Wrap Up Report: NMHC 2014 Apartment Strategies Conference
When it comes to markets that have been the most transformed, Dallas, Houston and Seattle are at the top of most multifamily experts’ lists. During a panel discussion during NMHC’s 2014 Apartment Strategies Outlook Conference, apartment executives said these markets have evolved in a way that no one would have imagined.
Growing urban cores are transforming Dallas and Houston, and both cities are attracting young workers, said Wes Fuller, executive director of Greystar Real Estate Partners. “They didn’t have to dig out of deep holes economically like cities such as Atlanta,” said Fuller. “We are going to see broad-based growth in these markets, even with the supply that is being added.”
Mark Alfieri, president and COO of Behringer Harvard Multifamily REIT, said that he believed Dallas to be the most transformed market of the past few years. “Businesses are starting to move into the urban core, resulting in Dallas going from suburban sprawl to urban development,” said Alfieri. This was driven by residential townhomes, condos and apartments, and then came high-end retail. “Now when you look at Uptown, it’s the most expensive dirt in the city.”
But the suburbs in these cities aren’t dead either. “Urban areas are being recreated in suburban areas, giving the suburbs a high-end feel with ‘hubs’ that replicate the success of Uptown Dallas,” said Rick Graf, president and CEO of Dallas-based Pinnacle.
Graf also said his company has a large book of business in Seattle, highlighting that in every conversation he’s had with a client, Seattle is always at the top of the list. “What’s driving Seattle is the huge suppliers of jobs - like Amazon,” said Graf. “As long as the job stability stays, it’s going to be a strong market and investor interest will remain high.”