A huge surge in rental demand and comparatively little apartment supply created a boom in multi-family construction in the last year, but with the single family housing market slowly beginning to show signs of life, the concern among banks and investors is that all that supply will hit the market just as rental demand drops off.
Based on preliminary estimates of Q4 '11 activity, multi-family loan origination volume increased to $82 billion in 2011, up from $50 billion in 2010, according to Chandan Economics. Understandably, some lenders and investors are starting to ask questions.
"While 2012 should be another good year for apartment REITs, there is concern amongst some investors and managements that market expectations may be hard to beat," say analysts at Sandler O'Neill. "Based on discussions with managements, revenue growth should match sentiment but expense growth may be the wildcard."