With the first quarter of 2017 in the books, the national multifamily market is showing some subtle signs of softening. The U.S. occupancy rate has dipped ever so slightly, and annual rent growth has slowed on a national basis.
These developments may trigger anxiety in some quarters, but at JVM, our optimism about the road ahead remains strong.
That’s because real estate is a local affair, and the steady Midwest markets in which we operate remain in good shape. Supply and demand are in balance, and local economies continue to improve, generating the job growth that is the lifeblood of demand in the apartment sector. At the same time, rising interest rates will result in higher mortgage rates, which will increase the expense of buying a home and push more people towards becoming renters.
Read the rest of Jay Madary’s opening letter
Even with advantageous market conditions, apartment owners and operators in the Midwest still need to differentiate themselves in order to deliver optimal returns and maximize asset values. And that’s where JVM, through our dedication to meeting the needs of today’s apartment residents and building first-in-class onsite teams, will continue to shine.
Looking ahead to the summer months, we are excited about the renovations of several of our communities in the greater Cleveland and Kansas City markets. In Cleveland, where there’s been a relative scarcity of new development, our investment into these property improvements will provide renters seeking quality and service a better choice. Our communities will carve out a new niche and really stand out amidst aging housing stock.
On the other hand, in Kansas City, an ample amount of new development has been delivered recently. Our renovations will keep our communities there extremely competitive with the new product and will give us tremendous leverage to drive rents.
We’re also looking forward to expanding our various sustainability initiatives. Last year, JVM, through the use of tracking software and smart technology at three of our communities, saved 7.4 million gallons of water – enough to fill 11 Olympic-size swimming pools. JVM is evaluating the feasibility of installing this system at other communities in 2017.
Since 2014 JVM has retrofitted lighting systems with LED bulbs, installed energy efficient appliances and windows, added electric car charging stations, switched to paperless leasing and implemented community-wide recycling programs.
We firmly believe that it is our responsibility to do the best we can with the resources we have to help protect the environment for future generations. Accordingly, we’ll continue to seek ways to decrease our environmental footprint.
As 2017 unfolds, we look forward to sharing our story with you. Thank you for your continued trust in JVM!
President & CEO