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June 5, 2014

Real Estate Crowdfunding on the Rise

Fundrise, a crowdfunding website that aims to finance commercial real estate deals, recently raised more than $31 million in its first round of funding. The company’s business model allows individuals to directly invest as little as $100 in hotels, apartment buildings and other development projects.

The company is one of a growing number of real estate start-upsRealty Mogul, Property Peers, Prodigy Network, RealCrowd, to name a few—that are dramatically changing the way real estate projects are financed by allowing small, local investors a crack at an asset class that private equity firms and high net worth investors have long dominated.

Moreover, this shift in the makeup of the investor pool factors into not only who profits from investment but also what kind of projects are built and where.

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TOP 50

Greystar Buys Riverstone in Blockbuster Deal

Breaking early Wednesday, the big industry news this week is that Greystar Real Estate Partners acquired Riverstone Residential. The deal combines the No. 1 and No. 2 largest apartment management firms on the NMHC 50 rankings, creating a massive portfolio of more than 385,000 units under management. The acquisition continues the industry trend toward consolidation in 2014, following a number of strategic acquisitions last year. Read more about the companies' recent growth in 2013 in this year’s NMHC 50 special supplement.

TECHNOLOGY

Apple Enters Smart Home Market

A major front in the next revolution in digital technology will be in homes. And that’s precisely why tech giant Apple is making a play in the “smart home” market, unveiling HomeKit at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week. The technology offers a centralized way to control a bevy of automated appliances, but some critics question whether Apple can truly play nice with other companies’ technologies.

DEMOGRAPHICS

How Millenials Will Change the World of Work

By 2025, Millennials are expected to make up as much as 75 percent of the American workforce, drastically shifting the way the businesses woo consumers, treat employees and market themselves to the outside world. But, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution, most of corporate America isn’t prepared yet to deal with this generation’s demands as consumers and employees.

Not convinced? Check out how WeWork is remaking the office environment to better serve the needs and wants of young, entrepreneurs, professionals and start-up employees. Definitely not your father’s office space. 

AMENITIES

In Toyko, High-End Apartments Now Come with Cats

As Japan struggles with a massive stray cat population and local apartments come with few frills—sometimes lighting fixtures and appliances aren’t even included—one woman comes up with a creative solution: A new “Cat Mansion” program ups the ante at upscale condo and apartments by including a live-in cat as an amenity. 

TRENDS

Is This the Decade of the City?

Big city population growth has been on a tear for the first third of this decade, outpacing the rates from 2000 to 2010. But is this city growth revival here to stay? Or just a post-recession hangover? Brookings brainiac William Frey concludes that it’s a little bit of both. True, big city population growth is slowing, but signs of a suburban comeback are still pretty weak. Read his opinion piece here.

In Case You Missed It
A hand-selected collection of noteworthy articles on a wide variety of issues of interest to apartment executives.
Blackstone Hunts for Apartments in Latest Rental Foray

Axiometrics’ Analysis Finds Apartment Revenue Growing Faster in the Suburbs

Websites, Apps Proliferate as Rental Market Grows

Los Angeles Needs Half a Million More Affordable Housing Units

North Dakota Again Leads Housing Growth

Opinion: Modular Multifamily Homes Could Help Boston Avoid an Affordable Housing Crisis

Private Student Housing Communities Target International Students

New Jersey Apartment Owner Invests in Energy Saving Product Manufacturing

Top 10 Reasons It’s Better to Be a Renter

Invitation Homes Places $1B Single-Family Rental Securitization

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About Apartment Wire
A must-read for top apartment industry professionals, Apartment Wire is a timely review of emerging trends in apartment finance, development, management and technology and more, featuring both exclusive content from NMHC's staff of experts and provocative articles from across the web.
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Multifamily Market Dashboard

Young Renters Want to Own, But Growing Share Sees More Benefit in Renting

In the latest National Housing Survey Topic Analysis, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group tackled the rent vs. buy paradigm for both younger owners and renters (aged 18 to 39).

Survey results showed that more than three-quarters of younger renters said they believed owning a home makes more financial sense than renting because it protects them from rising rents and is a good long-term investment. However, that was a smaller share than last year, as the percentage of younger renter respondents that said renting is a more sensible housing choice because it’s more economical and insulated from home price declines rose from 19 percent in 3Q 2012 to 24 percent in 3Q 2013.

Similarly, the percentage of younger renters that said that owning is a better lifestyle choice declined from 61 percent a year ago to 59 percent in 3Q 2013, as a growing share indicated that renting makes more sense because it is a less stressful and more flexible housing option.

More takeaways from research analyst Sarah Shahdad are available here.

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