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Demand Remains Strong for Single-Family Rentals

A strong economy is helping drive demand for single-family home rentals (“SFR”). According to an article in National Real Estate Investor, occupancy rates are holding steady in most top market. “We’re continuing to see steady rental demand, especially in urban areas, where nearly a quarter of the country’s largest cities are now majority-renter,” says Diane Tomb, executive director of the National Rental Home Council; an industry advocacy group. The percentage of SFRs that were occupied at the end of 2017 averaged roughly 95 percent, according to data from firms like John Burns Real Estate Consulting. However, despite the demand for SFRs, rents are not increasing as fast as they normally do

Surveys Say Little Impact from Rising Interest Rates

Yes, the housing market is slowing a bit as interest rates increase and home prices continue to rise, but recent surveys show they will not have a major impact on prospective home buyers, even if mortgage rates hit 5%. A Redfin survey indicates that only 6% of buyers would stop looking for homes while 20% said they would purchase homes “with more urgency” before the rates begin to climb. Even home builders seemed confident that a rise in rates wouldn’t have a major impact on their businesses. Fully 56% of them say they would likely experience a 1%–10% decline in sales volumes which wouldn’t cause them to drop prices. For the full article, click HERE: Consider investing in a professionally ma

Wall Street on Buying Binge for Inexpensive Single-Family Rentals

It used to be that Wall Street had little interest in single-family home rentals, especially in low-income areas. Times have changed. Bloomberg News reports that companies like Promise Homes Co. are gobbling up properties in working-class neighborhoods all over the country. The company just paid $22 million to Invitation Homes Inc. for 220 homes it owned in the Atlanta area. Promise is a startup company funded by Wall Streeters Tony Ressler and Michael Arougheti of Ares Management. Their strategy in buying rental homes is focused on helping tenants improve their finances so that they continue to rent, thus minimizing turnover. “Larger companies are getting rid of underperforming assets,” sai

U.S. Housing Starts on the Rise in January 2018

America’s construction industry is experiencing a mini-boom right now. CNBC reports that in January 2018, housing starts totaled 1.326 million versus the 1.234 million starts expected, and single-family homes are driving this surge. Single-family home construction increased 3.7 percent to a rate of 877,000 units. More good news: Building permits increased to 1.396 million units in January, the highest level since June 2007. Demand for housing is being driven by a tightening labor market, but not all the news is rosy. Rising mortgage rates and house prices could slow the momentum. Yes, unemployment is at record lows, but wages are not keeping pace. For the full article, click HERE: Consider i

Rising Rents at “Crisis” Level for Lower Income People

When it comes to housing, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. CNBC reports that the construction of luxury apartments, during a time when there’s an acute lack of affordable housing, is causing a crisis for low and middle-income people. In fact, nearly half of renter households pay in excess of 30 percent of their income for housing. Multifamily construction is now at a 40-year high but some claim that developers are building the wrong kind of buildings. Data from RealPage, an apartment management software and data company, indicates that upscale buildings accounted for between 75 and 80 percent of the new supply in the current cycle. The rush for big-ticket tenants

Major Architect to Design West Chelsea Project

Related Companies has announced that famed architect Robert A.M. Stern’s renderings are out for the West Chelsea development site they bought in October, 2017. The property on West 23rd Street and 11th Avenue was formerly the site of U-Haul. Stern previously designed the Abington House rental building that Related developed at West 30th Street with Abington Properties. He is perhaps best known for his large-scale condominium and apartment building projects in New York City, which include 15 Central Park West, 20 East End Avenue, The Chatham, and The Brompton. The site includes the storage building at the corner, plus two other lots facing 23rd Street and another fronting the other side of th

Lenders Now Allow Airbnb Income on Mortgage Applications

The booming home-share economy has just gotten some extra credibility. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Airbnb, in conjunction with Fannie Mae and three other big lenders (Quicken Loans, Citizens Bank, and Better Mortgage) announced that Airbnb homeowners can now include the money they earn from rentals when applying for refinance loans. This is a big deal. Ever since the 2008 housing bust, lenders have been reluctant to loan money to people who have side businesses or who work part-time. But Airbnb argues that its service tracks income well and that it helps homeowners stay in their homes. “The whole big idea behind Airbnb … was how could people unleash or capture the val

Data Centers and Cannabis Farms: REITS You Need to Consider

These are high times for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs); literally. While many REITs target such safe investments as senior living centers, office buildings and rental housing for college students, others are becoming more daring. Some are investing in casinos, self-storage facilities, data centers and billboard companies. And one REIT believes that marijuana will become a major growth industry. A recent Forbes article highlights Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. a REIT that is banking on the success of marijuana growers. With more and more states legalizing cannabis or allowing the purchase of medical marijuana, Innovative Industrials is betting the farm (pun intended!) and has

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