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August 24, 2017
A Positive Future for Apartments
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As the percentage of vacant apartments creeps upwards towards 5 percent on average across the country, many industry experts worry about overbuilding and potentially falling rents. But the overall demand for apartments is likely to solve many problems.

Developers will need to build 4.6 million new rental apartments between now and the end of 2030 just to keep up, according to a study recently released by NMHC/NAA.

“We’re experiencing fundamental shifts in our housing dynamics, as more people are moving away from buying houses and choosing apartments instead. More than 75 million people between 18 and 34 years old are entering the housing market, primarily as renters,” says Dr. Norm Miller, a principle at Hoyt Advisory Services and the study’s author.

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DEVELOPMENT

High-Profile Apartment Blazes Trigger Construction Safety Concerns

Several dramatic fires at apartment constructions sites across the country raise questions about the use and potential risk of wood framing in dense environments. “We’re doing a lot of construction in places we haven’t been present—high-density, urban cores....That really changes the fire potential,” said NMHC’s Paula Cino. (paywall)

POLICY

Regulatory Reboot: Tax Reform, Finance Top Industry's Policy Agenda

During the second half of 2017, the commercial and multifamily real estate industry will face a far-reaching set of legislative and regulatory issues. Tax reform, finance, e-commerce and flood insurance are all on the radar. 

OPERATIONS

New Seattle Law Mostly Puts Renters' Criminal Histories Virtually Off Limits

Seattle moves to largely prohibit landlords from using criminal history information to screen prospective residents. The rule carves out an exception for sex offenders with adult convictions.

This development is another example of the changing landscape around resident screening policies. NMHC reminds members that some criminal conviction screen policies could violate the Fair Housing Act under disparate impact theory. Read our guidance here

TRENDS

Homeownership Is a Bedrock of Americana. Can Renter Ever Be One?

There are two ways to respond to falling homeownership rates. Either you try to get them up again or you embrace the trend. And why not? There’s no economic law that says real property is always the best investment. 

DESIGN

Forget Modern: Some Renters Seek Apartments Stuck in the Past

There's a subset of apartment renters who eschew stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Instead, they purposefully hunt for what they call time capsule dwellings—homes that look like they have been untouched since John F. Kennedy was president and pillbox hats were the rage.


OPERATIONS

How Student Housing Firms Manage Move-In Onslaught Every August

For student housing property managers, the days leading up to the start of the semester are a hectic whirlwind as they undertake the herculean task of preparing a large apartment building for a surge of simultaneous move-ins. 

TECHNOLOGY

Can Robotic Furniture Make Tiny Apartments Live Bigger?

A Wired reporter heads to Brookfield Properties’ The Eugene community to test drive Ori, a robot disguised as transformable plywood furniture. Push a button or dictate a command and the unit unfolds itself into a bed or walk-in closet to maximize space. But does the concept have legs?

In Case You Missed It
A hand-selected collection of noteworthy articles on a wide variety of issues of interest to apartment executives.
Builders Pull Back on Home Construction Despite Strong Demand (paywall)

Broadband Group Speaks Out Against Apartment Exclusivity Practices

Housing Is Too Expensive for Low-Skilled Workers to Move to Cities with the Highest-Paid Jobs

Housing Formation Is Outpacing Construction by More Than 3 Million Units

Here’s Why More Americans Don’t Want to Be Homeowners

Where the Need for Affordable Rentals Is Most Dire

How to Fix Fannie and Freddie to Give Americans Affordable Housing

Some Apartment Markets Face Challenges

Cybersecurity: You Are Your Own Best Defense

NYC Becomes First to Guarantee a Lawyer to Every Resident Facing Eviction

Six Reasons Renting Is More Cost Effective Than Owning

Half of “Peak” Millennials Rent, While 14% Still Live with Parents

Yardi: YOY Rent Growth Slips in July, but Rents Have Risen Every Month of 2017

Single-Family Rental Operator Promise Homes Launches with $130 Million in Funding
Multifamily Market Dashboard

Average Apartment Vintage Varies by Property Size

Smaller multifamily properties, meaning those with fewer than 50 units in a property, make up nearly three-quarters of the overall apartment stock. At the same time, much of the new apartment construction in recent years has been of larger properties with more than 50 units.

Analysis of property age by property size shows some significant variation. Smaller properties tend to be much older on average than larger multifamily properties, with an average year built of 1949 compared with 1983, according to Yardi Matrix.

For more apartment data, check out our latest Market Trends


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

September 12, 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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