Class-B Bubble Fears Are Unfounded
Prices to acquire Class-B and C multifamily properties are rising across Houston, causing some locals to think we’re in a bubble. But, Marcus & Millichap’s Clint Roberts says that’s not the case. Operations are strong enough and rents are still rising enough to justify the increased cost per door, he tells us. The delta between Class-A and B is shrinking, Clint says, as B assets (especially outside the Loop) continue to raise rents 5% a year. There’s also still a critical mass of buyers, particularly from Canada and California. (They still view us as a safe investment, and he gets two or three calls a week from investors from these areas.) Activity has been mostly submarket-based, but Clint has been averaging nearly 98% of list price on his investment sales.
Clint recently closed the sale of The Carlisle, a 125-unit multifamily community in southwest Houston. It had been marketed last year while oil was hot for $5.2M by another firm but didn’t sell. Clint took over the listing, asked the seller to do some aesthetic upgrades (like building an eight-foot wall to block the view of an ugly neighboring property), and listed it at $5.9M. It received numerous offers, and ultimately closed to a high-net-worth investor using exchange money from a sale in California. Next up: Clint’s got a 150-unit community on Broadway by Hobby Airport that he put under contract at full list price within two weeks of marketing.