Monday, July 6, 2020

Rental Housing Outlook and the Shape of Things to Come- Industry Panel report-out




Our owner and Designated Broker, Ricky, recently attended a housing outlook industry panel hosted by Marcus and Millichap, a national commercial property research and advisory firm; “Rental Housing Outlook and the Shape of Things to Come”.  The panel was aimed around the pandemic impacts on housing and economic trends - a topic we know is of high interest right now, and below are some of the notes we’re sharing with our property owner clients and blog followers. 

If you’re interested in a copy of the full presentation, please let us know by email to office@rd-house.com

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Some of the most immediate impacts have been logistical challenges for unit showings and leasing, given state business lockdowns and social distancing restrictions.  In Washington, Real Estate was fully locked down until counties started moving to Modified Phase I and Phase II restrictions, and RD House is now doing modified unit showings which include virtual tours, pre-qualification for showings, and a focus on social distancing at on-site showings.
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S       Statewide eviction restrictions are in place across the country, including Washington state.  These add some risk to rental property owners, however RD House has not had any missed or late rent issues to date within our portfolio.  We have been working closely with tenants to assess any expected rent disruptions due to COVID 19 economic impacts, and will continue to monitor this going forward.  Should we become aware of any issues, we have a number of options we can work through with tenants.

         Nationally, housing construction has fallen short of demand, which may position specific regions for tighter inventories and upward rent pressures.  Some national vacancy forecasts range from 4.4%-5.8% in the second half of the year; in Seattle, rental unit construction over the past 18 months has continued to add thousands of units to the market, and we’ve seen some softening of rents as a result.  Construction holds since March may introduce some fluctuations to this in the months ahead.  With targeted marketing and a high focus on tenant services, RD House has maintained about a 3.5% vacancy rate on average across our portfolio.

·          Also nationally, the housing outlook varies with the length of lockdowns and the pace of economic recovery, which have both seen dramatic changes since mid-June.  This remains very much a watch and evaluate situation for markets across the country.

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