2011

February 7, 2013

Effective rents for new leases in the U.S. apartment sector climbed 3.0 percent during 2012, according to MPF Research, an industry-leading market intelligence division of RealPage.  The annual rent growth pace slowed throughout the year, after the rate of increase reached 4.8 percent in 2011.

Rent growth over the past year remained a bit above the long-term norm of 2.5 percent recorded during the past two decades. An increase of 3.0 percent is similar to the average results posted during past periods when occupancy was sustained at strong and generally stable levels, according to MPF Research. Comparable annual price increases registered most recently from 2005 through the middle of 2008, and before that in the middle to late 1990s.

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