Exclusive Q&A: Resmark's Mike Zarola On For-Sale Residential
Four years ago, LA-based Resmark set its sights on greater Seattle, and since then its investment portfolio here has grown to encompass eight for-sale housing projects and two multifamily rental projects, with four other rental projects completed and sold. We asked Resmark Land and Housing SVP, investments Mike Zarola, who oversees Resmark's projects in the for-sale residential sector (condos, townhouses, single-family), for his take on the metro Seattle market.
Mike's shown here with his wife, Veronica.
Bisnow: What's your outlook for Seattle?
Mike Zarola: Cautiously optimistic. Strong job growth continues to fuel housing demand, and the current lack of housing supply has resulted in strong appreciation in the Seattle MSA.
However, the lack of affordable product offering, extended project approval time frames and the shallow pool of a skilled labor force to deliver new homes all continue to impede developers' ability to execute their business plans and investors' ability to achieve optimal returns. Partners who remain nimble through this challenging environment will continue to yield the best return on investment.
Bisnow: What's the next step for Resmark in Seattle?
Mike: Rather than focus on specific submarkets or product types, we'll look to continue expansion by aligning with developer/builders who possess a demonstrated track record of execution and pipeline of opportunities within the Seattle MSA.
Bisnow: Is there any danger of overbuilding?
Mike: In the Seattle MSA as a whole, I don't see overbuilding being of particular concern due to the continued housing demand fueled by job growth, coupled with the shortage of skilled labor in the housing sector. But I do have a concern for projects that are located in submarkets further from employment centers.
Bisnow: Why is that?
Mike: While these opportunities tend to provide a more affordable product offering, approvals are easier to come by and building activity is more prevalent, which puts some submarkets at greater risk for potential overbuilding, especially if demand for housing decreases. We feel confident that our investments located along the I-405 high-tech corridor in Kirkland, Bellevue and Redmond will provide for a low risk of future oversupply.