Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Housing News Digest, May 11

Reis on Apartment, Office and Mall Trends

Victor Calanog, VP Research & Economics at Reis, Inc presented their quarterly briefing on commercial property sectors today. A few highlights:

• Apartments: Vacancy rates are falling and rents rising (see: Reis: Apartment Vacancy Rates fell sharply in Q1, Lowest in almost three years). Calanog expects rents to increase 4%+ in 2011 and 2012, and for the apartment vacancy rate to fall to 5.5% this year (the lowest since 2001). Note that the Reis survey is just for large cities, but this decline in vacancy rates is happening just about everywhere.

JPMorgan analysts see housing prices falling until mid-2011
Although many have called recovery in the housing sector, one financial services firm believes home prices have yet to hit bottom.

JPMorgan (JPM: 44.23 -2.06%) analysts now expect home prices will reach bottom sometime in the middle of this year, with a peak to trough decline of 34% on the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index.

Zeff's Carmel apartment empire hits market
By far the largest apartment portfolio in Denver’s history is about to hit the market, InsideRealEstateNews has learned.

The children of the late Kal Zeff are selling approximately 8,000 units in 27 properties in the Denver area owned by Carmel Cos., according to sources.

The apartment portfolio is expected to sell for $700 million to $800 million.

MDC cuts losses
MDC Holdings, Inc., Denver’s largest homebuilding company, cut its losses by $1 million from a year ago.

Today, the parent of Richmond American Homes, reported a net loss of $19.9 million, or 43 cents per share in the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $20.9 million, or 45 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2010.

MDC also reported that its revenues increased 15 percent to $169.7 million, compared with $147.1 million a year ago.