Microapartments—living spaces of less than 500 sq. ft.—are already popular in gateway cities like New York and Boston, but haven’t quite caught on yet in secondary markets. Developers like Evan Granoff are trying to change that. Granoff has brought new apartments of less than 300 sq. ft. to his native Providence, R.I. And residents are paying top dollar to rent them.
When people talk about commercial real estate, they often think of it as a steady business dominated by the “five major food groups”: multifamily, office, retail, industrial and hospitality. It’s supposedly a simple, straightforward sector. It’s an asset class that delivers income and some appreciation in property values. And it’s an overall safe investment. Yet beneath the surface, the industry is transforming in many ways. Players rise and fall. New tactics emerge. The use of technology can affect funding and financing. In other words, there are always disruptions taking place. Here we profile 10 disrupters (actually 11, since one profile is of the two principals of one firm).hese disrupters include some familiar names and some new ones. They underscore key trends—urbanization of retail, crowdfunding, microapartments and the reemergence of CMBS, to name a few.
Cold weather earlier this year didn’t put a brake on new construction for long. Developers are starting more new commercial and multifamily projects than experts anticipated, even before the long, cold winter.
Banks are willing to make permanent loans to apartment properties at rock bottom interest rates. To compete, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lenders are offering the lowest rates they can, plus faster service.
Apartment rents will grow faster in many secondary markets than in the top primary markets like New York City and Los Angeles, according to 2014 projections from data firms Reis Inc. and Pierce Eislen.
Despite high prices for apartment properties, REITs are on a buying binge. They are finding value in mergers that offer them efficiencies that put a strong hold on their markets. They are also looking at market and regions where property prices aren’t so high compared to the income from the properties.