WASHINGTON, DC—It will be a buyers’ market for apartment investors next year, according to a recent survey from Capital One. It found that 74% of multifamily professionals expect they will primarily be buyers rather than sellers while just 19% saw themselves primarily being sellers in the year ahead. Respondents also indicated that rent control and continued legislative pushes around affordable housing would significantly alter their investment strategies.
The survey of more than 100 multifamily professionals, which was taken at the GlobeSt. Apartments Conference in late October, also identified secondary or tertiary markets as the areas for greatest opportunity in the year ahead. Forty percent of participants responded as such, with 22% noting urban markets presented the strongest opportunity and 15% saying so for suburban markets. In keeping with the previous year’s survey results, only 9% of multifamily professionals surveyed predict less opportunity in 2020.
“Though the market prognosis was unclear earlier this year, the multifamily community is now more confident there will be a strong level of opportunity in 2020, even in the midst of potential changes brought on by issues like rent control,” says Jeff Lee, president of Capital One Multifamily Finance, in prepared comments. “It’s evident there is a strong investor appetite for multifamily properties, and coupled with the industry’s sturdy fundamentals, we believe the multifamily sector is positioned for sustained growth over the next year.”
One point of contention among multifamily professionals was how investor strategy will be affected by legislators and housing advocates’ continued push for affordable housing. Nearly one-third (31%) believe the most notable move here will occur with respect to a shift in markets, 27% pointed to a shift in property types, while 14% believe that the call for more affordable housing will cause a decrease in overall investment. Just over a quarter of respondents believe this would not change investor strategy.
Respondents were not nearly as divided when asked how rent control would affect their respective primary markets—nearly two-thirds (63%) expect it would reduce investment. About a quarter (28%) believe rent control would not affect investment in their primary market, and only 9% of those surveyed said it would somewhat increase investment.