Happy Friday! Let’s check in with the news and see what’s been happening in rental real estate lately. This week we’ve got multifamily buildings getting bigger, Seattle’s ranking nationally as a place to invest in rental properties, a breakdown of the affordable housing challenge, Seattle’s urban growth, and a profile on the renters developers are now competing for. Enjoy!
NAHB: Average size of new multifamily housing on the rise
The average size of newly-built multifamily units rose at the end of 2013; that’s after rising during the years of the housing boom, and falling during the Recession. During the fourth quarter of last year, the average square footage in multifamily housing construction starts was 1,225 (that’s according to the Census Bureau). These numbers look a lot like those we saw between 2001 and 2003. While the average size of a new unit is still far below the averages we saw during the housing boom, these unit sizes are now sitting high above the historic low we saw in 2005. Read more.
PSBJ: Seattle’s market great for investing in rentals
A new report shows Seattle ranks within the top ten markets nationally to invest in rental properties in. Seattle was outranked by just six cities on the list, which ranked Grand Rapids, Mich. as the very best market to invest in. Also high on the list were Tampa, Nashville, and San Jose. San Jose and Seattle might have made it higher on the list, the article explains, if cap rates were just a bit higher. Meanwhile, Dayton, OH was ranked as the worst city for rental property management. Read more.
Metrotrends: Best, worst counties in America for affordable housing
Low-income Americans have struggled to find housing in recent years; now, Metrotrends has mapped the shortage of affordable housing for extremely low-income households (ELIs). The biggest gaps between need and availability were found in counties in Georgia, Florida, and Texas; the smallest gaps were found in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. According to the article, for every 100 ELI households across the US, there are just 29 affordable units available. That number holds true for King County as well. Read more.
SeattleTimes: Growth in Seattle finally surpasses suburban growth
Census data is showing that for the first time in over 100 years, the city of Seattle is growing faster than its surrounding suburbs. Back in 1910, the article reports, Seattle’s population had nearly tripled over the past ten years; no one could predict that suburban growth would soon outpace growth in the city. But since that time, suburban King County has continued to grow–even in times when Seattle saw a downturn in population. Things changed in 2010 and 2011, when growth in the city pulled even with the suburbs; and now, the urban growth is continuing to pull ahead, putting Seattle’s rate of growth eighth-fastest for urban growth in the nation. Read more.
DJC: Apartment developers are competing for young, “savvy” professionals
Employers in Seattle, particularly the tech companies, have spent decades working hard to pull in the best people for jobs in their companies. Now, apartment developers are starting to follow suit. Because so many apartments are slated to open up over the next few years, multifamily developers are starting to look at what kind of renters they wish to attract. Increasingly, this renter may not need to own a car; they may want plenty of common spaces and a strong sense of community in the building…and they’ll definitely want good internet access. These “savvy renters,” mostly young professionals working at companies like Amazon and Microsoft, are the target audience of a lot of the new multifamily projects popping up around town. Read more.