The Stable Suburbs
Stability's the word in suburban multifamily, thanks to very little new supply and a trend towards value-add opportunities, HFF managing director Sean Fogarty (left, with HFF's Michael Kavanau and Tim Joyce) tells us. With managing director Marty O'Connell and executive managing director Matthew Lawton, Sean just repped a JV including MetLife, Redwood Capital Group, and Westdale Asset Management in the sale of Woodlands of Crest Hill, a 730-unit community in Crest Hill, and the Fountains at Stone Crest (below), a 400-unit community in Westmont, to an out-of-state buyer. While the JV owned the deals for a handful of years and had been successful (occupancy is in the mid 90s), MetLife's multifamily strategy is now more focused on infill downtown locations, Sean says.
But there's still a healthy mix of capital chasing the 'burbs' rent growth (and manicured lawns), with institutional money drawn to newer properties and private groups opting to upgrade older buildings. Sean notes DuPage County and the Northwest Corridor as top performing submarkets, while areas like the North Shore and Lake County garner interest but see few transactions. He predicts 2014 will be another solid year for suburban multifamily, with new supply slow, steady, and spread out. In the meantime, he'll be recovering from last month's trip to London, where he and some buddies saw Vikings vs. Steelers and a Premier League match on back-to-back days. (Soccer is the suburbs of football--is something you don't say in England.)