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February 22, 2019
Why Voters Don't Buy the Case for Building
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At the heart of issues of housing affordability is the fact that housing demand is outpacing supply and, consequently driving up rents. Further complicating the matter is that it’s getting more expensive to produce new housing. But if this is Econ 101 playing out in an ugly way, why is so hard to get buy-in for solutions that increase housing production?

Using the intense debate that is happening in California, Rick Jacobus, a national affordable housing expert and consultant, unpacks the question in a new article in Shelterforce. 

“Yes, local governments in hot market areas must take bold action to enable more development, but it matters to voters what kind of development results and, specifically, who that development is for,” he writes. “Instead of (or in addition to) focusing on changes that support development in general, we should identify the policies that change who benefits from new development and we should stress that aspect when we explain these policies to the public.”

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Top News


Apartment Sector Would Continue to Remain Strong Even in Recession

Even if the economy takes a downturn, experts say that the apartment sector will still go strong. While luxury apartments may suffer, less expensive apartments may actually benefit from high demand. 


Renters Renew Their Leases More Than Ever Before

Despite rents continuing to rise throughout much of 2018, renters are choosing to remain in the same apartment more than they ever have before, even if their rent goes up. According to RealPage, resident retention hit an all-time high of 53 percent last year.


Progressive Lawmakers Take Aim at Landlords

Facing pressures over affordable housing, progressive lawmakers propose tighter controls or new taxes on big property owners. While the trend is concerning, there may be a silver lining. “The good news is they’re looking for solutions,” says NMHC’s Doug Bibby, noting several presidential hopefuls have included housing policy in their election platforms. “We haven’t seen such an interest in housing in almost my whole career.”


How Privatizing GSEs Could Impact the Multifamily Market

Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) recently released a proposal for GSE reform that includes privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “When we consider reforms to the GSEs, it is critical that no change is made that would result in a disruption of the flow of capital,” explains NMHC’s Dave Borsos.


Why Technology Hasnt Fixed the Housing Crisis

The New York Times’ Emily Badger asks the obvious: If start-ups have such promising ideas, why has technology come up short as a tool to solve affordability problems?


2019 Apartment Strategies Outlook Conference Recap

Missed this year’s Apartment Strategies Outlook Conference? Check out the highlights, including a 10-year economic forecast, insights from an MIT thought leader on changing demographics and the major market trends set to shape the multifamily sector in the next 12 to 18 months. Plus, get the lowdown of everything that happened at this year’s Annual Meeting.
In Case You Missed It
A hand-selected collection of noteworthy articles on a wide variety of issues of interest to apartment executives.
Multifamily Real Estate Just Had Its Best Year Since 2000

Developers Say Co-Living Suites Earn More Per Square Foot

Why Opportunity Zones Will Likely Increase Rents in Vulnerable Areas

Preserving and Incentivizing Affordable Housing for California (feat. NMHC’s Jim Lapides)

Multifamily Owners Jump into the Short-Term Rental Game

Market Trends

2018 Apartment Returns Were Flat

Total returns to apartment investors in 2018 came in below the long-term average of 10.4 percent for the third straight year. The total return on an unlevered basis was 6.1 percent, according to data from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF)—a marginal decline from the 6.2 percent gain the previous year. 

Similarly, total returns to apartment REITs also came in well below the long-term average of 11.6 percent, hitting 3.7 percent for the second consecutive year. However, this was the first year since 2015 that returns were greater than the total return to the S&P 500, which fell 4.4 percent in 2018.  

For more analysis on the market’s leading indicators, check out the latest Market Trends.

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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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