Posts in Market Evaluation
Boston's Housing Crisis Is Attracting Investors

Boston is facing a major housing crisis due to the lack of housing supply. Rents are on the rise not just in Boston, but in the suburbs around Boston as well and vacancy rates are around 3%. While it is a bad situation for renters in the area, investors from all around the country are looking to take advantage of the market by purchasing multifamily properties. To read more, click here.

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Can Millennials Afford Homes?

Millennials are in quite a different position than their parents and grandparents were when it comes to the prospect of buying a home. A recent report showed that in 1975, it took 9 years for someone earning the median salary to save up for a 20% down payment on a home (assuming they saved 5% of their income per year) and now it takes 14 years. This change is even more extreme in well-known cities across the US - 43 years in Los Angeles, 40 years in San Francisco, 36 years in New York, and 30 years in Boston. There are many reasons why this is the case such as a scarcity of housing and restrictive zoning laws. To read more, check out this article that summarizes Unisom’s report about the increasing gap between income and real estate prices.

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The Problem with Boston's Zoning Approval Process

If you ask any developer in Boston what they think of the zoning approval process, I would guess that one of their first comments would be about how “political” it can be. A recent report by researcher Amy Dain looked at the zoning laws of 100 communities around Boston and found that “over a two-year period from 2015 to 2017, only 14% of multifamily units in the greater Boston communities Dain studied were permitted "by right".” That means the other 86% of projects were subject to the discretion of zoning boards - zoning boards that are often influenced by local politics. For a quick overview of the report’s findings, check out this article. For the full report, click here.

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Does Rent Control Work?

The thought of rent control often evokes strong emotional reactions regardless of whether you support or oppose it. Anyone who has ever rented a home can relate to the feeling of disappointment (or even frustration and anger) when you receive notification of an impending rent increase. Rent control is often discussed in politics as a social issue. But when you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, there are many economic consequences when rent control is implemented and/or ceased, many of which end up hurting the very people that rent control was intended to help. This Freakonomics episode discusses exactly why rent control does not work and we highly recommend you take a listen.

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A Good Month for Home Building

After a few down months at the start of 2019, the construction of housing finally saw an uptick in April. Housing starts rose 5.7% across the country and “building in the Northeast increased at the fastest pace in nearly two years.” Take a read through this article for more commentary on these statistics.

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Where Are First-Time Homeowners Buying in Boston?

Many are saying that there already is and will continue to be a wave of first-time homeowners looking to plant some roots in Boston. The economy is diverse and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to live in the city of champions? But a bustling economy comes with a competitive real estate market and homes are often selling above the asking price. Check out this article to see what neighborhoods in and around Boston first-time homeowners are looking to buy.

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Tension in Eastie - Can It Be Resolved?

Every developer in Boston knows what a hot market Eastie has become in the past five or so years. Every developer in Boston also knows that this development has been met with a lot of pushback from Eastie locals. But is that pushback merited? This article in Boston Magazine provides some great insight into the dynamics between locals, developers, and millennials and explains why a little understanding and appreciation of Eastie’s past might go a long way in bringing everyone together.

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Solutions to Boston's Housing Shortage

As many people living in and around Boston are aware, there just doesn’t seem to be enough housing to accommodate all the professionals, students, families, and longtime locals that live here. While it’s easy for all of us to get frustrated with increasing costs of housing and the seemingly shortage of it, we should all take a second to read what local officials, zoning boards, developers, activists, and private institutions are already doing to address this issue. This article summarizes a few solutions already underway.

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Cap Rates on the Rise

For all of my fellow real estate investors out there, you have probably noticed the same frustrating trend that I have with properties being marketed over the last few years. Every day, properties have been offered to the market with incredibly low cap rates and no potential for upside except unpredictable, hypothetical appreciation. For the majority of these properties it is impossible to make the numbers work for anyone other than large institutional investors or UHNWI looking to park money. In March of this year, CBRE and other real estate advisory firms were predicting that in 2018 we would begin to see a rise in Cap Rates.

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How To Evaluate a Market for Real Estate Investing

We’ve all heard that cliché saying in real estate, “location, location, location”. Despite it being over-used and often times written in all capitals on corny listing sheets, location is truly one of the most important components to real estate. Just as you would evaluate the numbers of an investment property, you must also evaluate the economics and demographics within the subject market itself. This blog article will outline some of the most important characteristics of choosing a market, and consider what makes a market desirable or undesirable for investors.

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America’s Rental Housing Supply Shortage – What does it mean for Multifamily investors?

A confluence of factors is contributing to a shortage of supply of rental housing and an increase in demand in most markets around the country which is driving prices up. In this article, we will investigate what is contributing to the supply constraints and demand drivers as well as discuss what this climate means for investors.

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