Source: MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE
By Chris Wood
Key players in the multifamily industry offered insight on the industry’s strengths and challenges in the next few years at the Multifamily Trends Conference portion of the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, held in San Francisco this week.
Putting a finger on the industry pulse, conference chairman and Houston-based Camden Property Trust CEO Ric Campo noted that “multifamily is a great place to be” in his opening address. “Underlying fundamentals are good, and as a result of foreclosures on the single-family side, we are seeing an increase in the renter pool from 30.9 [percent] to 32.2 percent. That’s 1.5 million new renters looking for an apartment,” Campo explained.
Among a litany of positive industry fundamentals, Campo did recognize a void in the construction and asset transaction arenas. He also conceded that broader economic issues could impact multifamily operators in the coming 12 to 18 months, particularly among unprepared players. But overall, Campo urged the conference to turn their focus away from the “woe is me” mentality infecting American industry today.
“Some of the forecasting at NMHC indicates that by 2011 we might even be facing rental shortages,” Campo said. “The next several years are going to be a time of great opportunity but in a market in which there is no place to hide. You will take part in the value creation of the industry, or you will get run over by it.”