Thursday, May 16, 2013
Monday, May 06, 2013
Friday, April 19, 2013
Friday, April 12, 2013
A new investment group in Fort Worth acquired the 95%-occupied 82k SF 1612 Summit Ave in Fort
Worth.Summit Hilltop Partners, formed by real estate investor Will Martin purchased the asset from Omaha-based Ameritas Life Insurance Co for an undisclosed sum. It'll be held as a long-term investment with gradual improvements planned. (It's a beautiful thing to see a company and a building commit to one another like that.) Will says he's on the hunt for other Class-A and Class-B office and industrial buildings with Class-A locations in both Dallas and Fort Worth.
The five-story building includes an underground parking garage and is leased to 15 tenants. Will tells us his brokerage firm, W. Martin and Co, will move its offices into the building at the end of the month and handle leasing. At I-30 and Summit Avenue, Will says this location is the gateway to the new Chisholm Trail Tollway, which is scheduled to open next year. Centra Partners' Jeff Day repped the seller. Liberty Bank provided the financing with Reagan Casey handling the transaction.
North Texas apartment leasing cooled a bit in the first quarter of 2013. But there was no sign of a step back in construction.
The 1,574 net apartment rentals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during the first three months of the year was an improvement from leasing in the same period last year, MPF Research said Monday.
But net leasing in the area fell from strong fourth-quarter levels of more than 1,900 apartments rented.
At the same time, developers completed 2,315 D-FW apartments in the first quarter.
North Texas leads the country in apartment building, with 22,837 units under construction — the highest local building total since the first quarter of 2009, according to MPF Research.
“There’s no sign yet of construction slowdown, but you’d think — hope — the market is close to leveling off in starts,” said MPF Research’s Jay Parsons. “Dallas-Fort Worth is one of only a handful of markets nationally where apartment development has already topped historic norms.”
But Parsons isn’t in a panic over the volume of development.
“There’s a lot of construction, yes, but that’s almost always the case here.”
The fevered pace of apartment building and an increase in the number of renters buying houses caused overall apartment occupancy levels in D-FW to drop slightly in the first quarter, to 93.6 percent. That’s still ahead of year-ago occupancy levels, but less than at the end of 2012.
Overall rents in the first quarter were only up 2.3 percent from a year earlier, to an average of $833, MPF found.
“The local apartment market is still in very healthy shape,” Parsons said. “But occupancy is inching down and rent growth levels are easing.”
Most of the building activity is in Uptown and downtown Dallas, the Oak Lawn area, Irving’s Las Colinas district and Carrollton-Farmers Branch.
As the local housing market has turned the corner, some renters are opting to buy and take advantage of near record-low home finance rates.
“The increase in buyers has softened apartment demand in some of the key suburbs, and that — along with all of the new construction — has forced apartment operators to limit rent hikes,” Parsons said.
But he said that the rate of home purchases so far isn’t enough to have a serious impact on the D-FW apartment market.
“This market is accustomed to heavy home sales and large apartment construction volumes,” Parsons said.
Developers say they’ve seen no sign of a slowdown in leasing at their new projects.
“We had the typical seasonal slowdown, but for the most part all of our properties are experiencing strong leasing activity now that spring has arrived,” said Scott Sherwood with JLB Partners, which has several new rental projects in the Dallas area.
DALLAS-FORT WORTH APARTMENT PROFILE
First quarter 2013
Completions: 2,315 units
Net leasing: 1,574 units
Average monthly rent: $833
Average occupancy: 93.6%
Under construction: 22,837 units
The spring housing market started with a rush of sales in North Texas.
But sellers are not rushing into the market with pre-owned home listings.
Sales of pre-owned single-family homes in March rose 22 percent from a year earlier, with 7,483 properties sold. It was the most homes sales for a March since 2007.
And median single-family home sales prices were 8 percent higher last month than in March 2012, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems reported Monday.
With March’s increase, sales prices in North Texas are at a record high in area multiple listing services. Median home sales prices are now about $10,000 higher than they were at the peak of the market in mid-2007, before the recession hit. March’s median sales price was $168,000.
“Part of the increase is from demand growth, part is from the short inventory of available properties,” said Dr. James Gaines, Real Estate Center economist. “It’s a double-whammy on prices.”
So far this year, home sales through real estate agents’ multiple listing services are up 19 percent from first quarter of 2012.
Even with the jump in sales and higher prices, there’s no sign of an increase in the number of houses on the market. Total inventory of homes for sale in North Texas at the end of March was down 22 percent from a year ago.
There’s only a 3.4-month supply of houses listed for sale with agents in the area.
In March, there were 10,857 single-family home listings added to the MLS, about the same as a year ago and less than in March 2011.
The number of homes on the market in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is at the lowest level in more than 20 years, according to the Real Estate Center.
Real estate agents had expected a surge in home listings because of the stronger market, low interest rates and rising prices.
George DeCourcy, associate director of the real estate program at the University of Texas at Dallas, said it will take more than the recent price increases to cause a big jump in homes on the market.
“Prices have come back, but not like a bull,” DeCourcy said Monday. “People feel there is no compelling reason they should move at these prices.
“I think you will have to see significant move-up from here before people decide to list their homes,” he said.
Since many homeowners have refinanced at near record low mortgage rates, their costs of owning their current house have also fallen.
“Even as prices escalate, does it make sense to sell my house and buy another one?” he said. “If home prices went up dramatically, people who had a lot of equity might cash it in, but what would you do with it?”
Indeed, with a shortage of houses for sale in many neighborhoods, potential buyers are often outbid by other shoppers.
The time it takes to sell a house in North Texas dropped to 65 days in March — about a quarter less time than it took a year ago.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
In a fairly close race, 79 of you said the Museum Tower glare is a problem versus 55, who said not so much. It started in the fall of 2011, as the tower's curtain went up; folks at the Nasher Sculpture Center began to notice the reflections into the museum. Finger-pointing and bad feelings followed. (This is how the Hatfields and McCoys got started—barbed wire reflections on the chicken coop.)
Museum Tower leadership has ongoing studies on the effect of the glare, and the stand-off continues as marketing for the residences fires up. Here are some of your comments:
"If you've visited the new deck park, you may have experienced the burn from the glass firsthand."
"Get over it, like the sun doesn't glare on EVERYTHING in its path!"
"All glass buildings produce glare, and most office buildings are glass, so downtown areas of any city are going to be subject to glare. The Museum Tower people have offered a sensible solution to fix the Nasher's roof system at no cost to the Nasher."
"The roof of the Nasher was designed to reflect light in a way that would showcase the art that would be displayed. The glare from Museum Tower negates the entire design and function of the roof."
Cushman & Wakefield senior managing director Mark Dickenson (left, with colleague Bill Brokaw) says he's not taking sides. His take: I expect that the economics of the situation will force a solution and they'll find common ground soon. It's disappointing to see the negative publicity regarding the glare. Museum Tower is a downtown landmark and will be a wonderful showcase for the live, work, play dynamic in the Dallas CBD. It's a real focal point for a larger renaissance that is changing the city and improving the quality of life.
As healthcare systems evaluate space needs, there's plenty of money out there, according to our panel of experts at last week's Bisnow Healthcare Real Estate Summit. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's executive managing director Todd Perman says real estate investors are hungry for healthcare properties. But there's not a huge supply to buy. "There's a lot of gunpowder on the sidelines," Todd told our audience in Atlanta. (Maybe they can infill all the old Border's locations and do all their vaccinations in the music section.) Todd says 2013 saw more than $22B in capital raised for MOB and healthcare facility investments.
Bull Realty partner Paul Zeman says we could be on track for $7B in transactions this year, topping $5B last year. And interest for off-campus medical properties is heightening—and shown in cap rates, which are compressing into the low 7% range. And with rental rates increases this year, Paul says, "I think everything is trending in the right direction."
Rendina Cos's EVP Todd Varney says with the cost of capital still low, he sees more hospitals and healthcare system reevaluating development projects, especially off-campus, that were shelved earlier. (Like that book you never had time to read, but now the movie is coming out, so you have to.)
What to do with those assets from the heady (lax) underwriting days of '02-'07? As closed-end funds sell off their portfolios, REITs with deep public pockets will be the likely beneficiary.
NAREIT SVP Brad Case tells us REITs will beef up their market share for the next few years. (Right now, they control 15% of US real estate.) Although most people think growth comes from IPOs, he says most expansion will be through acquisitions by existing firms. A huge opportunity: As 10-year funds shut down and sell off their portfolios, REITs will be well-positioned to buy them. And since most other groups don't have access to capital, limited competition means they'll get good prices. What's limiting IPOs? Although everyone would love to be a REIT, most private funds don't have the capital structure to pull one off.
Calif.-based Xebec Realty Partners and CT Realty Investors acquired a 530-acre tract in the South Dallas Intermodal Hub (east of I-45 and half a mile from the gate of the Union Pacific Dallas Intermodal Terminal). They plan to build almost 9M SF of big box distribution and e-commerce logistics buildings, ranging from 500k SF to 1.5M SF each, as well as spec and built-to-suit Class-A logistics buildings. The venture is repped by CBRE's David Anderson. CBRE will handle leasing, sales, and other support services.
Tight-lipped on the buyer and the price, ARA's Brian O'Boyle Sr, Brian O'Boyle Jr, and Brian Murphy repped the seller of the 208-unit Broadstone Stonebriar. The Class-A multifamily project was built in 2010 and was 92% occupied at sale time.
Transwestern's Todd Hawpe negotiated two sales: D&M Custom Homes' purchase of 62k SF of land at 2873 Tinsley in Fort Worth and Cooperstown Cages' purchase of 95k SF of land at Business Hwy 287 and Tinsley Lane in Tarrant County.
JM Miller Properties purchased almost 16k SF at 600 E Centre Park Blvd in DeSoto. Transwestern's Nathan Rylander repped the purchaser.
Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT acquired a 61k SF hospital property in Grapevine for $23M. The property is 100% leased to Ethicus Hospital-Grapevine, pursuant to a long-term, triple net lease.
McRoberts & Co's David Tarrant and Andrew McRoberts repped the land owner in the sale of a 24-acre tract in Fairview to Davis Development, which plans to build a 268-unit, Class-A apartment community on the site. This will be the second community in Fairview by Davis Development.
ON THE MARKET
The CBRE Strategic Partners U.S. fund put Metroplex office towers, totaling 1.4M SF, on the market: The Urban Towers, The Point at Las Colinas, and Interchange Office Center. The local buildings are part of a portfolio of five properties, including one in Chicago and one in Atlanta. The portfolio is debt-free, a CBRE spokesperson tells us, which should allow an investor to take advantage of the low interest rate environment. Just a few weeks ago, another CBRE fund put Preston Commons and Sterling Plaza on the market, too.
Transwestern worked several leases:
- JCM Holdings leased almost 28k SF at 151 Regal Row in Dallas. Clint Riley, Greg Cannon, and Tim Veler repped the landlord.
- Morgan Development and Supply leased 60k SF at 3715 Avenue E in Arlington. Jim Hazard and Brad Struck repped the tenant.
- Advantage Aviation Technologies II leased 60k SF at Stemmons Industrial Center 12 in Dallas. Greg and Tim repped the landlord. Clint and Jeff Givens repped the tenant.
- Masterguard leased 16k SF at 825 Sandy Lake Rd in Coppell. John Fulton and Brett Owens repped the landlord.
Stream Realty worked multiple deals, including:
- Wasserstrom signed a new 87k SF lease at 2801 S Shiloh in Garland. Jackson & Cooksey's Mike Quick repped the tenant. Seth Koschak and Ryan Wolcott repped the landlord, DRA Advisors.
- ZS Pharma signed a 26k SF lease at 508 Wrangler in Coppell. Blake Kendrick and Jeremy Kelly repped the landlord, PacTrust.
- Let's Talk at The Hills renewed its 14k SF lease at 6341 Grapevine Hwy in North Richland Hills. Tommy Nelson and Kendall Cramer repped the landlord. The tenant was repped by Newmark Grubb Knight Frank's Mitch Wolff.
- RR Donnelly signed an 82k SF lease at 4255 Patriot Dr in Coppell. Cannon Green and Blake Kendrick repped the landlord, DCT Industrial. CBRE's Nathan Lawrence repped the tenant.
Move over, multifamily—industrial may be the next growth wave. PPR senior real estate economist Shaw Lupton has been advising institutional investors to get into the sector, and he tells us why.
Dallas' modern product (post-1990 and over 100k SF) netted 7.8M SF of positive absorption last year. That brought us to 9% vacancy, and Shaw expects a slight increase in absorption this year. Nationwide, 2012 was a sluggish year but ended on a strong note with net 78M SF absorbed (in line with 2011). Q4 set a record for US warehouse demand. He expects this year will look slightly stronger (but not by a lot thanks to economic headwinds).
2) Ability of supply to shut down quickly
Coupled with strong demand, almost nothing is under construction now. 2M SF is under way in Dallas, but more than half of that is pre-leased. Last year saw negative net completions nationwide, as the pace of space removals more than offset deliveries. This year is ramping up with 35M SF in the ground, but that's only 0.3% of inventory. (And 55% of it is BTS.) That's barely up from the trough and well below the last cycle, when we added 1.5% annually. He expects construction will ramp up rapidly over the next year or two as rents increase. But in the meantime, there's a great window where investors can benefit.
3) Outsized rent growth
Net asking rent in Dallas rose 4.6% last year, and Shaw expects about 3% or 4% growth this year. Things aren't looking as bright nationwide: We're 8% below the long-term trend. But that means a significant upside in asking rents today.
4) Below replacement cost… everywhere else
Nationwide, overall pricing per SF is 12% below the long-term trend. In Dallas, transaction prices are actually clocking in above their long-term trend. That means it's going to be tougher to find deals on existing space, but it should be easier to make development pencil out. Glass half full, right?
5) Cash yields
Industrial yields are some of the highest of the four main food groups. Although warehouses may seem a little pricey, they're worth it, thanks to strong fundamentals. Warehouses aren't known for their growth, but Shaw's tracking 3.8% yields (after adjusting for below-the-line expenses). That's about 23% better than office yields, which is driving players from other sectors into the industrial arena. (Which is why every industrial building now comes equipped with a water cooler.)
Lindale Economic Development Corp sold an almost 18-acre site in Lindale Industrial Park to Tyler FXG, a subsidiary of Kansas City-based Jones Development, with plans to build a 163k SF distribution center for FedEx Ground. MW Builders of Temple will serve as the GC. Construction will start immediately it's slated to open July 2014, says City of Lindale EDC prez John Clary (here, with city councilman Bob Tardiff at the ICSC event in Dallas last fall.) The new distribution center will replace two existing faciltiies nearby and is part of FedEx's nationwide network expansion to boost its daily package volume capacity and enhance the speed and service capabilities.