Affordable Housing Providers Dominate Market

Affordable Housing Providers Dominate Market
WASHINGTON, DC - The apartment industry made a surprising recovery in 2010 from the "Great Recession," and that recovery is reflected in the 2011 NMHC 50, the National Multi Housing Council's annual ranking of the 50 largest apartment owners and 50 largest managers. The NMHC 50 helps document the apartment industry's evolution over time and helps identify trends within the sector and up-and-coming new players.

"The popularity of renting increased to its highest level since 1998," noted Mark Obrinsky, NMHC's Chief Economist. "This translated into higher occupancy rates across the country even though job growth was only modest."

"The recovery also spurred a rebound in apartment prices and transaction volume, which doubled to $31 billion," added Obrinsky. "And apartment prices gained substantial ground in 2010 after having fallen by 30 percent or more."

Many of the changes documented by the 2011 NMHC 50 provide insights into the strategies adopted by apartment firms to survive the economic turmoil and to position themselves for the recovery.

One key change is that affordable housing providers, in the form of tax credit syndicators, have climbed to the top of the list as the largest owners of apartments. The top four slots on the owners list are now held by affordable housing firms: Boston Capital (No. 1), Centerline Capital Group (No. 2); Boston Financial Investment Management, LP (No. 3); and SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners, Inc. (No. 4).

The number of REITs on the owners list is down to 10, from a high of 14 in 2005, and they own the smallest share (3.4%) of the overall apartment market since 1997. Just two of the top 10 owners, Equity Residential (No. 5) and AIMCO (No. 7), are public REITs.

On the whole, 2010 was a year of shrinking portfolios among the largest owners; six of the top 10 firms decreased the size of their ownership portfolios, led by AIMCO's net selloff of 22,254 units.

On the NMHC 50 management list, Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC recorded the largest growth, adding 33,541 apartments to take the No. 1 spot. It was the third year in a row Greystar posted the largest portfolio gain. CAPREIT, Inc. was the second-biggest gainer on the NMHC 50 managers list, more than doubling its management portfolio last year to debut on the NMHC 50 Managers list at No. 42.

NMHC partners with Kingsley Associates, a leading real estate research and consulting firm, for the NMHC 50's research and analysis. Highlights of this year's survey follow. The complete rankings and more detailed analysis of the results are available at

Based in Washington, D.C., NMHC is a national association representing the interests of the larger and most prominent apartment firms in the U.S. NMHC's members are the principal officers of firms engaged in all aspects of the apartment industry, including owners, developers, managers and financiers. One-third of Americans rent their housing, and more than 14 percent live in a rental apartment.
Source: National Multi Housing Council

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