Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

 

Carl Whitaker has been around the real estate game for years—he’s seen it all and done it all. He knows what it takes to make a good investment—and to stay on top of your game. That’s why we love him as our resident multifamily expert! In this episode, Carl looks at the current market environment and makes predictions for 2023 for multifamily and BTR-SFR. He is the Director of Research & Analysis for RealPage, Inc., where he blends in his passions for geography, economics, and teaching to foster a practical, applied understanding of apartment trends and forecast expectations. Prior to joining RealPage, Carl worked as a consultant with Catalyst Commercial – an economic consulting firm based in Dallas. We’ll discuss how the market will change in context with your company’s needs, as well as how you can prepare for those changes. If you’re looking for insight into how your business can adapt to this rapidly changing environment, then strap in because this episode is for you!

 

Get in touch with Carl Whitaker:

Website: https://www.realpage.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlwhitaker15/

 

If you are interested in learning more about passively investing in multifamily and Build-to-Rent properties, click here to schedule a call with the CPI Capital Team or contact us at info@cpicapital.ca. If you like to Co-Syndicate and close on a larger deal as a General Partner, click here. You can read more about CPI Capital at  https://www.cpicapital.ca/

 

#avabenesocky #augustbiniaz #cpicapital

 

If you are interested in learning more about passively investing in multifamily and Build-to-Rent properties, click here to schedule a call with the CPI Capital Team or contact us at info@cpicapital.ca. If you like to Co-Syndicate and close on larger deal as a General Partner click here. You can read more about CPI Capital at https://www.cpicapital.ca. #avabenesocky #augustbiniaz #cpicapital

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About Carl Whitaker

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.Carl Whitaker is a Director of Research & Analysis for RealPage, Inc., where he blends in his passions for geography, economics, and teaching to foster a practical, applied understanding of apartment trends and forecast expectations.

Prior to joining RealPage, Carl worked as a consultant with Catalyst Commercial – an economic consulting firm based in Dallas.
Carl received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s degree in applied geography from the University of North Texas.

 

2022 Market Recap And 2023 Market Predictions For Multifamily & BTR-SFR With Carl Whitaker

Welcome back, everybody. This is the second show of the day.

Yes, it is. This is our second show of the day, which is our first show in 2023. This show will be posted before the other show that we did because we want to get this show out there. There are going to be some recap from 2022 and some market predictions that are going to be happening in 2023. The most important exciting news everybody wants to know is what should they do in this interesting year that’s upon us. Interest rates are still high. They’re still being increased. Inflation is still high. There are a lot of weird and awkward things that are happening. The job market is strong but we’re in this quasi-recession.

All of us have been through a lot in the last couple of years. Let’s see what Carl has to say about 2023.

We are very excited about our guest, Carl Whitaker. We’ve had him on our show before. We called, begged and pleaded to get him on the show because he is right there. He’s into a beast’s belly with all the numbers and data. He works for RealPage. He’s in the analytics. They do market analysis data on us. They get all these numbers and give them to their clients so that clients can make sound decisions. These are large institutions like the Blackstones of the world. They need these data to make sound decisions for trillions of dollars that are being spent and invested in commercial real estate. I’m excited about our show. Maybe we can give a quick background and get right into it.

Carl is the Director of Research and Analysis for RealPage, Inc., where he blends in his passions for geography, economics, and teaching to foster a practical applied understanding of apartment trends and forecast expectations. We believe this interview with Carl will bring great value to passive and active investors looking to plan ahead for their 2023 investment strategy. Welcome, Carl. Thanks for being on the show.

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

 

Thank you. It’s good to see you all again.

With your role in RealPage and the access to data you have and the data you comprise, we wanted to have you on the show to discuss the economy, rental rates, construction, and your market predictions. Let’s first touch on 2022. It was a bizarre year for everyone. We were coming out of the COVID pandemic. Inflation started to go through the roof, and the Fed increased interest rates astronomically. Maybe you can debrief us on what you saw happening in the 2022 market.

That’s a great context. What we saw was this bizarre disconnect between what’s happening with the economy at least at the headline level with things like strong job growth versus what consumers are experiencing, which is high inflation and the household formation essentially freezing. That’s true for both single-family and multifamily. The single-family component has some additional layers of complexity with mortgage rates and people being essentially locked in on a 30-year note. It’s such a low-interest rate.

They’re not going to move around as much, but it’s a fascinating disconnect because some of those headline numbers like job growth look strong, but there’s more than meets the eye. We have seen that has a pretty profound impact on multifamily performance. In the 30-second overview of 2022 multifamily, we saw the rents still grow throughout the year. Especially in the second half of the year, the pace of growth slowed down. In fact, in the fourth quarter, we saw that rents were beginning to start to show some drops on a quarterly basis.

Year-over-year, they’re still growing, but if you look at the winter months, we did see a rent contract. We’ll get into this a little bit more throughout today. That’s somewhat normal for this time of year, but I think it’s a little bit steeper than what is “normal.” We saw the occupancy contracted a lot further. Candidly speaking, it’s a lot further than even we had initially forecasted that it would. We’ll talk about that as well. There’s a lot of construction out there. We’ll talk about why construction is such a big focal point in 2023 in particular.

Was there a dark horse or surprises that happened in 2022? Was there a region that stood out, rents or cap rates which went the opposite way than what we expected?

I’ll give two dark horses. One dark horse will be a national trend that caught us all off guard. We’re buttoning up our final year in stat right now. They should be released soon. This was the first time since 2009 that we saw that annual apartment absorption went negative. Anytime you’re comparing a number to 2009, that brings a lot of questions to the forefront of the discussion. We anticipated that absorption would slow down, but I don’t think any of us expected negative absorption throughout the year. That was a dark horse at least in terms of trends.

Describe what absorption is to our audience that might not fully understand what that means.

Absorption sometimes gets called demand. The way that we define it is absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another. Essentially, you had fewer occupied units at the end of 2022 than you did at the end of 2021.

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

 

Were there any regions that stood out more than others that you were expecting to zig, but it zag or anything as such?

There were a few that stood out to us. One of the things that have been a long-standing talking point has been the strength of the Sunbelt markets, the Phoenix of the world, Nashville, Atlanta, Dallas, etc. We’re starting to see that there’s a little bit of bifurcation within the Sunbelt markets. What I mean by that is places like Vegas and Phoenix are cooling off very quickly. It wouldn’t be surprising if rents do dip negatively in terms of year-over-year growth in 2023 in some of those spots.

In the middle of the pack, you have some places like Austin, Nashville and Charlotte. These are the markets that long-term nobody questions the strength of the market. People are moving to Nashville and Florida long-term. They’re well positioned, but they have been laboring a bit under new construction. In places like Austin and Nashville, for every 100 units that exist now, 15 are going to be delivered in the next 2 years. It’s 15% inventory growth.

In some neighborhoods, that’s north of 30%. If you look at Downtown Nashville, for instance, 40% of its entire existing stock is under construction. Think about that, 40% of all existing apartment units are being built. We’re starting to see some bifurcation in those areas. Lastly, you have some places like Atlanta and DFW, and a little bit more established Sun Belt markets. They may not be hitting home runs in terms of 10%-plus revenue growth, but they seem to be weathering some of the economic tides or some of the shifts a little bit more fully.

For the last point, let’s get a little bit more into the 2023 outlook. We’re starting to see some of those quiet off-the-radar Midwest markets like Indianapolis and Kansas City. Their stability in times of a lot of change sometimes means that they move up the list in terms of performance. It’s not that they’re a superstar and 100% absolutely guaranteed home-run markets. When things change quickly, their stability rises to the top. You’d be surprised to see some Midwest markets sneak their way into the top 10 for 2023.

Our good friend, Spencer Gray with Gray Capital, are all-ears listening to that in Indianapolis. He’s doing great. You touched on something great. This is something I’ve heard from old timers or people who’ve been in the business for a long time. This is a phrase they use, “Boom-and-bust cities.” They call Phoenix and Las Vegas boom-and-bust cities. It’s interesting you say that right away that as soon as they had this tremendous rent growth in 2023 and before, now they’re seeing the slowdown right away in these boom-and-bust cities. Is that fair to say?

Yeah. They still have that boom-and-bust profile. I’m going to borrow a phrase here, “Sometimes zebras don’t change their stripes.” We’re seeing that Phoenix in Vegas is in some ways behaving differently. It’s similar to what we saw in ‘08 and ‘09, although I’ll say the mechanisms are a lot different this time around.

What were the top metros for population growth in 2022? Do you see trends continuing into 2023?

What I would say with population growth, migration, etc., the top five-ish markets will probably be the top five or so markets for the next five years. I think the pace at which they grew probably isn’t going to be sustainable. I’ll point out places like Florida. One of the things we saw as a result of the pandemic was a lot of people accelerated their move. Some folks that maybe lived in New York or Illinois were probably going to move to Texas, Florida or Arizona at some point. They just made that move more quickly than what would have happened.

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

Multifamily Market Predictions: With population growth, migration, etc., the top five-ish markets will probably be the top five or so markets for the next five years. The pace at which they grew probably isn’t going to be sustainable.

 

You see where the long-standing trends are moving. People are still going to move to Nashville, the Carolinas, Arizona, etc., but the pace is going to slow down. Some of the markets that stood out to us in terms of overall population growth are Phoenix and capturing a lot of that California Exodus. We saw some huge growth in some of the smaller Florida markets like in Southwest Florida, the Miamis and Tampas of the world grew. Some of those smaller markets on the Coast in between those areas grew quickly. As a surprise to no one, Texas remains a fast-growing market. I think we’ll continue to see that.

You’re talking about those coastal areas in Florida. I’ve been looking at properties in Naples, Florida. They’ve gone up 2X. We’re shocked. We thought Vancouver was a fast-growing place. Let’s talk about property values. Do you keep records of property values or are you looking more at cap rates and rent growth? How are property values analyzed by your team? Do you keep records of it? Tell us if there were value increases in 2022 and possible 2023 forecasts.

We don’t forecast it outright per se. The data that we analyze comes to us via our friends at Real Capital Analytics or MSCI. We’re getting that data through the proxy of a data partnership. What we’ve been seeing in that data is that prices continue to increase through 2022. What we did see was that buyer appetite hit the pause button, especially in the summer months. We saw that time of the year when a lot of brokers are ramping up deals and getting a lot of things finalized.

We saw that people hit the pause button. That’s a direct reflection of the unknowns related to the Fed raising rates and what’s happening with the economy. No coincidence that in the summer, we saw that performance started to slow down. That started to affect trade appetite. Towards the end of 2022, we did see the activity pick up a little bit at least relative to that summer low. We did also see that the Bid-Ask Spread remains pretty significant. What we’re seeing on the seller side of the equation is that unless you are in a dire straight and need to sell an asset, there’s not a lot of reason to sell it. It’s still cashflowing. You’re also in a position where if you take that capital and you’re going to deploy it elsewhere, prices are so high that it’s often prohibitive.

Cap rates in some places are quickly going to sub-4%. Sellers aren’t necessarily selling with the same gusto even if there is some desire to purchase. Through 2023, you’re going to continue to see that Bid-Ask be a big topic. The last point is it’s not surprising to see that cap rates did start to move in the opposite direction in the back half of 2022 as those quantities of deals started to diminish a bit.

I was touching on your point as far as buyers and sellers and what’s happening here. I was on a call with a broker and I’m like, “What’s happening with the market? Is anyone selling?” It’s like, “Yes, people are selling.” I’m like, “I’m seeing some syndicators and other groups bringing assumable loan deals for their investors or their assumable loans. Why would someone be selling a product in today’s market knowing that the market will turn around again? We’re in somewhat of a down market right now. Why would they be selling an assumable loan, which has a term of three-plus years?

There are multiple reasons that people want to be exiting yet. They don’t trust where the economy is going to be in three years. There are deals that we’re looking at here internally as well as at CPI Capital that are assumable loans. There are definitely deals taking place as we speak but you’re right. Most people are on the sideline with dry powder hoping to get back into the market in Q3 or Q4 of 2023.

Another item you touched on was buyer appetite. It is the syndication side of commercial real estate, the deals that are being syndicated either through syndications or rely on mostly retail investors. Retail investors have a certain sentiment. The sentiment is down for retail investors. We felt that with our investors.

We have very close connections with our investors. We do have somewhat of a monopoly because we create exposure for US commercial real estate to Canadian investors. We’re one of the handful of firms that provide syndicated deals in the USA for Canadian investors. We’re very selective on our deals, but we still saw that the investor sentiment is definitely down. If equity is hard, debt is expensive. What’s that going to do is reduce the buyers’ appetite. I want to touch on those two items.

 

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

 

You touched on the rental rate and where they were when we first started. As multifamily owners, we carefully have been watching the rent growth numbers for three main reasons. One of them is getting a sense of profits and returns. The third is they are afraid to go up as investors, and owners might want to know if it’s time to jump. Let’s discuss what’s happening with rents. We’ve touched on this but we’ll dive a little deeper. They were on such a rapid pace upwards, but have they slowed down?

This is something we went through on the deal that we were doing in Arizona. We spent a lot of time and resources on it. We were underwriting the deal. We have to make assumptions in our underwriting model of what the growth is going to be for the five-year term that we’re holding this asset. We had that 4% rent growth. We brought it down to 3%, then we’re talking to brokers, “Where do you think that growth is going to be?” That’s a moving target.

For us as investment groups, knowing where the rent growth is going to be to project their rent growth or assuming rent growth is a very important number. Even if you are looking in the rearview mirror and you see rent growth at 10%, it’s very difficult to try your best to be conservative and do 3%, but that’s what you have to do in the current market. I just want to add that before we touch on this point again.

That’s prudent advice because for 2023 and 2024, even though we’re still buttoning up the final touches on our forecast for 2023, we’re probably going to say about 2.5% to 3% rent growth in most markets outside of it and a handful of outliers that are maybe on a different trajectory. There are two perspectives there. The optimist would say, “3% is pretty normal.” You take the 2010’s decade average for rent growth, probably about 3% or maybe 3.5%. If you look at where we were in the past two years, the pessimist is going to say, “What happened to my double-digit rent growth?”

It’s finding that soft landing point or reverting back to more normal trends. Fourth quarter rents contracted nationally by about 1%. That was between the 3rd quarter and 4th quarters. Quarterly contractions in the winter months tend to be pretty common. Not a lot of foreigners are shopping. The holidays are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Folks that live in Chicago and Boston, the last time you want to make a move is in December or January. Some of the seasonal patterns have a very tangible impact on how rents expand.

On a year-over-year basis, we’re still seeing rents are up and they are growing. It’s just that the pace at which they’re growing is slowing. It didn’t mean around there. The pace at which rents are growing is coming down a little bit. The one thing I would add for 2023, within the context of rent growth and what’s happening there, one of the things that we flagged as a key trend to watch for the next twelve months is if rent growth is more “normal,” let’s call it 2% to 4% in most markets, our expenses and the way that those are growing are also going to be “normal.”

On a year-over-year basis, we're still seeing rents are up, and they are growing. It's just that the pace at which they're growing is slowing. Click To Tweet

We’ve seen the expenses over the past two years, to nobody’s surprise, have gone up astronomically with the rising tide of inflation. If rent growth was enough to offset expense growth in the past two years, what happens if expense growth outpaces rent growth? In that case, you have a part of NOI where that’s going to start to erode a bit, but how much NOI erosion can some folks weather and maintain? That’s where you may start to see some distressed deals come up on the market. I don’t want to say panic sales per se, but that’s where you’ll start to see choice properties and locations where the numbers start to show a little bit more movement than what we’ve seen over the past few years.

It’s where sponsors assumed certain rent growth, but they didn’t assume the similar type of expense growth that exists because that goes hand-in-hand with an inflationary environment. That’s where you see potential issues.

I want to compliment Carl here. Your LinkedIn posts are incredible. They’re educational and on point. When I was looking through some of your LinkedIn posts, you did a post about lease-up property absorption. Can you talk to us about what is lease-up property absorption and why is this metric important?

There are a few different components here, but starting at the very top of the list, lease-up properties are properties that have been built and are welcoming their first round of residents into the property. Most properties are considered in “lease-up” until 80% or 85% build. What happens is developers will build the asset. Most developers will say, “Once we get to a certain point of build, we would like to sell this asset to a different ownership or a management company.”

Some development companies also manage and operate in-house so that’s not true for everyone. Lease-up properties are essentially newly delivered properties that have just finished or are soon finishing construction. The reason that they’re an important barometer for future performance is how quickly or how well lease-up properties are being absorbed, or how many residents are moving into those properties. It signals where demand especially at a specific price point. That price point would be the top of the market product.

The economics of building a new asset like the land acquisition costs, the cost of material labor, etc., means that you have to deliver at a price point that is inherently going to be higher than what the existing market is. Because of that, it can also be a proxy indicator for near-term Class A property performance. For some folks that maybe aren’t as familiar with Class A, you can think of that as ballparking the top 20% of properties in a market based on that top 20% rent profile. Those would be your “Class A” properties.

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

Multifamily Market Predictions: The economics of building a new asset, like the land acquisition costs, the cost of material labor, etc., means that you have to deliver at a price point that is inherently going to be higher than what the existing market is.

 

If lease-up absorption is starting to lag or slow down, sometimes that can be a bellwether for what happens with Class A properties further down the line as lease-ups are a measuring stick or model marker for what demand looks like in the Class A space. One final point there is what’s happening in Class B and Class C, which would be your middle 60% of properties in a market based on their rent, those trends can differ from Class A.

We will see that as a trend that continues through 2023 because we’re looking at the largest year of construction for multifamily that we’ve seen since RealPage began tracking the market, which was 30 years ago. You would have to go back to census data in the ’70s and ’80s to see as many multifamily products under construction as there are now. Class A has some headwinds if you are to work through them. It doesn’t mean that every Class A property is suddenly doomed for a weak year. With the demand slowing, and with a lot of supply coming online, it means a lot more competition.

What defines under construction? Does that mean physically being built? Is entitlement, rezoning or applying for permits considered under construction?

That’s a good distinction to make. Under construction means that it is physically moving dirt to some degree. Whether it’s one day away from being fully completed or if it just started scraping Earth, then it’s under construction. We do track permitted and titled properties, but those would be considered plans in our data. For the under-construction number, the highest we’ve ever tracked is somewhere north of 950,000 units across the nation.

Over the last 30 years, 2022 was the most under-construction for multifamily. It is mind-blowing. Was there a region that was on top of the list? Was there a region that you recall being on top where most developments were happening?

It’s kind of a chicken and an egg situation because most of the areas that had the most population growth are also the areas in which most developments were happening. Is development happening there because people are moving or are people moving there because they have a place to move to? The borrower with the stats term is going to be highly correlated. Where we see the most development happening nationally is the rising star Sunbelt markets, Austin, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Dayton, etc. Places like Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and the more established metros still have a lot of construction underway too.

Most of the areas with the most population growth were also the areas in which most developments in multifamily were happening. Click To Tweet

There are a couple of other markets that I would throw in there though. Phoenix has something like 35,000 or 40,000 market-rate multifamily units under construction. Salt Lake City is another market that has a ton of inventory underway. It’s almost easier to answer the areas that don’t have a lot of construction now that I think about it. Those are going to be some of your slow and steady Midwest metros and some of those Rust Belt metros over to the Mid-Atlantic. A few California markets are still relatively quiet on the construction front where maybe the entitlements are a little bit more prohibitive, maybe some more legislative headwinds, and not to mention more expensive to build in.

I’ve heard lots of development in Florida as well. I’m not sure if that’s on top of the list. Do you look at what was the impetus and reasoning for such an amount? Was it a cheap debt? What was the reason for 2022 to be such a high amount? When you say under construction and you define what construction was, they must have started that process in 2019 or even earlier to be under construction at least in 2020 or sometimes there. This is more of an assumption. Do you have some data on why that year ended up being such a strong year for the development of multifamily?

What we’ve been hearing, by and large, is that the debt was relatively cheap and it was easy to obtain. More importantly, if you Zoom out and take into account the country, you look at demographics and the housing market, we’ve been pretty under-supplied in terms of total housing for some time now.

“$6 million here, 6 million doors and 6 million doors under-supplied,” I hear that all the time.

You’ve had such a long period. Some of which was a result of The Great Recession and the “Once bitten, twice shy,” mentality where it was a little bit harder to get secure some funding from the banks early in the 2010s for new development. There are a couple of different reasons. Nevertheless, the idea that renter appetite has been robust, there has been a lot of demand for rental housing products. Most importantly, we don’t have enough housing in the country.

Multifamily housing fills a very specific niche because of its density and ability to house a lot of people at once. Multifamily housing has been something that the nation needed for some time to get back to a more level supply-demand balance. I think you’ll start to see that happen over the next few years. I think that development is starting to catch back up, but we just need more housing, especially more housing at a more affordable price point. That’s a little bit trickier because that requires some government subsidies and creative ways to deliver housing at let’s say Class B or B-plus price point. It’s not impossible but very difficult to do so.

Multifamily housing fills a very specific niche because of its density and ability to house a lot of people at once. Click To Tweet

With all the data you follow, what regions do you think will be the leading markets that investors should keep an eye on?

For 2023, our market leaders or regional leaders are Florida markets, specifically South of Orlando, to which the vast majority of Florida belongs to that. Everything south of Orlando, we have forecasted towards the top of the list. We are including Orlando within that. We think that moderation has impacted essentially every market over the past few months. Performance is starting to cool off.

Florida has cooled off a little bit more slowly. We think that 2024 in the Florida markets is where you start to see places like Orlando start to maybe underperform slightly. Long-term, if you go three-plus years out, the demographic story is still strong. The population growth stories and economic growth are still strong. The demand side of the equation looks good. We’re seeing Central and South Florida as market leaders, and places like DFW and Atlanta, your big south region markets.

Maybe some folks will be surprised, but we’ve pinned Southern California as a spot of the country that we think will outperform in some ways. There’s a little bit more there than meets the eye, but you look at San Diego, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and even Riverside or the Inland Empire, which is an off-the-radar market in some ways. Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, we generously include those in the mix with some of the tech sector concerns and maybe some unknowns like how many people migrated out in the work-from-anywhere environment.

Those parts of California and the Pacific Northwest will probably underperform in 2024. We lead off with Midwest. It’s characteristically slow and steady that it may hover around the average. As the average moves down, by nature, those markets move up. One last thing that surprised me has been New York and Northern New Jersey just across the river there, west into what we consider Newark but Jersey City, Hoboken, etc. That part of the country led to fourth-quarter rent growth and was one of the few spots in the country that didn’t see rents decline. New York has proven its ability to recover as a market. You’re seeing New York start to behave similarly to the pre-pandemic New York than it was from 2020 to 2021.

Let’s touch on one last point before our finishing comments. Let’s talk about BTR and SFR. For those who are not familiar with this abbreviation, it is Build To Rent and Single-Family Rental, which are new asset classes to commercial real estate. It started posts in GFC 2008. Swaths of single-family homes were being sold pennies on the dollar. People had defaulted on their mortgages, and Wall Street comes in and buys hundreds of thousands of single-family homes. The plan is to sell it right after the market turns around.

They’re like, “We could rent these things while we’re keeping them,” so they started renting it. Single-family homes as a community and its portfolio start behaving like multifamily. They had invested in multifamily. Blackstone started out as leveraged buyouts and mergers and acquisitions, but they have a higher allocation into real estate now than they do with buyouts. They started buying single-family. They were used to multifamily already, but it spawned this new asset class, which is BTR and SFR, which is an asset class that we were working on over the last five months with a deal we had in Arizona. Talk to us about this asset class. Are you seeing more demand for data interest from the investment groups, sponsors and syndication groups when it comes to this asset class? Maybe touch on BTR and SFR, and what have you seen in the space.

BTR and SFR have been interesting because up until 2020, I don’t think any of us even heard of them. It was such an ACN space. As of late, it’s been a big talking point. There’s smoke where there’s a fire in this situation. Meaning that it’s not just a flash-in-the-pan trend. You’re going to see this take hold as a quickly established institutional-grade investment class that serves a very specific need within the market.

One of the things that we’ve seen in our data, whether it be through some of the different various tools that we’ve used, is to some degree, the choice to purchase a single-family home is as much of a laugh-at-stage decision as it is an economic one. If you’re looking to start a family or make a move out to the burbs. If you’re looking to establish yourself and put down roots more fully, then oftentimes, that’s a predecessor for moving into a single-family home.

Here as of late, interest rates clouded the outlook for more so than just interest rates. The availability of single-family inventory at that true starter home price point is next to impossible to find. If you look at the single-family market, and what’s available now, it’s usually market dependent. Here in Dallas, you drive around and the homes that are available at the $600,000 and up price point. Somebody who is a first-time home buyer usually isn’t able to break into the market at that price point. That’s where BTR and SFR are going to serve a very specific and strong needs of the public, which is providing single-family residents with the flexibility of rental housing, and not having to worry about maintenance.

 

 

We have been spending the summer remodeling a house here. I cannot tell you how many things you don’t account for as a homeowner, especially for remodels. We spent $5,000 on just plumbing over the past six months. These things you don’t necessarily account for within the built rent space, you get a little bit more of the positive of the rental side of the market, not having to worry about maintenance and one-year lease terms as opposed to a 30-year mortgage that you might not be able to back out of.

You also get some of the plus sides of the single-family which is a yard. In some of these more spacious areas, you get a little bit more of a suburban lifestyle. For some people, that’s a need that hasn’t been filled that is now filled through the build-to-rent space. As far as the data, we started tracking the space in earnest in 2022. We’re still in the early days of it. That also signals where the questions have been from and the space interest has been that up until 2020, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the term and now it’s in tons of conversations that we have.

August talked about BTR and SFR a year and a half ago.

My logic on it is if you have the option to pay a similar price for a brand new or newer single-family home with a 2-car garage, 1,500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and have your own privacy, live in a community of other renters as well or an option to live in an apartment complex, it’s is a no-brainer. I believe in it. I come from a single-family development background. Carl, I appreciate it. Talk to us about RealPage. What is the bulk of your business? There are some data that you have that I subscribe to. It’s free data. There’s a lot of the content you create that we appreciate. What is the number one consumer for you? What is your client’s avatar? Who comes to RealPage? Who do you provide services to?

RealPage overall is a service or SaaS company. It touches on all facets of multifamily property management. Everything is vertically integrated with that regard. Specifically, my function within the company is our data and analytics group. We’re servicing a lot of questions such as the ones that you all have been asking thus far. We’ve got X amount of capital. We’re looking to deploy it and tell us why we should deploy it here. There are all sorts of things. There are all different facets of multifamily property management, ownership, investment, etc., that RealPage services.

 

Multifamily Market Predictions: Absorption is the change in the number of occupied units from one period to another.

 

These are people that can hire your services per deal basis or per situation or are these just bigger and larger firms? Do you cater to everyone who comes through? How does it work?

It’s a little bit of both. By nature of scale or the economies of scale, 90% of our businesses are the big national players, but there is this component that we do offer individualized services. We have an investment management platform that caters to Small and Medium or SMB businesses and mid-market businesses. That’ll cover operators up to 2,000 units all the way up to operators that have 150,000-plus units nationally. It touches on all the different components of the industry. It depends on what the client’s need is and what they’re looking for.

We use their RealPage IMS Investment Portal here at CPI Capital. Carl, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate you. We wish to be able to bring you on again maybe in a couple of quarters to see how and where things are at. We appreciate your wisdom, knowledge, and expertise. Thank you for being with us.

Thank you. Hold me to my prediction. We’ll see how they turn out.

We will be holding you to it. Thank you.