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August 4, 2017
To See the Future of Renting, Watch the College Kids
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In some markets, two-thirds of students rent off-campus apartments without ever setting foot in them. They’re finding their apartments online, taking a virtual tour and then clicking to sign a lease. 

“This demographic is a really interesting testing ground for the future of real estate,” said one market player in a recent Bloomberg article. “They’re untarnished by cumbersome legacy institutions.” 

To that end, we’re hosting a live student roundtable at the 2017 NMHC Student Housing Conference in Tampa, Fla., September 25-27. Current students will share how they make their housing choices.

For more on the conference and sector trends, check out our special student housing supplement in NREI, which includes articles on the state of the student housing transactions market, the future of free tuition, the growing importance of star ratings and what’s keeping student housing execs up at night

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Top News


Bibby Makes the Apartment Industry's Case for Tax Reform at the White House

NMHC President Doug Bibby attended a Real Estate Tax Reform Listening Session at the White House this week. The event gave NMHC’s president an opportunity to highlight the industry’s tax reform priorities with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.


Mortgage Interest Tax Break Has "No Effect" on Homeownership, Study Finds

The mortgage interest deduction, a sacred cow in the U.S. tax code, does nothing to promote homeownership, according to new academic paper—a finding that undermines one of the core justifications for the tax break. (paywall)


Amazon Launches New Package Locker for Apartments

Amazon has quietly rolled out a new delivery feature to help apartment landlords in particularly dense markets manage tenant packages. The locker service, called The Hub, is similar to the Amazon Lockers the e-commerce behemoth rolled out in 7-Eleven stores—only in apartments.



Which Potential Tax Reforms Worry Apartment Industry Experts

In addition to concerns over changes to like-kind exchanges and the LIHTC program, advocates for multifamily are eager to preserve the ownership entities like partnerships or limited liability companies that many apartment firms use to do business. “Over three quarters of multifamily firms are run through a flow-through structure like a partnership or LLC,” says NMHC’s Matthew Berger.


Virtual Reality Helps Developers Get Projects Right the First Time

Progressive multifamily pros have begun combining computer-simulated, building information modeling (BIM) and virtual-reality (VR) technology to see how a space will live before they even break ground. 


More Demand, Less Affordability

As part of NREI’s Midyear Outlook, NMHC’s Doug Bibby discusses affordability challenges related to the growing demand for new apartments by 2030 (p. 54). “Growing production capacity will require both revamping how we build apartments and how our policymakers at the federal, state and local levels support new apartment development,” he writes. 


A Promising New Coalition Looks to Rewrite the Politics of Urban Housing

An innovative new political coalition in Washington, D.C., is trying to remap the contours of the urban housing debate by uniting poverty advocates, real estate developers, affordable housing proprietors and urbanists under the banner of more construction. If successful, the underlying model could be applicable to other major cities. 


U.S. Census Troubles Threaten Future Real Estate Development

Budget uncertainty has always been a fact of life with the Census, but a lack of additional funding and leadership turmoil could lead to a disastrous impact on the count in three years, affecting a number of industries that rely on the data—including commercial real estate.


Why Developers Are Building and Managing Smarter Apartments

Demand from apartment residents is one factor driving investment in new technology in apartments. But tech also helps apartment communities function better, which is critical to the advancement of smart cities. 
In Case You Missed It
A hand-selected collection of noteworthy articles on a wide variety of issues of interest to apartment executives.
Renter Households Reach 50-Year High

Q&A with UDR’s Tom Toomey on the State of the Multifamily Market and the Future of Suburbs

Homeownership Is the American Dream, But Some Find Renting Ideal

Mexico City Is Kicking Its Parking Addiction. Can U.S. Cities Do the Same?

These Four Rental Housing Trends Have Big Implications for the Growing Affordability Crisis

Apartment Industry Provides Congress with Housing Affordability Solutions

The Rise of the “Boommate”

Can a Grassroots YIMBY Movement Fix Urban Housing Shortages?

Growing Wealth with Multifamily Investments

Big Investors Transform Neighborhoods with Single-Family Rentals paywall

Freddie Mac Follows Fannie Mae to the Rental Market, With Affordability as a Goal

High Housing Prices, High Renting Prices: It's A Cycle

How One Nonprofit Is Helping to Solve Multifamily’s Employment Problem

Creative Solutions for Solving Affordable Housing
Multifamily Market Dashboard

Pullback Continues in the Investment Sales Market for Apartments

Despite falling multifamily deal volumes, prices in the sector keep rising. These divergent trends reflect strong investor demand for apartment properties coupled with limited deal inventory—especially for trophy assets. Hungry for deals, investors are increasingly turning to Class B properties.

According to data from Real Capital Analytics, prices for mid-rise and high-rise properties inched up 1.0 percent from a year ago, while prices for garden-style apartment properties grew 10.0 percent in 2Q 2017. This increase in pricing for garden-style properties is narrowing the spread between the top of the market and market average.

Upcoming Meetings
2017 NMHC Leadership Forum: The Bottom Line Imperative of Diversity & Inclusion

September 12-14, 2017 at the Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC

2017 NMHC Fall Board of Directors and Advisory Committee Meeting

September 12-14, 2017 at The Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC

September 25 - 27, 2017 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, Tampa, FL

2017 NMHC OPTECH Conference & Exposition

October 25-27, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

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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