Multifamily: A Recovering Market

by Howard Bell

real estate investingWe all know what’s happening to the single family home markets. Over supply and shadow inventory and the subsequent price declines will continue until fear is overcome and inventory is soaked up.

The kinds of issues that led to a boom bust in housing did not take place with multifamily. There was no build out leading to over supply and the lender market was much more rationalized. Little of the kind of lending that led to so many foreclosures, ultimately driving home prices down.

Lack Of Supply In The Rental Market
From 1997 to 2006, multifamily construction was about 342,000 new units per year, but by 2010 they new construction declined 66%. Government estimates indicate we will need 1.5 million additional units annually just to keep up with population growth. Quite a shortfall, indeed

Lack Of Lender Interest In Funding Any Real Estate
Adding to a under supply is a real lack of lender interest in more housing of any kind. Although this appears to be a negative, it protected the sector from the boom mania and has kept the multifamily market on a sound footing.

Realty Trac reports annual foreclosure filings spiked from 1 million in 2006 to 3.9 million in 2009, and were about the same number in 2010. Finally, the huge foreclosure debacle is making renters out of all of us.

The combination of immigration, retirees moving back in and a new generation up will equal the size of the boomers, creating a large pool of new renters. Now that’s huge!

A Solid Market
The national vacancy rate for rentals fell 17% last year to 6.6%, according to Reis. And rents jumped. In New York, up 9% on average in the last five years; in San Jose, they’re up 8%; San Francisco, one of the best rental markets in the country, has seen its vacancy rates drop as rentals in all neighborhoods post new highs.

Howard Bell PFP CCRM is the founder/editor of Your Property, featuring over 450 articles on property management, Your Property Path SF, trade talk for the San Francisco real estate industry, Your Property Path News Brief, snap news updates and real estate market info, and Your Property Path Amazon Store. Howard is a property manager in San Francisco and holds a certification in financial planning.

See How to Punch Up Your New Rental Listings by Howard Bell

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