MHN’s February 2020 Must-Reads

Catch up on our most important stories, interviews and rankings for last month.

New York took center stage in real estate news in February, following the state’s rule to outlaw rental broker fees and a state court’s order to temporarily halt it. Less than a week later, New York City’s Comptroller Scott Stringer proposed a Tenants Bill of Rights for renters in the city. A new Corcoran report showed that Manhattan’s and Brooklyn’s average rents continued to increase. In Manhattan, a partnership between Pebb Capital and TriArch Real Estate Group sold a 175-bed trophy student housing asset in Greenwich Village for more than $100 million. And in Brooklyn, nonprofit developer The BRP Cos. topped off its 255-unit affordable housing community in the Flatbush neighborhood, while All Year Management debuted the 1.2 million-square-foot Denizen Bushwick.

This February was also marked by a series of high-profile mergers and acquisitions or expansions, including Amherst Residential’s merger agreement to buy Front Yard Residential in a $2.3 billion deal, and Blackstone’s deal to acquire UK’s iQ Student Accommodation from Goldman Sachs and Wellcome Trust for a record-breaking $6 billion. Earlier last month, Blackstone also bought back a multifamily portfolio in Japan from the Chinese insurance giant Anbang Group for $2.8 billion, in the country’s largest property transaction to date. In the U.S., Cushman & Wakefield entered into an agreement to purchase Dallas-based Pinnacle Property Management Services. And in Canada, Starlight Investment teamed up with KingSett Capital to offer to buy the country’s third-largest listed multifamily REIT for $3.6 billion.

Student housing continued to make the headlines in terms of both development and investments, even as panelists at this year’s CampusConnex conference argued that the sector faces choppy waters as a result of oversupply and demographic headwinds. In Dublin, Global Student Accommodation Group acquired five purpose-built communities totaling some 2,000 beds for $440.2 million. In Latin America, CA Ventures is planning to invest $325 million in new, ground-up developments in three Mexican cities—Merida, Mexico City and Monterrey. Meanwhile, in Georgia, Holder Properties is working on a 719-bed community near the Auburn University campus, expected to come online next fall. And Bahrain’s Investcorp teamed up with The Preiss Co. to purchase a 525-bed asset catering to students at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Here are MHN’s must-reads for last month:

When Public Housing is Erased

A new documentary produced by renowned filmmaker Ken Burns sheds light on the legacy of public housing in the U.S. and what happens when it disappears.


Multifamily Industry Front and Center in Policy Debates

Housing policies are in the spotlight in the national election and in many statehouses around the country. Here’s a look at what’s at stake in 2020.


MBA Predicts Slow Economy, Stable Rates

The strength of the U.S. economy continues, but the list of uncertainties gets longer and longer, says the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Chief Economist Michael Frantantoni.


3 Ways Experts Would Solve the Housing Crisis

A wide-ranging report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies addresses the major challenges facing the U.S. rental market.


Gen Z Residents Reshape Multifamily Operations

This cohort is 44 million strong, extremely tech-savvy and used to instant results. Are you prepared to handle their living needs?


Podcast: How Rent Control Would Impact 4 Major US Cities

In a recent study, the NAA examined the impact of a 7 percent annual cap on apartment rents in Chicago, Denver, Seattle and Portland by 2030. Tune in for the eyebrow-raising results.


Top 5 Western Markets for Multifamily Deliveries in 2019

Some 31,100 units came online in the Western Region last year, with January and October leading the way in multifamily completions.


NMHC Survey Indicates Mixed Multifamily Conditions

The quarterly poll of executives points to varied trends—lower sales volume but plenty of financing available to make deals.


The Future of Multifamily Investment

A recent report from Integra Realty Resources cites continued optimism for the apartment sector as rent growth and investor interest are expected to increase.


Labor, Land Costs to Impact Senior Housing Development

According to a recent CBRE report, total costs increased by 6.4 percent in 2019, with labor and land expenditures cited as key factors.