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August 27, 2015
Real Estate Tech Accelerator Launches
Sponsored by

The real estate industry has hardly been a pioneer in fostering and adopting new technology. In 2014, Thomas Bretz and Adam Freeman, two long-time, Chicago real estate business partners, set out to change all that with the creation of the first industry-focused technology accelerator.

As a tech accelerator, Elmspring invests in technology startups with innovative concepts in housing, brokerage, smart home automation, multifamily, hospitality, college housing, place- and space-making, smart office, planning, construction and more. They provide seed investments to early-stage companies in exchange for a six percent equity position.

At the end of 2014, Elmspring announced a new partnership with Waterton Associates, where a representative from Waterton will serve on the Elmspring Board and as an advisor to promising startups in the multifamily sector.

Given the company’s forward-looking focus in the industry, Elmspring’s Tom Bretz will join attendees at the 2015 NMHC OPTECH Conference & Exposition in San Diego this fall to offer feedback and advice to the four finalists in this year’s LaunchPad competition.

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Top News

MARKETS

Rents Rise Faster at Midtier Properties

With construction costs too high to build new low- and middle-income housing, developers’ focus on high-end properties contributes to a growing scarcity of more affordable apartment communities. Rents are climbing at existing midtier communities as a result. (paywall)

TRENDS

Construction Increases for Built-for-Rent Single-Family Homes

The share of built-for-rent single-family starts may be off post-recession highs, but new data shows relatively strong year-over-year increases in 2Q 2015. Toll Brothers, Lennar and other homebuilders get in on the action.

TECHNOLOGY

Cell Carriers Battle for Wifi Airwaves

Verizon and T-Mobile plan to broadcast cellular signals over some of the same free airwaves currently used by Wifi networks, giving rise to a battle among tech giants over the ubiquitous and unregulated wireless connections at the core of the mobile Internet. (paywall)

OPINION

The CEOS of Fannie, Freddie Deserve a Raise

With Fannie and Freddie set to collectively deliver another $8.3 billion to the U.S. Treasury in September, Walker & Dunlop’s Willy Walker argues that their CEOs deserve a well-earned compensation bump in this editorial for Housing Wire.

DEVELOPMENT

Bigger Isn't Necessarily Better

New multifamily average square footage dips as the multifamily mix shifts. Smaller units typically rent for less than conventional units but fetch high per square foot rents for owners. While developers go small with the actual size of the units, many go large with shared amenities.

GOVERNMENT

HUD Under Fire Following Public Housing Report

In response to an unsparing audit by its watchdog exposing widespread abuse of the public housing system, HUD changes tack and urges housing authorities nationwide to evict tenants who earn too much to qualify for government subsidies.
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Critics Say EB-5 Visa Program Is Immigration Reform for the Wealthy  

How Americans Move Between Top 10 Metros

An Infographic Guide to Two Cities’ Rent Control Policies

Can Felons Make Good Renters?

The Affordable Housing Crisis in America’s Top Five Cities

How to Capitalize on Multifamily’s Mobile Moments

Multifamily Market Dashboard

How Long Does It Take to Build a Multifamily Building?

Once green lighted, it takes an average of 11.7 months to complete construction of an apartment building, according to Census data analysis by the National Association of Home Builders. The permit-to-completion time was roughly a month longer than the previous year, as the share of multifamily buildings with 20+ units increased.

Both the number of units per building and geographic location influence the time to completion. More units most often means longer a longer construction period, although regional differences reveal variations in the trend.

Upcoming Meetings

NEXT MONTH

2015 NMHC Fall Board of Directors and Advisory Committee Meeting

September 15–17, 2015 The Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC

2015 NMHC Emerging Leaders Speaker Series — Washington, D.C.

September 16, 2015 Provision 14 in Washington, DC

2015 NMHC Student Housing Conference & Exposition

September 28–30, 2015 The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ

OCTOBER

2015 NMHC Emerging Leaders Speaker Series — Denver, CO

October 15, 2015 The The Platform at Union Station in Denver, CO
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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