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July 2017: Trends and News in Condo and Rental Communities

As your busy July comes to an end, take a breath, sit back, and let us give you a summary of some latest trends in the community management industry.  Stay prepared and ahead of the game by learning about resident wages, energy-efficient homes, recent condo law reforms, and more.  Read along:  

1. Steady wage growth rate may slow down multifamily market

According to Multi Housing News, 361,000 more individuals were employed in June than in May, albeit with a consistently low wage growth of 2-3%.  The multi-family housing market could see a slow-down if this trend continues, decreasing demand for new units coupled with the inability to increase rent.

2. Developers constructing net-zero energy-efficient homes

Rental and multi-family development businesses are now constructing homes with energy-efficient designs and amenities.  These new home development trends are an effort to increase sustainability and provide little to zero utility expenses for the renter or home-owner.  MODUS Development, a building developer company in Arizona, finished construction of a three story-building last summer.  They implemented net-zero energy-efficient technologies such as solar panels mounted on the roof, parking that integrates on-site energy technologies, LED lights, a heat pump to warm and cool the pool, and time and moisture sensors to aid in improving landscape.  Read this interesting case study by MultiFamily Executive to learn more.   

3. Face-to-Face communications most effective for promoting to new tenants

MultiFamily Executive recently surveyed professionals to determine the most important aspect to focus on when promoting new home technologies to potential tenants.   26.8% of respondents said personal communication is the most effective, which includes face-to-face meetings, tours, demos, and showings.  17.9% stated that advertising is the most effective.  These two aspects were rated above marketing, social media, saving cost, signing leases, and energy savings.  

4. DOL’s overtime threshold to reduce

In late June, the Trump Administration signed an opposition to the overtime regulation mandated by the Department of Labor.  They requested the appeals court to reduce the salary level threshold.  Secretary of Labor R. Alexander Acosta suggested the threshold may reduce to $33,000.  This overturn may potentially have a positive outcome for the community management industry, states the National Apartment Association.  Since with the previous introduction of the rule, employers and employees both had to work around scheduling challenges and impact career advancement and training opportunities.  

5. Freddie Mac enters the rental real estate market

According to the NY Times, Freddie Mac recently announced that it would be entering the single-family rental home market.  Freddie Mac aims to provide financing options to small and mid-sized landlord companies.  These landlord companies purchase single-family homes and then leases them in what they refer to as “affordable-housing rentals”.

6. Texas cities lead the top 10 best cities for new home buyers

WalletHub performed a new study to determine the ten best cities for new home buyers.  This list is based on three criteria: affordability, performance of the real-estate market, and quality of life.  The state of Texas leads the list with four cities: McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and Richardson, all located within proximity of Dallas.  

7. Florida Condo Law reforms take effect

As of July 1st, the new Florida Condo Law reforms will take into effect.  The reform, which has garnered national attention, addresses many issues that have been plaguing the condo industry in the state.  It is now a felony to withhold or change documents  if it’s been proved to have been made to cover or commit crimes.  These crimes include election fraud – forging signatures and theft of ballots.  Additionally, condo associations with more than 150 units are required to provide financial statements to residents in a password protected website.  For more information on how to best build transparency in light of this new law reform, read our recent blog post.