Smaller Hospitality Markets Loom Large: Marcus & Millichap

Details on hot trends emerge from the firm’s second-quarter national study, including investor interest in second- and third-tier markets.
Peter Nichols, vice president & national director | National Hospitality Group, Marcus & Millichap
Peter Nichols, vice president & national director | National Hospitality Group, Marcus & Millichap

Smaller markets and smaller properties comprise one of the themes of the new 2Q 2018 National Hospitality Report from Marcus & Millichap, as the acquisition market for hotels in secondary and tertiary metros revs up.

Resorts also get called out for extra attention, as do some specific cities and metro areas, though it might have been difficult to single out only a smallish group, as the national hospitality scene continues to thrive.

Nationwide average occupancy hit a 30-year high in March, and the hospitality industry’s boom is expected to continue, with steady employment growth and solid consumer confidence.

Investor demand for hotels in smaller markets has been rising, according to the report. “Transaction velocity rose roughly 2 percent nationwide as demand picked up for properties in many of the nation’s smaller markets.” Buyers in the $1 million to $10 million price range reportedly are “particularly active.

Continuing the theme of strong smaller markets, the report’s list of the top 10 MSAs by hotel guestrooms under way as a percentage of current inventory is Nashville; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Denver; Savannah, Ga.; Lexington, Ky.; North Port–Sarasota, Fla.; Greenville, S.C.; Seattle-Tacoma; Fresno, Calif.; and San Jose. Just those markets represent 186,300 guestrooms in the pipeline.

Resort hotels registered the largest revenue growth, a 5.3 percent increase in RevPAR, to $122.91. That was driven by ADR growth of 3.3 percent, plus occupancy that had jumped 130 basis points, to 69.9 percent, during the prior 12-month period. In the first quarter, resort occupancy climbed still a bit higher, to 70.2 percent.

The giant hotel parent companies dominate the incoming supply. Between them, Marriott and Hilton encompass more than half (58.9 percent) of all guestrooms under construction.

Notable cities and metros

With more than 5,200 hotel guestrooms underway, or 12 percent of current inventory, Nashville has seen occupancy fall by 60 basis points. One of the city’s newest properties is the 235-key Cambria Hotel Nashville, which opened in January in the SoBro district.

Metro Atlanta has seen consistent revenue growth above the national average, engendering substantial buyer interest.

In Florida, the report noted, record tourism has helped to boost occupancy in multiple metro areas. Of these, Orlando experienced a 420-basis point increase, to 80 percent, over the past four quarters.

Finally, the M&M hospitality report pointed out that “Several Florida markets and Houston posted strong gains in RevPAR as evacuees filled rooms after the brunt of hurricanes Harvey and Maria destroyed many homes and left others without power.

Image courtesy of Marcus & Millichap