Affordability Slows Home Sales, Turning Rising Residential Demand Toward Apartments

 

 

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Research Brief
October 2018
HOUSING
Developing Trends
Despite lowering apartment vacancy, tightened construction lending has led to a tapering in multifamily permitting issuance, while single-family permitting also remains low. A slowdown in housing construction will be met with heightened residential demand and could lead to a shortage of stock if the economy remains strong.
The spread between owning and renting will weigh on single-family sales as the monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced home is now $339 more than the average monthly rent for an apartment, the highest spread since 2008.
New-home sales peaked in November 2017 and have fallen 11.7 percent since that time. Sales of assets above $300,000 shrank as a percentage of total new-home sales, contributing to the median price of a new home rising more slowly over the past 12 months, reaching $320,200 in August, a year-over-year gain of 1.9 percent.
Population and household growth are anticipated to grow faster in the suburbs versus urban core areas through 2025. Apartment vacancy in suburban areas peaked in 2010 at more than 7 percent but has recently tightened below 4.5 percent, resting slightly above the vacancy rate in downtown areas.
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Affordability Slows Home Sales, Turning Rising Residential Demand Toward Apartments
Though mortgage interest rates remain historically low, the average 30-year fixed rate reached its highest level since 2011. Rising mortgage rates in conjunction with home values that have appreciated more than 64 percent over the same time period are discouraging many potential homeowners from making offers due to their inability to afford mortgage payments. Because of the rising costs, the pace of sales has declined each month since March. The increasing costs of homeownership, as well as changes to tax laws that removed some advantages to own, will continue to weigh on home sales activity this year.

The nation’s single-family housing market appears to be at a stalemate. Listings of single-family homes remain flat year over year, and new-home construction has slowed due to reduced demand. Sales of newly constructed residences remain concentrated in higher price tranches, squeezing first-time homebuyers out of the market. In addition, existing home sales among first-time buyers was 31 percent during August, remaining below the 40-plus percent

that was typical prior to the recession. First-time buyer activity will remain constrained as many current homeowners who are locked into low-interest-rate loans elect not to list would-be entry-level homes. Single-family homebuilders are also unable to fill the need as elevated land and materials costs, which have been impacted by tariffs, make it difficult to construct starter homes.

Strong job growth is sparking household formation, but demand is concentrated in apartments. The result has been tightening multifamily vacancy despite elevated completions. Nationally, nearly 82,900 units were constructed in the third quarter, but the positive absorption of more than 107,000 units pushed down the third quarter apartment vacancy rate 40 basis points from the previous quarter to 4.2 percent, the lowest level since 2001. Shifting dynamics in the single-family market will continue to benefit apartments through the remainder of 2018, as the year-to-date positive net absorption of units is on track to reach the highest level since 2010.

$267,300 Median price of existing single-family home in August 2018 4.3 Months of supply at current sales pace in August 2018
*Through August
Sources: Marcus & Millichap Research Services; Freddie Mac; National Association of Realtors; RealPage, Inc.; U.S. Census Bureau
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The information contained herein was obtained from sources deemed reliable. Every effort was made to obtain complete and accurate information; however, no representation, warranty or guarantee to the accuracy, express or implied, is made.
Marcus & Millichap is a service mark of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, Inc.
© 2018 Marcus & Millichap. All Rights Reserved.
23975 Park Sorrento | Suite 400 | Calabasas, CA 91302 | Telephone: (818) 212-2250

 

More Jobs Power Increased Spending; Off-Price Retailers Continue Aggressive Expansion

 

 

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Research Brief
October 2018
RETAIL
Developing Trends
Unemployment drops to historical low as job creation persists. Last month, the national unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, its lowest mark since 1969; the creation of 134,000 jobs in September helped drive this measure down. With the holiday season approaching, retailers are looking to hire more temporary workers; however, many companies will be hard pressed to find seasonal workers amid such low unemployment.
Retailer partnerships used to broaden target market. Kroger and Walgreen’s recently agreed to test a program in which shoppers can pick up Kroger online grocery orders from Walgreen’s. This partnership may potentially expand these retailers’ customer bases as consumer shopping habits are becoming more geared toward convenience. With the retail landscape continuing to evolve, retailers are forming unique partnerships to stay competitive in their respective fields.
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More Jobs Power Increased Spending;
Off-Price Retailers Continue Aggressive Expansion
Tight job market a key driver of consumption. With unemployment at its lowest level in nearly 50 years, a larger employment base has helped increase the amount of money circulating through the economy. This has kept consumer spending elevated as core retail sales posted a 5.0 percent year-over-year gain in September. Though this figure is below the prior four months, it sits well above the 10-year average of 3.1 percent. While spending was strong across the board, clothing retailers logged one of the largest annual increases at 8.1 percent, significantly higher than the category’s 10-year average of 2.1 percent. Robust sales can be largely attributed to consumers making more discretionary purchases as the economy strengthens. The infusion of more off-price retailers has also helped propel sales in the clothing industry. In addition, health and personal care stores, which includes drugstores, posted a 5.0 percent annual jump last month, roughly 140 basis points above the 10-year average. Consumers seek value regardless of economic climate. Off-price retailers are growing rapidly with chains like TJX (the parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods) and Ross Stores adding 238 and 40 locations, respectively, as part of their 2018 expansion plans. These retailers have proved their stability no matter the economic conditions, making them a highly desired tenant. The treasure-hunt experience they offer brings in shoppers of all income levels; also, generally convenient locations provide relatively quick access to many households. Despite the success these retailers are having, some risk of oversaturation is emerging. In addition to conventional off-price vendors expanding at accelerated rates, department stores including Macy’s and Nordstrom are also expanding their own off-price concepts, adding to the competition.
5.0% Core Retail Sales Growth Y-O-Y* 3.7% Unemployment Rate*
* Through September Core retail sales exclude auto and gasoline sales.
Sources: Marcus & Millichap Research Services; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Moody’s Analytics; Retail Dive
The Research Brief blog from Marcus & Millichap offers timely insight and expertise into the rapidly changing investment real-estate industry. The Research Brief is published by top industry professionals, showcasing time-sensitive information and valuable analysis. Add The Research Brief blog to your reading list today.
The information contained herein was obtained from sources deemed reliable. Every effort was made to obtain complete and accurate information; however, no representation, warranty or guarantee to the accuracy, express or implied, is made.
Marcus & Millichap is a service mark of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, Inc.
© 2018 Marcus & Millichap. All Rights Reserved.
23975 Park Sorrento | Suite 400 | Calabasas, CA 91302 | Telephone: (818) 212-2250

 

Consumer Confidence Notches Post-Recession High; Another Strong Holiday Season in Reach for Retailers

 

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Research Brief
September 2018
RETAIL
Developing Trends
Robust economy powered by strong labor market. The nation’s job creation streak was extended to 95 months in August as employers added 201,000 workers to payrolls. This continuation of job growth has pushed the national unemployment rate down to 3.9 percent, which in turn has led to businesses offering more competitive compensation packages. With more money circulating through the economy, retail sales are projected to rise notably this year by 5.4 percent. This jump follows a previous five-year average of 3.8 percent.
Wage growth reaches highest mark in nearly one decade. Last month, average hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent on an annual basis, the largest jump since 2009. This increase supports the national median income rising 3.7 percent to $62,400 by year end. As a result, consumer confidence should remain elevated through the remainder of 2018 and likely into 2019.
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Consumer Confidence Notches Post-Recession High;
Another Strong Holiday Season in Reach for Retailers
Soaring confidence elevates consumption. Strong consumer spending continued in August, boosting core retail sales 5.9 percent on an annual basis and surpassing the previous four-month average of 5.8 percent. A healthy job market and steadily rising wages remain key drivers of consumer confidence, pushing it to its highest level this cycle. With optimism climbing, consumers are making more discretionary purchases, benefiting electronics and appliances retailers as the sector recorded 4.1 percent annual growth. Prior to the past 12 months, this sector has witnessed sporadic growth, contributing to a negative 10-year average. Clothing retailers also posted strong gains last month, logging a 6.4 percent increase compared with the 10-year average of 2.1 percent. Off-price clothing retailers like Ross and TJ Maxx have headlined the sector’s recent surge in sales. Retailers expect another robust holiday season. With the holiday season around the corner, retailers are poised for continued growth. The convergence of several economic tailwinds have consumers spending more money on big-ticket items — a trend that should continue in the coming months. Consequently, many retailers are optimistic, raising their 2018 outlooks as they expect to record strong holiday sales for the second consecutive year. In-store and online sales are both projected to rise in the months ahead with convenience likely to play a key determinant of sales for each channel. With this in mind, many retailers are continuing to strengthen their omnichannel platforms as the holidays approach, attempting to widen their reach and improve convenience.
4.1% Appliances and Electronics
Sales Growth Y-O-Y*
8.2% Consumer Confidence
Index Growth Y-O-Y*
* Through August
Core retail sales exclude auto and gasoline sales
Sources: Marcus & Millichap Research Services; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Moody’s Analytics
The Research Brief blog from Marcus & Millichap offers timely insight and expertise into the rapidly changing investment real-estate industry. The Research Brief is published by top industry professionals, showcasing time-sensitive information and valuable analysis. Add The Research Brief blog to your reading list today.
The information contained herein was obtained from sources deemed reliable. Every effort was made to obtain complete and accurate information; however, no representation, warranty or guarantee to the accuracy, express or implied, is made.
Marcus & Millichap is a service mark of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, Inc.
© 2018 Marcus & Millichap. All Rights Reserved.
23975 Park Sorrento | Suite 400 | Calabasas, CA 91302 | Telephone: (818) 212-2250

 

Affordability Concerns Rise as Demand Exceeds Housing Construction

 

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Research Brief
September 2018
HOUSING
Developing Trends
The rising cost of homeownership has decelerated existing home sales activity to the slowest pace in more than two years. Sales declined for a fourth straight month in July and were down 1.4 percent from one year ago.
New home sales continue to be driven by trades of higher-priced homes with the median new home price rising 1.8 percent annually to $328,700. Approximately 60 percent of all new home sales were priced above $300,000 during July.
Apartment vacancy fell to 4.6 percent in the second quarter, down 10 basis points year over year amid strong demand. Despite thousands of Class A units completed in recent quarters, vacancy for this class remains tight at 5.1 percent. The average effective rent for Class A units is approximately $100 more than the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home, solidifying the shift in preference for renting versus homeownership.
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Affordability Concerns Rise as Demand
Exceeds Housing Construction
Monthly housing payments surged this year for homebuyers as mortgage rate increases and rising home prices lifted the cost of homeownership. The monthly payment on a median-priced home now stands $130 higher than at the beginning of the year, driven by a 70-basis-point interest rate increase. Fixed-rate mortgages now average about 4.5 percent, their highest level since 2011, and this has increased the gap between the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home and the average monthly apartment rent to $320.

The shortage of entry-level homes for sale has been amplified by the rapid interest-rate increases. Move-up buyers have become more reluctant to sell their existing home because many homeowners locked in rates as low as 2 percent. With interest rates now as much as 250 basis points higher, purchasing power and affordability have been

impacted. This is slowing activity in the mid to upper price ranges and restraining new home sales. Builders have been unable to construct homes at the entry-level price point because of elevated construction and land costs. Home sales activity has flattened as a result.

Risk of a housing shortage could rise as residential building flattens. Multifamily developers have been setting a record pace over the past five years, but single-family home construction has remained less than half of levels prior to the Great Recession. With the strong economy and tight labor market boosting household formation, residential deliveries will likely fall short of demand. Though pockets of overdevelopment may emerge, the broad-based shortfall of housing supply could expand the affordability gap and prompt renters to extend their apartment stay.

$272,300 Median price of existing single-family home in July 2018 4.0 Months of supply at current sales pace in July 2018
* Through 2Q Mortgage payments based on quarterly median home price for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, 90 percent LTV, taxes, insurance, and PMI.
Sources: Marcus & Millichap Research Services, RealPage, Inc., Freddie Mac, National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau
The Research Brief blog from Marcus & Millichap offers timely insight and expertise into the rapidly changing investment real-estate industry. The Research Brief is published by top industry professionals, showcasing time-sensitive information and valuable analysis. Add The Research Brief blog to your reading list today.
The information contained herein was obtained from sources deemed reliable. Every effort was made to obtain complete and accurate information; however, no representation, warranty or guarantee to the accuracy, express or implied, is made.
Marcus & Millichap is a service mark of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, Inc.
© 2018 Marcus & Millichap. All Rights Reserved.
23975 Park Sorrento | Suite 400 | Calabasas, CA 91302 | Telephone: (818) 212-2250