Sperry Van Ness International Corporation’s (SVNIC) 2015 Market Update Reports assess the current state of the national commercial real estate market, and identify micro-trends within specific geographic regions and industries for 2015. Today we are delving into the 2015 Top Multifamily Markets to Watch. Not the largest or the most actively contested markets, the 2015 Multifamily Markets to Watch are each at an important juncture that presents unique opportunities for investment. Together, they reflect the diversity of trends that is driving the economy and commercial real estate performance in markets across the country.
Top Multifamily Market to Watch: Houston, TX
The nation’s energy capital has been rattled over the last year by lower energy prices, though experts disagree on how significant the impact will be on Houston’s increasingly well- diversified economy. Some companies in the oil exploration, production, and drilling businesses will undoubtedly make cuts in 2015. There is no avoiding that five of Houston’s top ten employers are in the oil industry.
While demand may soften, Houston’s most daunting challenge is its pipeline of new apartments. Nearly 30,000 multifamily units were under construction as of the first quarter of 2015, with completions projected to exceed 15,000 units by year’s end. Chandan Economics projects that Houston’s ratio of new jobs to units delivered will slide to below 4.5% in 2015, less than half the national average.
While higher-end construction projects clustered in Houston’s downtown neighborhoods could falter, the suburban multifamily market has a relatively thinner development pipeline and may be better positioned for further rent gains in 2015. Vacancy has evaporated in the mid-tier of the market as many Class B properties have found their way out of the inventory, sometimes through strategic repositioning. Cap rates on these assets are relatively high, affording opportunities for income-oriented investors betting on Houston’s long-run growth record.
To read more on Houston and other top multifamily markets, download the full version of the 2015 Multifamily Market Update report here.
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