Supply Chain Disruptions Create New Challenges for Builders

Construction projects are taking longer to complete and costing more to build than they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The supply of available materials dried up considerably during the pandemic due to shutdowns and social distancing requirements, which reduced capacity at manufacturing plants. Those supplies continue to be constrained, and lead times for receiving materials are massively elongated.  For example, when placing orders for roofing insulation, builders can now expect a …

Demand for Value-Add Multifamily Acquisitions Outpaces Supply

Earlier this year, national real estate investor and operator Waterton closed fundraising activity for a multifamily value-add fund with $1.5 billion in equity commitments from global institutional investors. Waterton launched the fund, known as Waterton Residential Property Venture XIV, in May 2020.  The first deployment from the fund was a four-property, 1,824-unit portfolio in metro Atlanta followed by a two-property portfolio in Hawaii and three assets in California. The largest-ever fund …

Office Buildings Get Wellness Makeovers

The work-from-home model that became the “new normal” for most office workers in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has stymied leasing activity and altered tenant strategies. Many space users have opted for short-term leases in response to the uncertainty triggered by the virus. According to JLL, U.S. office leasing volume in 2020 totaled 125.6 million square feet, down 47 percent from the prior year. Of the lease renewals inked in the fourth quarter, 43 percent were for five years …

All Bets Are Off on Property Tax Assessments

By Jerome Wallach, The Wallach Law FirmIn the budgeting process each year, property owners ask tax attorneys to estimate their projected tax exposure for the coming year or, in the case of multi-year cycles, what their property’s assessed value will be.Customarily, attorneys experienced in real property tax appeals find answers to those questions by using traditional valuation methods: The cost approach is applicable to newer properties; the income analysis approach is tied to …

Four Factors for Planning a Post-Pandemic Multifamily Amenity Renovation

By Mary Cook, Mary Cook Associates As a commercial interiors firm, a question we hear a lot recently is “Are multifamily developers renovating amenities because of the pandemic?” The answer is a bit more nuanced than a straight “yes” or “no.” No, entire amenity floors are not being ripped out and re-thought in direct response to changes stemming from the pandemic. But yes, long-term lifestyle trends are emerging from the pandemic that should be a factor when redesigning amenity …

Matching Americans to Jobs Will Be Key to Economic Recovery, Says Economist

DES PLAINES, ILL. — When reflecting on the future of the economy and its recovery, sometimes it’s good to look back. For instance, one of the lessons learned from the pandemic of 1918 was that people will make up for lost time, says Scott Brown, chief economist for Raymond James. “That’s one of the reasons we had the Roaring ’20s.”Brown’s remarks came during the opening session of CORFAC International’s virtual spring conference on Wednesday, March 17. Brown hosted an …

General Contractors Look Forward to Possible ‘Tsunami of Projects’ as Backlog Dissipates

With light emerging at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel thanks to the rollout of a vaccine, general contractors are confident of an uptick in business activity in 2021 following a year in which many projects were put on hold. But that optimism is clouded slightly by the high cost of materials, particularly lumber. Michael Sullivan Jr., CEO and founder of Des Plaines, Illinois-based Peak Construction Corp., says his company is prepared to absorb more of the rising costs this year than it did in …

Pandemic Puts Outdoor Amenities, Middle Markets into Multifamily Spotlight

The impact of COVID-19 on the multifamily sector may not have been as severe as its effect on the retail or office asset classes, but there are still many ways that those professionals active in the multifamily space adapted to pandemic-driven changes. Some of these adjustments, such as virtual apartment tours, are likely permanent.Here are four pandemic-related trends expected to influence the multifamily sector in 2021, according to a roundup of Midwest-based real estate …

Cleveland, Milwaukee & St. Louis Multifamily Forecasts Indicate Case for Caution

In earlier research, we found that investors may find advantageous risk and reward tradeoffs during the pandemic in often overlooked Midwest secondary markets. For the most part, average rent and occupancy metrics in these markets continued to rise throughout the summer, recession notwithstanding. Together, their inviting cap rates, rising NOI and low historic income volatility form a fairly compelling investment predicate.We also found that positive performance attributes were not limited …

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: The Case for Multifamily in Cincinnati and Detroit

Investors favor multifamily markets with brisk population growth and meaningful barriers to entry. But can a case be made in turbulent times for slow-growth Midwest cities characterized by weak entry barriers?View higher resolution version of chart above here.Midwest metro areas with relatively healthy demographic growth — Columbus, Indianapolis and Kansas City come to mind — have posted constructive performance trends during the pandemic recession so far, particularly with respect …

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