By Anca Gagiuc
After the highly successful performance of 2016, Austin’s real estate market fundamentals have slightly tempered in 2017, mostly due to a temporary surge in supply. The occupancy rate dropped to 94.6 percent, triggering a decline in rent growth, especially in the upscale Lifestyle segment. Investment activity has also softened, with roughly $960 million worth of apartments trading in the first 10 months of the year, about half of last year’s volume.
According to Yardi Matrix data, the metro’s top 10 apartment owners excluding private parties, boast portfolios ranging from 2,800 to 7,100 units. The total number consists of units that are in various stages of development including completed, under development and planned.
10. Starwood Capital Group
The Miami-based private investment firm, mainly known for its massive collection of hospitality assets, is also heavily involved in multifamily properties across the country, with a portfolio totaling about 91,000 units. Nearly 2,800 of these units are located in Austin, in nine apartment communities. The largest property that the company owns in the Texas capital is the 430-unit Mission Grace Woods, a 30-building community scattered across almost 10 acres in the East Central Austin submarket, at 3209 South Interstate 35 Highway. The unit mix consists of one- and two-bedroom floorplans ranging from 489 to 1,158 square feet. The property was built in 1980 and features a business center, clubhouse, three swimming pools, spa and 880 parking spaces, while the units flaunt vaulted ceilings, private entries and outside storage.
9. Roscoe Properties
The local owner also manages the 2,900 units it owns in Austin. Most of the firm’s assets are in the East Central Austin and downtown submarkets, with 2,146 units in the Renter by Necessity segment. The company’s largest community in the metro, Trio, encompasses 10 buildings on roughly 13 acres at 2317 South Pleasant Valley Road. Built in 1985, the property offers 344 one- and two-bedroom floorplans averaging 693 square feet, featuring vaulted ceilings and semi-private entries. Common area amenities include a fitness center, clubhouse, swimming pool, spa, two laundry facilities and 344 parking spaces.
8. Belco Equities
Also headquartered in Austin, Belco Equities focuses only on the local market where it owns and manages a portfolio of 14 properties with a total of 3,659 units. Its largest community is the 29-building, 602-unit Riverhorse Ranch built in two phases in 2002 and 2015 at 1525 Grand Avenue Parkway in Pflugerville where it occupies more than 31 acres. The unit mix comprises one- to three-bedroom floorplans that range from 681 to 1,380 square feet and feature private balconies/patios, outside storage and washer and dryer hookups. Community amenities include a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, tennis court, volleyball court, playground, two swimming pools, spa, covered parking, garages and 775 parking spaces.
7. Camden Property Trust
The Houston-based REIT owns more than 52,000 units nationwide, 3,360 of which are in Austin, all managed by the company itself. Camden Amber Oaks is their largest Austin community and was built in two phases—in 2009 and 2012—totaling 592 units. The 25-building property is situated on nearly 30 acres at 9001 Amberglen Blvd. in the Jollyville – North submarket. Tenants can choose from one- to three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 650 to 1,356 square feet. Units feature vaulted ceilings, washer and dryers in all units, private balconies/patios and outside storage. Common area amenities include a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, two swimming pools and 960 parking spaces.
Formed in 2013 as a portfolio company of The Blackstone Group, the Chicago-based company owns more than 50,000 units nationally. In Austin it owns 3,444 units, with the bulk of them in the Jollyville–South submarket. Their largest Austin community is Meritage Steiner Ranch, a 502-unit property located at 4500 Steiner Ranch Blvd. in the St. Edwards Park submarket. The community consists of 48 buildings spread across almost 117 acres and offers a unit mix with carriage and one- to four-bedroom floorplans averaging 1,508 square feet. Community amenities include controlled access, a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, tennis court, playground, two swimming pools, two spas and 1,000 parking spaces. Units feature vaulted ceilings, fireplaces in select apartments, washer and dryer hookups and private balconies/patios.
5. Housing Authority of Austin & Austin Affordable Housing Corporation
The Housing Authority of Austin and its subsidiary the Austin Affordable Housing Corporation jointly own 22 properties with 3,620 units, 2,078 of which are fully affordable. Their largest community is The Bridge at Center Ridge and consists of 11 buildings with 348 units spread across more than 20 acres at 701 Center Ridge Drive in Austin’s Dessau submarket. Built in 2008, the property offers one- and two-bedroom floorplans averaging 793 square feet and is managed by Apartment Management Professionals. Common area amenities include a fitness center, business center, waterscape, clubhouse, two swimming pools, laundry facilities and 522 parking spaces. Units feature vaulted ceilings, fireplaces in select units, washer and dryer hookups, outside storage and private balconies/patios.
4. Bassham Properties
The California-based owner/manager has its eyes set on Austin, with 9 of the 19 properties it owns located in the metro. All 3,929 units in Austin are in the upscale Lifestyle segment. The largest community, Sonterra, was built in 1998 and consists of 25 buildings on more than 20 acres at 8801 North Farm to Market 620 North in the Anderson Mill submarket. Completed in 1998, Sonterra comprises one- to three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 692 to 1,355 square feet featuring washer and dryer hookups in all units, fireplace, private balconies/patios and private entries. Common area amenities include a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, swimming pool and 1,144 parking spaces.
3. CWS Capital Partners
The California private owner also handles the management responsibilities at its communities. Of the roughly 25,000 units it owns nationally, more than 4,800 are in Austin, nearly 4,200 of which are in the Lifestyle segment. Marquis at Great Hills, completed in 1994, is the largest Austin asset they own. It consists of 17 buildings on more than 14 acres situated at 10050 Great Hills Trail in the Jollyville–South submarket. The unit mix encompasses one- and two-bedroom floorplans varying in size between 726 and 1,574 square feet. Community amenities include a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, two swimming pools, spa, partial covered parking and 800 parking spaces. Units feature outside storage, private balconies/patios, washer and dryer hookups and vaulted ceilings.
2. Northland Investment Corp.
Headquartered in Newton, Mass., the owner and property manager totals more than 23,500 units nationwide, 7,040 of which are in Austin—about two thirds of the portfolio consists of assets in the upscale Lifestyle segment and the remaining in the Renter-by-Necessity subdivision. The largest community is Monterey Ranch, a 54-building, 1,072-unit property spread on nearly 32 acres at 4701 Staggerbrush Road in Austin’s Oak Hill submarket. The massive development was completed in 1996 and consists of studio and one- to three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 498 to 1,160 square feet. Common area amenities at the controlled access community include a fitness center, business center, tennis court, volleyball court, basketball court, playground, five swimming pools, laundry facilities and 2,500 parking spaces.
Holding the top position is the Memphis-based REIT and property manager. MAA counts about 100,000 units in 300 communities, more than 7,100 of which are in Austin. More than 5,600 of their Austin portfolio is in the Lifestyle segment, including their largest asset here, the 533-unit Colonial Village at Quarry Oaks, a property with 24 buildings spread out on almost 24 acres at 6263 McNeil Drive in Jollyville–South. The unit mix consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans ranging from 619 to 1,382 square feet. The controlled access community features a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, volleyball court, basketball court, playground, two swimming pools, three laundry facilities and 1,000 parking spaces.