MULTIFAMILY MARKET UPDATE
Written by: Cody Carey
As an associate within Colliers’ Multifamily Advisory Group, Cody Carey works with a team of professionals whose focus is middle-market properties across the country. He brings to the team a holistic perspective of building and maintaining relationships with clients and prospects because of his understanding that putting himself in their shoes is the key to a successful relationship. Cody is working to build Colliers’ multifamily business in Columbus, and works with a highly collaborative, integrated team that is building value for clients. Keep reading to get Cody’s take on the future of the multifamily market.
Rent relief has been a hot topic recently. What have you been hearing from landlords and how they’re handling rent relief with tenants?
Most clients are taking it on a case by case basis and are working with tenants who can actually prove hardship. Those tenants requesting relief due to lack of amenity availability alone are being turned down, but I have found that most landlords are willing to be pretty flexible and accommodating and work with their tenants.
Why do you think rental payments have held up much better than many people expected?
I think it’s because of government subsidy. People received unprecedented assistance from the government for COVID-19 and it has propped up rental collections and allowed people to continue to live relatively normal lives while out of work. People are making more money on stimulus and unemployment then they were working their hourly wage job.
Do you think this pandemic is affecting/will affect new multifamily development? Why or why not?
Yes. I think it will highlight antimicrobial elements of property design as well as UV and other sanitizing types of HVAC and building systems. The question is how you create a clean and sanitized environment for hundreds of people while hopefully not requiring anyone to wear masks. New multifamily development will be affected by the backlog of permitting delays that COVID-19 presented as public offices shut down. Design might reflect larger living areas due to pandemic lockdown measures and amenities could shift to include more business center space with work from home becoming widely adopted.
How do you think the pandemic will impact multifamily occupancy and rents moving forward?
I think it will bolster occupancy stability and rents in the short term given the COVID hiccup in the debt and equity world and a sudden termination of a lot of real estate development projects.
Class A has shown stable collections mostly through COVID and have experienced reduced rent offerings to “buy leases” and secure cash flows. Class A has experienced some loss in leasing velocity due to virtual tours, social distancing measures and demand for a cheaper Class B alternative during times of uncertainty.
Class B should see stable collections and a high leasing volume serving as the cheaper alternative to Class A during times of uncertainty. Location is critical for Class B assets to minimize its exposure of collection loss due to employment loss.
Class C has had the widest spread in collection stories. Some Class C properties are performing extremely well especially if they have a favorable location near employment and institutions. Due to the nature of the asset class, the loss of a significant portion of hourly wage employment will cause the highest collection loss.
Sales & Pricing–
Our platform (on internal calls) has been relaying a pricing decline from 5-12%. Liquidity should be fair, if not aggressive, going into Q4 2020 and 2021. Investors are underwriting higher collection loss/bad debt, zero rent growth/rent reductions.