Since the beginning of 2013 through the end of the third quarter this year, more than 2,500 units have been completed, a Multifamily Realty Advisors report released this week says.
"The twenty apartment projects (2,508 units) completed since the beginning of 2013 include two existing communities that built additional units. Of those 20 projects, seven communities with 760 units (with 2,109 beds) were purpose-built 'by-the-bed' student housing communities; three communities with 242 units were either senior housing or tax credit funded communities; and the ten remaining communities accounting for 1,506 units were market rate communities," says the report, which was compiled by Richard Cotton, a broker and managing director of Multifamily Realty Advisors.
Cotton lists 11 proposed apartment projects, including Phase II of downtown Wilmington's City Block Apartments, an addition to apartments on South Front Street, Westfall Park Apartments at 1817 Sir Tyler Drive across from Mayfaire and Beau Rivage Apartments on Beau Rivage Drive off Carolina Beach Road.
"Most of the new apartment communities are very upscale and offer amenities that you would only expect in a first-class hotel, commanding montly rents from $1.20 to $1.50 per square foot or more," Cotton's report says.
Five apartment sales, only counting those with more than 80 units, closed since the beginning of the year, amounting to a year-to-date transaction volume of $118.4 million. The apartment communities that sold and included in the report were St. Andrews Reserve, Still Meadow Village, Hunterstone, Campus Walk I and II and Egret Crossing.
The report also says 1,269 apartments in seven projects are under construction, while 1,609 have been proposed. The average apartment rental rate for the entire Wilmington market is up to $907 a month, with apartments in the 1- to 5-year age group showing the highest average rents at $1,333 per month. That's followed by apartments in lease-up that have average rents of $1,264 per month, according to the report.
The various geyser basins are located where rainwater and snowmelt can percolate into the ground, get indirectly superheated by the underlying Yellowstone hotspot, and then erupt at the surface as geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles. Thus flat-bottomed valleys between ancient lava flows and glacial moraines are where most of the large geothermal areas are located. Smaller geothermal areas can be found where fault lines reach the surface, in places along the circular fracture zone around the caldera, and at the base of slopes that collect excess groundwater. Due to the Yellowstone Plateau's high elevation the average boiling temperature at Yellowstone's geyser basins is 199 °F (93 °C). When properly confined and close to the surface it can periodically release some of the built-up pressure in eruptions of hot water and steam that can reach up to 390 feet (120 m) into the air (see Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest geyser). Water erupting from Yellowstone's geysers is superheated above that boiling point to an average of 204 °F (95.5 °C) as it leaves the vent. The water cools significantly while airborne and is no longer scalding hot by the time it strikes the ground, nearby boardwalks, or even spectators. Because of the high temperatures of the water in the features it is important that spectators remain on the boardwalks and designated trails. Several deaths have occurred in the park as a result of falls into hot springs.
Prehistoric Native American artifacts have been found at Mammoth Hot Springs and other geothermal areas in Yellowstone. Some accounts state that the early people used hot water from the geothermal features for bathing and cooking. In the 19th century Father Pierre-Jean De Smet reported that natives he interviewed thought that geyser eruptions were "the result of combat between the infernal spirits." The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled north of the Yellowstone area in 1806. Local natives that they came upon seldom dared to enter what we now know is the caldera because of frequent loud noises that sounded like thunder and the belief that the spirits that possessed the area did not like human intrusion into their realm. The first Caucasian known to travel into the caldera and see the geothermal features was John Colter, who had left the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He described what he saw as "hot spring brimstone." Beaver trapper Joseph Meek recounted in 1830 that the steam rising from the various geyser basins reminded him of smoke coming from industrial smokestacks on a cold winter morning in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the 1850s famed trapper Jim Bridger called it "the place where Hell bubbled
Manhattan rents have spiked to such highs that more and more landlords are throwing in major perks—like, say, a free month—to keep tenants from fleeing to cheaper neighborhoods in the wilds of Brooklyn, Queens, or (God forbid) Staten Island. Meanwhile, a flurry of new construction in downtown Denver has pitted property owners against one another as they compete for choosier residents.
About 16.4% of January’s Manhattan rental transactions included some sort of concession, aka freebie, to lure in tenants—up from just 8.5% a year earlier, according to the monthly Elliman report. That was due, in large part, to median monthly rents in the Big Apple hitting a paycheck-demolishing $3,350 last month. (It was a still-bruising $3,299 a month a year earlier.)
“The market has just gotten extraordinarily expensive,” says Gary Malin, president of New York City real estate brokerage Citi Habitats. “Prices have gotten out of reach for a lot of tenants.”
He’s seeing Big Apple property owners providing an ever-widening range of concessions—no-cost brokers’ fees, gym memberships, even $500 gift cards. All of them, of course, in lieu of actually lowering rents (shudder).
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Landlords will often offer more incentives in the cold, winter months when vacancy rates are higher, says Jordan Cooper, a real estate broker at Manhattan’s Cooper & Cooper Real Estate. The extras will then disappear in the spring through the fall, when new dwellers descend upon the city.
One reason for the invasion of the freebies: The vacancy rate is actually rising in the City That Never Sleeps. It hit 2.82% last month, up from 2.43% the prior year, according to the Elliman Report.
“With interest rates near all-time lows, people are taking a serious look at renting versus buying,” Cooper says—and it might make more financial sense to buy.
Denver-area landlords are also turning to concessions to fill apartments—particularly downtown, where there’s been a spate of residential construction, says Nancy Burke, vice president of government and community affairs at the Colorado Apartment Association.
About six months ago, she began to see property owners offering perks like a few weeks of free rent, as well as amenities like bicycle maintenance stations and, yes, rooftop dog runs.
Roughly 6.1% of Denver landlords were offering discounts and concessions at the end of last year—down from 7.9% as of Sept. 30, according to an Apartment Association of Metro Denver report. Meanwhile, rental vacancy rates were at 6.8% at the end of 2015, up from 5% in the prior quarter.
But the report doesn’t include many of the brand-spanking-new apartments that are being listed for the first time, says Burke. She speculates the vacancy rate is actually much higher.
Agents in other through-the-roof expensive areas, like Los Angeles and San Diego, aren’t seeing property owners offer extras, as there are no shortages of wannabe tenants.
But landlords in San Francisco, where housing prices have reached mind-boggling heights, may soon have to woo residents, as more newly constructed apartment buildings come online.
“Rents are still really high and apartments are still commanding top dollar,” says San Francisco Apartment Association spokesman Charley Goss.
However, he recently saw a new building in an up-and-coming area offer a free month’s rent to prospective tenants. Rents for one-bedroom apartments in the roughly 150-unit building range from $3,200 to $3,300.
“That was the first time we’ve seen that in years,” Goss says.
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