The Chicagoland Apartment Association Preview Breakfast for 2014 was held this morning in Chicago at the Union League Club. We were excited that our CEO, Milton Pinsky, was able to be featured on the panel. Milt joined the CEO’s from Waterton, Greystar, McCaffery Interests, RMK Management, and TLC Management in commenting on not only the dynamics of the multifamily market in Chicago, but trends driving the industry today.
These trends include:
The continued delivery of very high-end units into the Chicago downtown market commanding rents exceeding $3/per square foot.
The importance of strong teams and management. The trend is M-M-M: Management Makes Money. As rents rise, so do the demands of residents. Our associates need to be professionals highly developed to serve and surpass resident expectations in an era when consumer demands continue to rise.
Modest development in the suburbs is allowing most managers in the suburbs to maintain strong occupancy and achieve good rent growth, while some are predicting that fast-paced delivery of new units in the city will result in the appearance of concessions again soon.
Gloomy economic and political conditions in Illinois may hamper optimism and curtail development here.
Home purchase is not yet a huge factor in the apartment landscape as mortgages remain somewhat out of reach for a lot of the middle class who have not experienced “real” wage and purchasing power growth over the last few years.
In the cities, unit sizes being developed are shrinking.
There is a great “arms race” for amenities as properties are coming on line with wine cellars, pet spas, and more!
It remains a good time to “sell” – recent deals have closed which have netted the sellers returns as high as 52% in 3 years.
It is hard to come by a solid acquisition. Purchase modeling remains difficult because the economy and the ever-changing debt market make predictions difficult, especially if you are a long-term holder.
Companies continue to seek distressed opportunities, including fractured condo conversions, etc.
Developers continue to play the technology game by including cat-6 wiring throughout along with the infrastructure necessary to accommodate Americans’ ever-increasing appetite for bandwidth.
As you can see, this was a lively and involved discussion with a lot of great feedback offered by the panelists.
We’re proud our CEO was a part of it, he is a great representation of the industry.