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Faron Thompson featured in Southeast Real Estate Business 2023 Lender Insights

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (February 22, 2023) – Faron Thompson, senior vice president/regional managing director of Northmarq’s Atlanta debt/equity team, provided France Media’s Southeast Real Estate Business with responses for their 2023 Lender Insights. The special section features direct lenders and financial intermediaries from across the region who cover the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead, factors most affecting the lending environment and the property sectors to watch during 2023.

Southeast Real Estate Business (SREB): In what area(s) of commercial real estate do you see the biggest business opportunity for your company in 2023?

Thompson: There are three areas where we anticipate business opportunities for Northmarq this year. First, refinancing short-term bridge loans that were made in the last 24-30 months. Second, working with merchant developers to refinance/recapitalize newly built projects that are coming up short of original sales price expectations. Third, sub-debt (preferred equity and Mezz debt) will be back in demand.

SREB: Are commercial real estate borrowers more interested in fixed- or floating-rate financing today versus a year ago and why?

Thompson: Most borrowers are pursuing maximum prepayment flexibility. Historically, that’s most easily done with floating-rate debt. However, several lenders are introducing 5-year fixed rate debt with prepayment flexibility, especially in the last 2 years. Additionally, in this rising rate environment, borrowers who originally intended to sell as an exit are using short-term loan structures to buy some time to a better sales market (which most expect to occur in 24-36 months). Longer-term holders of properties are also interested in shorter-term structures, as they expect longer terms rates to be better in 24-36 months.

SREB: What is your company’s lending or debt placement strategy for 2023? Are there any new lines of business or opportunities that you are pursuing?

Thompson: Northmarq is well-positioned to service our borrowers’ lending requirements. As a company, we have relationships with banks, debt funds, and alternative lenders, in addition to 60+ life company correspondencies, and all three agency licenses.

SREB: Are there any common questions you are fielding from borrowers today, and if so what are they and what advice are you giving them?

Thompson: We are frequently asked about the direction of interest rates. To that end, we craft debt structures that provide the most flexibility to respond to what likely will be an increased interest rate volatility year. Additionally, our clients are interested in strategies for bridging the bid/ask gap in property sales. With this in mind, we are creatively using in-the-money interest rate caps to manufacture a lower ongoing cost of debt capital. Additionally, we also use short-term fixed rates with flexible prepayment options. Finally, for those seeking longer terms, we’re sourcing debt capital with intra-term rate cap resets.

Read Thompson’s contribution in Southeast Real Estate Business.

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Jason Nettles moderates development panel at InterFace Multifamily Southeast

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (February 21, 2023) – Jason Nettles, managing director of Northmarq’s Atlanta multifamily investment sales team, moderated the development panel at France Media’s 13th annual InterFace Multifamily Southeast conference on December 1.

Other panel topics were investment, leasing/management/operations and architecture/design/construction. The event focused on who is buying, building, operating and financing apartment properties in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

The fact that capital partners have raised the required return thresholds on multifamily deals was a key takeaway from the event. This trend speaks to the larger pattern of capital sources displaying heightened levels of scrutiny when deciding on what deals to commit debt or equity.

Topics investigated at the conference:

  • What is driving record rental rate increases and is it sustainable?
  • Is it pencils down in the investment market or will deals continue to happen in spite of the rising interest rate environment?
  • What is the activity level? Who’s buying? Who’s selling? Where are cap rates headed?
  • Are Southeast markets generating enough new supply to meet demand?
  • What is the development pipeline for the near term? How is the SFR/BTR phenomena impacting things?
  • What is the big picture outlook for the economy and could a recession derail Southeast multifamily markets?
  • How severely are rising interest rates impacting the capital markets and lending environment?
  • What are the most pressing issues and challenges in leasing, management and operations?
  • What are the new trends in architecture, design and construction?
  • What is the outlook for the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Orlando markets?

Check out the conference summary or reach out Jason Nettles for conference insights that might benefit your investment strategy.

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Mike Sladich in Bizjournals: Some retail tenants look to aggressively expand even amid uncertain economic outlook in 2023

Mike Sladich –
Managing Director

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (January 18, 2023) – A story featured in Bizjournals spotlighted how despite lingering uncertainty in the economy, some retailers are preparing to roll out robust expansion plans in 2023 and subsequent years.

An analysis by Northmarq was referenced which found, among several retail categories, which tenants have plans to expand in the coming years. Most identified retailers expect to add dozens of new locations in 2023 and later, but companies with more aggressive growth plans anticipate opening hundreds or even thousands of storefronts in the next several years.

Mike Sladich, managing director at Northmarq, said certain categories of retail, such as convenience stores and dollar stores, tend to have aggressive growth plans in any given year.

But many retailers that are planning to grow in the coming years may find vacancy to be tighter in years past, as new retail development has slowed dramatically in the past decade and much of the existing retail space has been redeveloped to other uses.

“No one is really building large shopping centers,” Sladich said. “Malls are being repurposed. It feels like everything wants to be live-work-play. We’re seeing a huge ramp-up as retailers need their own prototype … that’s where you’ve seen the low vacancy because no one is building those spaces.”

It’s gotten pretty expensive to develop a new site for, say, a new convenience store, which may mean some pushback on rental rates so developers can achieve the pricing they require,” Sladich said.

With less vacant retail space sitting on the market, that could present new challenges for companies accustomed to backfilling that space.

“There will have to be some kind of intersection to make those deals pencil,” he continued. “There are not as many sites to backfill, which was something Dollar Tree used to do.”

Read the full story.

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Jason Nettles featured in Bisnow perspective on Atlanta CRE landscape in 2023

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (January 17, 2023) – Jason Nettles, managing director of Northmarq’s Atlanta multifamily investment sales team, was recently featured in a Bisnow’s article, “White collar job losses, still rising rents, world cup prep among Atlanta CRE’s predictions for ’23.” The story notes that Atlanta commercial real estate will largely be immune to the chill of the coming economic winter, according to the region’s industry leaders. The local industry is insulated against rising borrowing costs and the deep freeze in debt markets, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some pain.

In a section highlighting how Atlanta multifamily rents are outperforming the nation, Nettles shared his insights. Heexplained that rising interest rates and deteriorating economic conditions were headwinds this year for apartment landlords raising rents to the levels seen in 2021, when rents jumped more than 20 percent in Metro Atlanta.

This year, rents are expected to rise under 10 percent. But in Atlanta, despite a potential recession, renter demand still exceeds supply, positioning the market to continue to see rent growth in 2023. “We are still seeing rent rolls with 5%-plus rent growth, even into the seasonally slower winter months,” Nettles said.

Other topics covered include:

  • White-Collar Layoffs To Bite Into Office Occupancy
  • Demand Will Fill The Huge Industrial Pipeline
  • World Cup, Infrastructure To Keep Construction Busy

Read the full story.

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Margaret Caldwell in GlobeSt: Retail operators unfazed by inflating rents, occupancy costs

But some collection trends raise some concerns, according to Datex Property Solutions data

Margaret Caldwell –
Senior Vice President/
Managing Director

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (January 17, 2023) – Demand is not slowing in the retail sector despite inflating rents and occupancy costs, according to Margaret Caldwell, managing director and senior vice president at Northmarq.

“It has been amazing to see occupancy rates continue to increase,” she tells GlobeSt.com.

“This trend began during the pandemic. Many shopping centers had vacancies for years prior to COVID-19 during a time when we experienced significant retailer bankruptcies and store closures due to retailers’ downsizing.

“During the early stages of COVID-19, we thought brick-and-mortar retail demand was going to be significantly reduced but thankfully that was not the case. Americans want to experience retail shopping in person, and they love the entertainment aspect of dining in a restaurant.

“Consumer demand during the pandemic resulted in existing retailers expanding and new concepts evolving.

A Lack of New Retail Development
Corey Bialow, CEO, Bialow Real Estate, tells GlobeSt.com that in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, retail rents are starting to cap out as retail occupancy costs are becoming too high as a percentage of sales.

Bialow said the reason for this dramatic decrease in vacancy rates was primarily due to the lack of any new retail development for 3 to 4 years as nobody really knew how long COVID-19 would last.

“Within the next 12 to 18 months, we’ll start to see rents decline and vacancy rates rise as a lot of new product comes onto the market.”

He said that additionally, heading into a recessionary period, many large national retailers will be announcing mass store closures – brands such as Bed, Bath & Beyond and Party City already have.

Rising Sales, Decreasing Occupancy Costs
Mark Sigal, CEO of Datex Property Solutions, tells GlobeSt.com he is not surprised to see retail vacancy numbers decreasing and rents increasing.

Based on Datex Tenant Track data, which analyzes validated rent collections, retail sales, and occupancy costs across thousands of shopping centers and tens of thousands of retailers nationwide, 12 of the 21 categories tracked show rising sales and decreasing occupancy costs, which are the strongest, clearest indicators of retailers’ capacity to pay their rent, and thus, stay in business.

In fact, disproportionately low occupancy costs are indicative of retailers’ capacity to pay higher rents, since occupancy costs track the portion of sales eaten up by rent and triple net costs.

Looking at tenant occupancy trends, they continue to improve month by month, and January numbers bumped up another 0.42% versus December 2022. Notably, tenant occupancy numbers from January, December, and November, respectively, outpace their prior year comparisons, with January 2023 showing a 2.62% bump versus January 2022.

Collection Trends Raise Some Concerns
That noted, the collection trends for national tenants in December 2022 raise some concerns, with December 2022 rent collection numbers dipping to 92.72%, representing a drop of 2.52% versus November 2022, and the single lowest collections percentage for national tenants since February 2021, when the recovery from the pandemic was in its early stages.

“One month does not a trend make,” Sigal said. “Having limited new shopping centers being developed in the past three years, we are optimistic that vacancy absorption shall continue unabated and retail tenant metrics will remain strong in the new year.”

Occupancy Costs: Explained
Occupancy cost is a standardized metric used in brick-and-mortar retail in the same way that sales per foot and rent collection percentages are standardized metrics.

To calculate occupancy costs¸ take the recurring charges that a given retailer pays and divide that number by their reported sales.

So, if a sandwich shop that pays $3,600 in monthly rent plus triple net generates $100,000 in sales in that same month, it has an occupancy cost of 3.6%.

Then, say a better newer shopping center opens down the block and attracts many of those patrons, and the sandwich shop sees its sales drop to $40,000. Now the same $3,600 rent divided by $40,000 = 9% so occupancy costs have increased by 2.5X in this case, effectively meaning a higher marginal cost for the physical location.

Fast food has averaged 6.77% occupancy costs across all Datex clients over 48 different reporting periods since 2019, so fast-food operators with materially higher occupancy costs are potentially struggling.

Fast Food operators paying materially lower occupancy costs are probably not paying enough rent and when the lease comes up for renewal the landlord has a strong basis to negotiate higher rent.

Movie theaters’ occupancy cost average was 16.04% pre-pandemic. Post-pandemic, those costs have averaged 50.36%, which means over 50 cents for every dollar generated of sales is going to rent.

“That’s not really a sustainable business model,” Sigal said.

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Margaret Caldwell featured in GlobeSt: Plenty of demand for brick-and-mortar luxury retail

High-income consumers are spending in markets beyond NY and LA.

Margaret Caldwell –
Senior Vice President/
Managing Director

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (January 10, 2023) – Luxury retail shoppers and their typically higher household incomes are showing up in Sunbelt markets ready to spend and retail centers are taking notice.

No longer mostly consolidated in New York and Los Angeles, areas such as Phoenix, Austin, and Nashville are gaining in popularity, according to recent foot traffic data from Placer.ai blogger Bracha Arnold.

The luxury fashion market has been displaying resilience in the face of a challenging retail climate, Arnold writes, largely because high-income shoppers are still fairly insulated from inflationary concerns.

Luxury shopping malls did not exceed their 2021 visit levels in the first half of 2022, but they did outperform their non-luxury counterparts, rising 0.7% year-over-year (YoY) in September 2022 compared to regular indoor malls.

Thinking further out, Lululemon recently opened a store in Bozeman, Mont., where those moving to that town during the pandemic brought along higher salaries than what was typical in the town.

‘We Anticipate Growth in This Sector’
Margaret Caldwell, managing director and senior vice president at Northmarq, tells GlobeSt.com that luxury sales in US have remained strong, the dollar remains strong and wealthy consumers continue to buy luxury items, especially with the increase in social events such as parties and weddings.

“There will be a dichotomy of spending habits,” Caldwell said. “While the US is experiencing significantly higher interest rates, inflation, and job layoffs, overall, our economy is stronger than most countries globally.

“The highest-income luxury shopper is forecasted to continue shopping for luxury items, and we anticipate growth in this sector. We expect non-luxury apparel and other soft goods to experience negative sales growth due to inflation, interest rates, and job losses. We will also see growth in discount shopping, vintage retailers, and clothing rentals. The lower income shopper will be focused on necessity spending.”

Caldwell added that credit card debt has increased during 2022 in the US and the costs of carrying credit card balances in some cases are +/-25 percent.

“This will have a large negative impact on middle- to lower-income consumers buying luxury items,” she said.

Luxury Retail Driving Up Rents
Virginia Maggiore, Principal at architecture firm RDC, tells GlobeSt.com that luxury retail is following the consumer to more diverse cities throughout the US, but in the process, is driving up rents and diminishing space available for other brands.

In cities outside of New York and Los Angeles, luxury brands are able to take larger spaces and pay more rent per square foot than was historically warranted in those areas. Just like homeowners moving into new areas and paying exorbitant amounts for houses, there is a similar issue happening in retail. Streets and centers taking on too many luxury brands too quickly may shut out brands that could add consumer diversity and perhaps more longevity to the area.

Much Desire for Luxury Goods
Scott Grossfeld, Partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson, tells GlobeSt.com that despite issues facing the general economy, there are still many wage earners at high levels who desire luxury goods.

“These consumers have large amounts of disposable income and are minimally impacted by inflation and economic downturns,” he said.

“As a result, we are seeing growth in the luxury retailer segment. This growth appears to largely be occurring within high-profile, Class A and lifestyle projects. So long as the group of wealthy consumers continues to grow, we foresee the category of luxury retail continuing to increase in line.”

Consumers Seeking Experiential, Curated In-Store Experiences
Adam Rosenkranz, CIO at Christina, an LA-based real estate developer, manager, and sponsor providing accredited investors with the opportunity to own select investment properties in the ultra-prime neighborhoods of Los Angeles, tells GlobeSt.com that despite inflation, consumers are seeking experiential, curated in-store retail experiences.

“Oftentimes, these interactions allow for greater value by creating brand loyalty and retention, which is extraordinarily important in today’s competitive landscape,” he said.

“While e-commerce businesses have grown exponentially, many retailers would likely agree that it can often cause a disconnect between brands and consumers. We have seen the demand for in-person shopping firsthand.

“For decades, Christina has owned some of the most high-profile retail locations in Los Angeles, including Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, South Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, and most recently, our Larchmont Mercantile project in Larchmont Village.

“We began leasing space in Larchmont amid the pandemic, and to date, we have leased all 14 storefronts with brick-and-mortar retail brands. The premier rents and demand are emblematic of the vibrancy of this retail environment, particularly on pedestrian-oriented walking streets. “

Migration During and After COVID Has Its Effect
Edward Coury, managing director, RCS Real Estate Advisors, tells GlobeSt.com that the luxury retail market has seen movement in the US, as it returns to pre-COVID levels in major cities which struggled during the pandemic and the related loss of tourists and residents.

“As tourism resumes around the world, Europe is seeing growth in this area,” he said. “The U.S. luxury retail market is more nuanced. During the peak of COVID-19, Sunbelt states and cities such as Miami, saw an influx of new residents looking for warmer weather, larger spaces, and fewer COVID restrictions while their former hometowns in the North were in serious lockdowns. Part-time residents became full-time, and the traditional seasonality of the shopper evaporated.

“However, with the reopening of stores, restaurants, and schools, ‘flight’ cities like New York and Boston, which experienced a dramatic decrease in population, are now seeing residents return, along with new people moving in.

“This is driving retail growth in areas like Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Hudson Yards, and SoHo, which have resumed their place as shopping hubs for locals and visitors alike, while traditional cities like Miami are seeing a return to more traditional seasonality in consumption by the luxury goods shopper.”

How About a Glass of Champagne
When designing for luxury retail space, Ryan McNulty, Principal, Architect, MBH Architects, tells GlobeSt.com that increased cross-pollination between retail and food & beverage can play an important role.

“It’s important to keep in mind the customer’s perspective,” McNulty said. “Customers, clients, and VIPs always have a thrill when given a free glass of champagne by a sales representative.”

Many retailers started to capitalize on this experience and MBH used it for the luxury watch store Bucherer Flagship on 57th Street, creating bars on every floor.

The concourse level leveraged an illuminated stone bar to encourage interaction with their customers to foster the watch enthusiast community and present their new, certified, pre-owned offerings to an engaged client base.

The main level bar served as a lobby bar that would welcome the client into the new boutique and provide the opportunity to meet, greet, and educate the clients on Bucherer, their history, and their import to the watch community.

The second-floor bar was an opportunity to brand a service to a provider, and the bar is a branded “IWC” bar within the Bucherer space.

“This creates an avenue for clients to circulate through the entire flagship to explore all the brands as they find their way to the IWC bar, where brands can hold curated events with their VIP clients,” he said.

Simon Group Expands Luxury Options
Vicki Hanor, Senior Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Luxury Leasing for Simon Property Group, said Simon’s Copley Place is seeing incredible growth in its luxury division. In 2022 alone, it welcomed new luxury tenants including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, DIOR’s expansion to include menswear, Thom Browne, Tag Heuer and Grand Seiko.

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Atlanta Q3 Multifamily Market Insights: Rapid hiring sparks renter demand, sparks new construction


  • The third quarter was another period of operational improvement in the Atlanta multifamily market. Renter demand is being fueled by strong expansion in the local labor market.
  • Vacancy declined 10 basis points to 4.4 percent in the third quarter. The rate has retreated 10 basis points in each of the three quarters of this year and is currently at a five-year low.
  • Rent growth continued in the third quarter. Asking rents reached $1,609 per month, up 9.7 percent year over year.
  • Fewer properties changed hands in the third quarter, but prices were stable. Cap rates rose to 4.3 percent on average, after remaining below 4 percent in the first half of the year.

Read the report

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Margaret Caldwell provides insights in WMRE coverage of shopping centers increasingly appealing to investors amid rising interest rates

Margaret Caldwell –
Senior Vice President/
Managing Director

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (December 22, 2022) – The word from the recent ICSC conference in New York? Clients were “super positive” about the shopping center sector, Northmarq Senior Vice President/Managing Director Margaret Caldwell recently shared with Wealth Management Magazine. The story, titled “As Interest Rates Rise, Shopping Centers Look More Attractive to Investors,” focuses attention on neighborhood shopping centers and power centers, which rebounded strongly from the early days of the pandemic. It highlights that analysts remain bullish on the previously out-of-favor sector for investor interest in 2023 and beyond.

Before interest rates started rising in the spring and early summer, the market was “extremely strong” with no lack of investor demand, Caldwell noted. When her team put out offering demands in the early summer, they were getting more than 200 confidentiality agreements back from investors digging through deals, she said.

With interest rates rising, Caldwell told WMRE they’re getting some pushback. However, compared to multifamily, industrial or office, retail is “going to shake out to be much stronger” than those sectors because of the yields it currently offers, she notes. In November, cap rates on sales involving retail assets averaged 6.3 percent, according to MSCI Real Assets, compared to 4.7 percent on sales involving multifamily properties and 5.4 percent on industrial transactions.

“They have gone up not necessarily as much as rates have gone up, but they have increased and I think we’re going to see investors rolling out of multifamily and industrial and trying to diversify into retail (chasing) more returns,” Caldwell said. “We continue to see more investors looking to buy retail and looking to come back to retail.”

Other topics include:

  • The overall retail sector
  • Occupancy levels
  • Rents on the rise
  • Investment opportunities

Read the full story.

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Margaret Caldwell discusses opportunities stemming from Seritage asset liquidation with Wealth Management Magazine

Margaret Caldwell –
Investment Sales Broker

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (November 10, 2022) – When Sears spinoff Seritage Growth Properties begins liquidation of its assets, retail brokers and industry insiders expect strong interest paired with discounts needed to consummate transactions. The asset sale comes after shareholders approved a plan bringing additional Seritage properties to the market amid rising interest rates and a slowdown of commercial real estate deals.

While the current environment may challenging, Margaret Caldwell told Wealth Management Magazine that she expects Sertiage’s assets to garner a lot of investor interest. The majority of properties are situated in prime markets with strong population and income levels.

“There are lots of investors and developers that continue to look for opportunistic investments where they can create value,” said Caldwell. “Many of the Seritage properties provide exactly these types of opportunities—repositioning an asset, for example, through redeveloping these boxes into other uses, such as multifamily or exterior-loaded retail.”

Industrial and self-storage could also be among potential uses for those sites, according to other industry insiders.

Other topics covered include:

  • Pricing
  • Potential buyers
  • Where the assets are

Read the full story.

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Margaret Caldwell featured in Wealth Management Magazine: Retail landlords see largely pluses in the Kroger/Albertsons merger

Margaret Caldwell –
Investment Sales Broker

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (October 24, 2022) – Margaret Caldwell, investment sales broker in Northmarq’s Atlanta investment sales office, shared her insights regarding the Kroger/Albertsons merger in Wealth Management Magazine. On October 14, Kroger announced plans to purchase rival grocer Albertsons. The move, expected to close in early 2024, would bring potential revenue to $200 billion and would have a consolidated employee base of more than 700,000. The two grocers currently operate 4,996 stores, 66 distribution centers, 52 manufacturing plants, 3,972 pharmacies and 2,015 fuel centers nationwide.

The overlap and concentration of stores in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southwest and Pacific Northwest markets mean some locations might be closed. “Sales per sq. ft. will be one of the most important factors for deciding which stores to close, but the decisions will also depend on concerns about giving up market share to a competitor across the street,” said Caldwell. She also highlighted the close proximity of some Kroger and Albertsons stores on the West Coast.

Nationwide, Kroger is currently ranked second in market share at 10.2 percent. Walmart has the number one ranking and controls a 21.3 percent market share. Costco is ranked third with a market share of 7.0 percent, and Albertsons fourth with a 5.8 percent market share.

Other topics include:

  • What the merger means for competitors
  • FTC regulations
  • Opportunities in the larger CRE market post close

Read the full story.

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Atlanta Q2 Multifamily Market Insights: Consecutive Vacancy Declines Highlight Market Strength


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q2 2022
  • Multifamily operating conditions strengthened in Atlanta during the second quarter. Vacancy declined and rents rose, continuing trends that have been in place for the past few quarters. Investors responded to the improving fundamentals by increasing acquisition activity.
  • Vacancy dipped 10 basis points in the second quarter, reaching 4.5 percent. The rate has tightened in each of the past three quarters and is down 110 basis points year over year.
  • Rents rose in the second quarter, but the rate of increase was slower than in previous periods. Asking rents reached $1,557 per month at midyear, 17.5 percent higher than one year earlier.
  • Sales velocity accelerated in the second quarter, and investment activity is running ahead of the 2021 pace. Cap rates were below 4 percent on average in the second quarter but are expected to trend higher in the second half of 2022.

Read the report

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Atlanta Q1 Multifamily Market Insights: Elevated hiring activity fueling renter demand


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q1 2022
  • A rapid pace of employment growth across a wide range of industries is supporting demand for apartment properties in Atlanta. Continued improvement is anticipated, as the regional economy is forecast to post some of the country’s strongest economic expansion in 2022.
  • Vacancy inched lower in the first quarter, offsetting a modest uptick at the end of last year. The rate dropped 10 basis points to 4.6 percent to start the year. The rate has declined 100 basis points year over year.
  • The pace of rent increases accelerated during the first quarter, with asking rents jumping 4.1 percent to $1,547 per month. During the 12-month period ending in the first quarter, asking rents spiked 19.9 percent.
  • A steady pace of investment activity was recorded in Atlanta during the first quarter. The median sales price continued to push higher, reaching approximately $196,700 per unit, while cap rates averaged 4.2 percent.

Read the report

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Northmarq Atlanta strengthens its debt/equity operations with addition of Josh Darby

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (June 20, 2022) — Northmarq’s Atlanta debt/equity office recently welcomed Josh Darby, vice president, to their team. An Atlanta native, Darby has primarily worked as a lender in his career and has developed significant experience working with both commercial and multifamily properties. In the Atlanta office, he will tap into the company’s unmatched network of lending partners, as well as working in conjunction with an in-house investment sales team to deliver financing solutions for clients.

“I am very excited to hit the ground running with the Northmarq team,” explained Darby. “I was especially drawn to the company culture and the opportunity for continued growth of the platform in the southeast. The Atlanta debt and equity team, through collaboration with the investment sales platform and servicing group, works with an extensive group of lenders and does a great job for clients throughout the entire process. I cannot wait to join the team and provide the same quality service for my clients.”

Darby spent seven years in the commercial mortgage originations group at Allianz Real Estate of America, where he was most recently a director. After starting with Allianz in New York City in 2015, he moved to Atlanta to open a new office in 2017. Prior to his time at Allianz, Darby had stops at Hanover Street Capital and Aareal Capital in NYC.

“Josh made a great fit for our team and company,” said Faron Thompson, managing director. “We look forward to leveraging his previous experience and success in the industry to drive financial solutions for lenders and borrowers.”

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Atlanta multifamily sales market downshifts from ‘white hot’ to ‘hot’

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (May 15, 2022) – Like much of the rest of the country, the Atlanta multifamily market has been white-hot with strong occupancies and rent growth that is contributing to outsized returns for owners, investors and developers. Recent increases in financing costs does not mean the music is stopping, but the tempo is slowing a bit.

Atlanta’s multifamily fundamentals are still outstanding. Occupancies are holding strong and rents are continu­ing to rise. According to Northmarq’s fourth-quarter 2021 research, occupancy improved by 90 basis points while asking rents spiked by 15.9 percent at year-end.

The compelling story fueling investor interest – growing demand and limited supply or housing options – remains firmly in place. In addition, there is plenty or investor appetite and capital available for multifamily assets for both debt and equity financing. The big change that has occurred over the past several weeks is the increasing cost or debt that will likely take some or the edge off what has been an ultra­-aggressive investment sales market.

The 10-year Treasury was 1.73 percent on March 1, 2022. At the end of April, it was 2.91 percent, a 118-basis­ point increase in less than two months. Additionally, lender spreads have widened over this same period – 30 to 50 basis points on top of the Treasury widening.

The Federal Reserve introduced a quarter-basis-point increase in mid­ March and has provided guidance that it could raise rates six more times this year. At the same time, lenders are reacting to new realities, including inflation and geopolitical issues surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

One big question is how higher interest rates might impact property values and pricing. In some cases,
Northmarq’s investment sales teams arc working with sellers to lower pricing expectations. However, rising rates also have a varied impact depending on a buyer’s capital stack. Those buyers that depend on leverage at 70 percent or more to successfully buy something are the ones that are going to be the most challenged in the near term.

On the other side of the spectrum are buyers that are willing to buy all cash or with very low leverage, thus they are less impacted by higher financing rates. For example, Northmarq’s investment sales team recently closed on a North Carolina apartment property sale that traded for a 3 percent cap rate. In that case, the buyer was willing to be aggressive on price in order to complete a 1031 exchange.

Another byproduct of rising rates is that it might drive more deals to the for-sale market. Owners that have been content to sit on the sidelines and collect revenues rolling in from double-­digit rent growth over the past year may see rising financing rates as a catalyst to make a move. Northmarq’s investment sales teams are fielding a surge in BOV (broker opinion of value) requests, with Iistings up 23 percent.

Some or those properties that come to market won’t necessarily be priced to sell, but there is some incentive to at least test the market with some discretionary sales. That activity could create new opportunities for investors and lenders that are still hungry for multifamily assets.

Buyers and sellers are still in the ear­ly days of navigating the shifting rate environment in Atlanta, and in markets across the country. Deals are still trad­ing and new properties are coming to the for-sale market. However, pricing expectations are being lowered to more realistic levels. Stepping back from a “white hot” market to a “hot” market is not necessarily a negative. ln fact, it could be a positive for a sales market that was starting to look a bit like the frothy single-family housing market.

Prior to the rate increases, apartment assets that were hitting the for ­sale market were experiencing a strong run-up in pricing from competing bidders. In some cases, pricing from the first call for offers to the final round of best-and-final would move as much as 20 percent versus the more typical 2-5 percent increase. That level of hyperactivity is not sustainable.

There is some moderation that needed to come back, and we have started to see that occur with higher financing rates being the trigger to make that happen. That shift does not mean the party is over and people are heading for the exits, but the band is playing some slower dance music.

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Atlanta Q4 Multifamily Market Insights: Transaction Activity, Prices Spiked to Close 2021


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q4 2021
  • After significant strengthening in the third quarter, the Atlanta multifamily market posted more modest gains in the final few months of the year. Many of the trends achieved at the end of 2021 will likely be sustained throughout much of 2022.
  • Vacancy ticked up 10 basis points in the fourth quarter, ending 2021 at 4.7 percent. For the full year, the rate improved by 90 basis points.
  • Asking rents in Atlanta continued to rise during the fourth quarter, though the pace of growth slowed from the third quarter. Rents rose 1.3 percent during the final quarter, finishing the year at $1,487 per month. In 2021, rents spiked 15.9 percent.
  • The investment market gained momentum during the fourth quarter, with transaction activity surging and sales prices jumping. The median sales price reached $170,000 per unit through the end of 2021, while cap rates averaged around 4 percent during the fourth quarter.

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Atlanta Q3 Multifamily Market Report: Rents Spike as Supply Growth Lags Demand


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q3 2021
  • The Atlanta multifamily market posted strong gains during the third quarter, setting the stage for a healthy close to the year. Absorption has accelerated, driving vacancy lower and pushing rents higher.
  • Vacancy dropped 100 basis points in the third quarter, dipping to 4.6 percent. Year over year, the rate has fallen 70 basis points.
  • Asking rents in Atlanta spiked by nearly 11 percent, advancing nearly $150 per month to $1,467 per month. In the past year, rents have gained 15 percent.
  • The investment market continued to gather momentum in the third quarter. Activity picked up and prices rose. Year to date, the median price has surged to $156,400 per unit, while cap rates have compressed to about 4.4 percent.

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Atlanta Q2 Multifamily Market Report: Investment Activity Spikes as the Local Economy Bounces Back


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q2 2021
  • The Atlanta multifamily market improved during the second quarter. The pace of rent growth accelerated, fueled by absorption that is well ahead of last year’s pace. Vacancy held steady but should tighten in the second half, while an increasing number of properties changed hands at higher prices.
  • Vacancy has been steady in recent quarters and was 5.6 percent at the midyear point. During the past 12 months, the rate has increased 50 basis points.
  • Rents in Atlanta began to gain momentum in the second quarter, following a few quarters where rents posted only modest gains. Asking rents ended the quarter at $1,325 per month, up 3.4 percent from one year earlier.
  • The local investment market recorded a sharp rise in activity during the second quarter. Sales velocity surged and prices pushed higher. The median price to this point in 2021 is up to $144,200 per unit, while cap rates have compressed to 4.6 percent.

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Faron Thompson Featured in REBusiness Online: GSEs Ramp Up Affordable Housing Lending Efforts

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (August 3, 2021) — Faron Thompson, senior vice president/managing director of NorthMarq’s Atlanta Debt/Equity team shared his expert insights with REBusiness Online in an article titled: “GSEs Ramp Up Affordable Housing Lending Efforts.” The story traces how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in particular have gone “all-in” on loan production in the affordable sector following changes made by their regulator.

Thompson spoke on one of the positive results from FHFA’s new cap structure that the GSEs discovered through the first half of 2021: Agency lenders can be aggressive in pricing for affordable housing while still giving attractive terms for borrowers of market-rate properties.

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently determined that the 50 percent production requirement for affordable loans is nowhere near the hurdle they thought it would be,” said Thompson. “That doesn’t mean they’re going to finance luxury apartments, buy we’re not going to see them reserve their best pricing for communities that are deeply affordable. We’re seeing their best pricing come across a variety of product, whereas at the first of the year it might not have been priced to win.

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Atlanta Q1 Multifamily Market Report: Sales Velocity Gains Momentum to Start 2021


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q1 2021
  • Apartment properties in Atlanta recorded stable performance during the first quarter, with conditions likely to strengthen in the remainder of the year. Rents inched higher, and a more rapid pace of increases is likely as the local economy gains momentum.
  • After rising throughout 2020, the local vacancy rate held steady at 5.6 percent during the first quarter. Year over year, the rate is up 60 basis points.
  • Rents in Atlanta inched higher in the first quarter and are expected to gain momentum in the coming months. Asking rents ended the first quarter at $1,290 per month, up 0.3 percent from one year earlier.
  • The investment market got off to a steady start in 2021. Cap rates and prices remained nearly identical to levels recorded last year, while transaction activity in the first quarter was ahead of the pace recorded at the beginning of 2020.

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Investors are “swarming” Atlanta’s multifamily market, driving pricing up

Atlanta is a hot spot for investing in multifamily assets as the market emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The apartment market’s fundamentals, including occupancy and rent growth, have held up considerable well, making the market extremely attractive to buyers.

Because the Atlanta market has an abundance of capital looking to be deployed, prices are being driven up significantly and cap rates driven down. Multifamily has outperformed many other commercial real estate sectors during the pandemic, considered a “hot-ticket asset class” by investors, which leads to new capital swarming the Atlanta market.

Many multifamily properties are now routinely trading at a sub-4 percent cap rate, indicative of the vast amount of available capital and the confidence that investors have in the product type.

However, rather than clearing the market and searching for as many prospective buyers as they can, sellers are looking at a smaller subset of dominant, well-known investors that they know will deliver and get the transaction done. They are seeking six to 12 well-recognised, established players that can execute a deal at top prices. It is an extremely competitive process, and all buyers know they have to swing high on pricing. Oftentimes, no one broker is selected for these listings, but brokers may be asked for names of several prominent players and become somewhat of a “match-making” service. The transaction may still go through a round or two of price adjustments, but the market is convinced that everyone recognises if they are purchasing today, they have to pay top dollar. That trend is leading to a record number of off-market deals trading.

Check out the whole story, including coverage of topics such as: Full price for pre-stab product; Bridge lending heating up; COVID-19’s impact, Built-to-Rent growing; and a 2021 Outlook.

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Atlanta Q4 Market Report: A Spike in Investment Activity to Close 2020


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q4 2020
  • The Atlanta multifamily market was impacted by another year of steady supply growth as new units continued to come online as the rate of demand growth cooled. Supply and demand conditions are likely to be more closely aligned in 2021.
  • Vacancy ended 2020 at 5.6 percent, an increase of 90 basis points from one year earlier. During the fourth quarter, the rate rose 30 basis points.
  • After ticking lower in the preceding two quarters, rents rose to close the year. Asking rents recorded an annual increase of 0.5 percent in 2020, reaching $1,283 per month.
  • The investment market continued to rebound at the end of 2020. Transaction activity accelerated, prices rose, and cap rates compressed.

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Ferrell, Thompson featured in SE RE Business: Debt providers find their way

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (MARCH 17, 2021) — Nancy Ferrell, executive vice president/regional managing director – Baltimore, and Faron Thompson, regional managing director – Atlanta, were recently interviewed as part of an article in Southeast Real Estate Business titled, “Debt Providers Find Their Way.”

The story covers how pent-up demand, a result of COVID-19 clarity, provides lenders hope for a productive 2021. The prevailing sentiment from lenders regarding loan origination volume for 2021 is that it will increase as much as 11 percent (according to the MBA) compared to 2020, a year greatly impacted by the pandemic.

Other topics covered include low interest rates on the horizon, the “have and have-nots,” inflationary concerns, and what Ferrell described as an upcoming “spike in transactions.”

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Peter Chacon joins NorthMarq’s Atlanta multifamily investment sales team

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (January 27, 2021) – NorthMarq’s Atlanta office added to its investment sales team by bringing on Peter Chacon as an associate. As a multifamily specialist, Chacon will be spearheading the middle-market efforts throughout the Atlanta MSA and in adjacent markets throughout the Southeast. He will work with Managing Director – Investment Sales, Jason Nettles, and Megan Thompson, senior vice president of Investment Sales, who both joined the Atlanta office in August 2019.

“Pete brings exceptional relationships and market knowledge to our team and will be a key to our continued growth in Atlanta and the Southeast,” said Nettles.

Prior to joining NorthMarq, Chacon spent seven years with JLL, where he specialized in multifamily investment sales in Tennessee and Alabama. He was a part of the Nashville Investment Sales team, which handled more than $2.4 billion of transactional sales volume.

“I’m very excited to join the NorthMarq investment sales platform. I’m looking forward to partnering with an established team in Nettles and Thompson,” said Chacon.

Chacon holds membership with ULI Young Leaders, CCIM, and NMHC Emerging Leaders. He graduated in 2014 from San Diego State University with a BA in Economics.

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Atlanta Q3 Multifamily Market Report: Sales Activity Regained Momentum in the Third Quarter


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q3 2020
  • Operating conditions for Atlanta multifamily properties cooled slightly during the third quarter, but steady additions to the local labor market should provide stability in the market going forward.
  • Vacancy ended the third quarter at 5.3 percent, 40 basis points higher than one year ago. The rate has trended higher in recent quarters as renter demand for units has been positive but not as active as in 2019.
  • Rents have recorded modest declines in each of the past two quarters, reaching $1,276 per month as of September. Despite the recent dips, current asking rents are up 0.8 percent year over year.
  • The investment market bounced back in the third quarter with sales velocity gaining momentum and prices pushing higher. The median price year to date is approximately $116,400 per unit, while cap rates have averaged 5.1 percent.

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Open Doors Atlanta receives 2020 Community Involvement Grant from NorthMarq’s Atlanta office

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (December 18, 2020) – NorthMarq’s Atlanta office presented Open Doors with a 2020 Community Involvement Grant. The organization is a community partnership of real estate experts, developers, building owners, non-profit service providers, and funders committed to finding homes for Atlanta area residents in need of affordable housing. This partnership reduces both the number of homeless and the cost to house them by carefully screening families and individuals before placing them into available apartments across Atlanta.

“Those of us in the multifamily industry have been fortunate to participate in one of the most resilient and well-performing asset classes in the US. It’s only fitting that we find a way to give back within our industry, and Open Doors has been a leader in the Atlanta area in working to eradicate homelessness,” said Jason Nettles, managing director – investment sales.

Since 2013, Open Doors has found housing for over 8,000 homeless individuals thanks to its coordination with apartment owners and operators who have agreed to accept formerly homeless tenants into their properties. Their efforts combat the terrible numbers of homelessness in the Atlanta region, including 3,217 people without a home on any given night who have to sleep in an emergency shelter or on the street, and 719 people who are daily homeless and unsheltered/living on the street.

“The NorthMarq grant will support housing navigators who will recruit and train property managers and owners in our transformational applications and web tools to get formerly homeless Atlantans into housing faster. For thousands, this will be the difference of months, or years, on the streets or in shelters, preventing health and mental health traumas from being added to the economic violence already experienced from losing one’s home. The involvement of NorthMarq, and their prestigious client base in the Southeast, will accelerate our growth to many more diverse housing options for those most vulnerable. Money matters, but the people behind the money are just as important,” said Aaron Goldman, Chairman of the Board, Open Doors.

In the third year of NorthMarq’s Community Involvement Grant program, the company has awarded grants to 18 non-profits in 16 cities. The program solicits nominations from each local office, and had an increase of 20 percent from 2019, with a total of 18 non-profits focused on affordable housing and reducing homelessness receiving these grants in 2020.

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Atlanta Q2 Market Report: Supply and Demand Lag Levels From Recent Years


Atlanta Multifamily market report snapshot for Q2 2020
  • The Atlanta multifamily market softened slightly during the first half of 2020 with vacancy inching higher even as completions lagged levels from recent years.
  • Vacancy ended the second quarter at 5.1 percent, rising 40 basis points during the first half of the year. The local vacancy rate had been relatively flat for most of 2018 and 2019.
  • Rents are higher than one year ago but inched lower during the second quarter. Asking rents ended the second quarter at $1,281 per month.
  • Sales of multifamily properties slowed in the first half of 2020 but did not stall altogether. Activity levels were down approximately 50 percent from one year earlier. The median price was $103,100 per unit, while cap rates compressed to approximately 5.1 percent.

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Industry veteran Faron Thompson joins NorthMarq

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (April 1, 2020) – Faron Thompson, a 30-year commercial real estate industry veteran, has joined NorthMarq’s Atlanta office as regional managing director – debt and equity, where he will lead the the mortgage banking operations and advise clients on capital opportunities. Thompson is a significant originator of multifamily debt and equity across a variety of capital sources, closing nearly $5 billion in transaction volume in the last 10 years.

Previously, he was one of 40 international managing directors with JLL, where his team was named in the “Top 5 Commercial Real Estate Investment Bankers in Atlanta” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for last three years.

“Faron is highly regarded with lenders and borrowers throughout the industry, but is also a perfect fit for NorthMarq’s entrepreneurial culture. With his background building his business over the last 15 years, we are excited to have Faron lead the collaboration between debt and equity and investment sales and grow our business in the Southeast U.S.,” said Jeffrey Weidell, chief executive officer – NorthMarq.

Thompson will complement NorthMarq’s growing multifamily business in the Southeast, led by Jason Nettles, managing director – Investment Sales, Atlanta. “Faron’s expertise and deep relationships will accelerate the Atlanta office’s growth and the overall growth in the southeast region. I’m thrilled to have such a respected veteran as a partner,” said Nettles.

“Joining NorthMarq is definitely the right fit for the next stage of my career. I am energized by leadership’s emphasis on growing the platform to support clients, especially those in middle-market multifamily, which is my focus area,” said Thompson.

NorthMarq’s Atlanta office has eight debt and equity producers along with the investment sales team of Nettles and Megan Thompson, senior vice president. The company’s investment sales capabilities have grown into ten existing debt and equity offices in the last 18 months, with the central and south Florida team the most recent additions.

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Atlanta Q4 Multifamily Market Report: Employers Expanding Payrolls at a Rapid Pace


  • The Atlanta multifamily market had a strong year in 2019, and conditions were on an upswing in the fourth quarter. Renter demand is elevated, and developers are building new units to meet the demand in the market.
  • Vacancy dipped 20 basis points in 2019, ending the year at 4.7 percent. While vacancy has been mostly stable in recent periods, this was the first year since 2016 where the vacancy rate improved.
  • Asking rents rose 4.7 percent in 2019, ending the year at $1,276 per month. This marked a more modest pace of growth than has been recorded in recent years but is also an indication of the pace of expansion that is most likely in 2020.
  • The fourth quarter was a period where transaction volume closely tracked levels from the preceding quarter, but prices rose and cap rates compressed. For the year, the median price reached $118,000 per unit, while cap rates averaged 5.3 percent. During the fourth quarter, cap rates averaged just 5 percent, setting the starting point for 2020.

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Will James responds to Multi-Housing News questions on adaptive reuse

What are the best financing sources for adaptive reuse projects and why?
Non-recourse lenders (debt funds, mortgage REITS, etc.) tend to be more interested adaptive reuse given the complicated nature of these transactions.

Have these capital sources changed in the past few years? How?
Yes. In the past few years, many debt funds have entered the market, but a select few non-bank/non-life company balance sheet lenders have also entered the picture.

What makes an adaptive reuse project ‘easier’ to finance (more attractive to lenders/investors)?
There is nothing easy about adaptive reuse. Many times it includes unknown construction risks that are uncovered only after construction starts. Adaptive reuse frequently involves high profile buildings left dormant, so from this perspective lenders may gravitate to having interest but the risks are higher.

What are the particularities of financing an adaptive reuse project (versus a regular multifamily construction project)? Is it more difficult or easier to finance the conversion of a historic building? Why (not)?
Most adaptive reuse entails historic tax credits (HTC) which provide a grant, so to speak, from the federal and state tax authorities. Many times the local property tax authority will also provide a property tax abatement. How the HTC and property tax abatements interface with the value of the property are essential to a developer’s success. The property tax abatement really doesn’t provide much at the construction phase (unless there is a HUD loan involved), but usually proves valuable for the refinancing/permanent loan phase of the project.

How did interest rate volatility impact the adaptive reuse financing segment?
Adaptive reuse felt the impact of interest rate volatility no different than conventional market rate multifamily/apartments.

What are the challenges of financing adaptive reuse projects? How can these be overcome?
In most deals developer experience is key. But in some rare cases the project can be so profitable that an inexperienced adaptive reuse developer can assemble the right team to execute a complicated HTC adaptive reuse project.

Are any tax incentives for adaptive reuse projects (historical preservation, decontaminating brownfields, etc.) available in any of the markets you are active in/operate in? Tell us more about this.
Brownfields are autominous, site specific and not tied to HTC programs. A site qualifies based on known historical uses. Some ground-up construction projects will have a brownfield program. Federal historic tax credits are available in any project registered on the national historic registry and the federal program generally speaking drives the respective state program as well.

Some states are more lucrative than others where mill credits and empty building credits are applicable if a project qualifies. Others are so sporadic in their programs that it’s difficult for developers to rely on the state to routinely pass the same rules and regulations year-after-year. This means that some projects simply do not happen.

One state in particular currently does not have a 2022 program. The adjacent state’s program, however, is bankable. It’s always there, and that state’s programs are 2-2.5x times more lucrative providing developer’s ample protection to convert otherwise dormant buildings. There is a lot risk in these deals, and in all cases these programs are essential to redeveloping a building that has been dormant for decades.

Give the developer economic incentive to take the risk so the immediately surrounding area will transition increasing property, sales, hotel and other taxes. The upfront HTC investment will generate many other tax revenues for the area. Anything is better than letting an 80-year old building sit dormant.

Tell us about a recent adaptive reuse financing deal that is illustrative of current trends in this segment.
The competitive lender landscape today has made financing HTC transactions more predictable. Understanding the end value and where these historic tax credit programs provide the assistance for the developer to take the risk is key.

What are your expectations on adaptive reuse financing for multifamily in 2020?
In regards to Macro level factors, yes, more adaptive reuse projects are now viable today given where rents are in this current cycle. Class A rents topped out at $1.50 to $1.75 per square foot in the last cycle that ended in 2008, but today rents are nearly double making these projects more viable.

The other factor is the state the asset is located. Some state governments are not focused on their HTC program. One state will give you a 20-year tax abatement, but another will want full taxes phased in over a 10 year period. One state did make the program more lucrative in 2016, but it was substantially underfunded that year and subsequent years. The demand for these credits far outweighs the supply. Some politicians view these programs as windfalls for the developer. A state’s pipeline of HTC projects is the proof needed to gauge a program’s importance in the community.

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Atlanta Q3 Multifamily Market Report: As Employers Expand Local Payrolls, Renter Demand Remains Elevated


Atlanta Q3 2019 market snapshot
  • The Atlanta multifamily market had a steady third quarter. The vacancy rate inched up a modest 10 basis points, but rents rose and sales of apartment properties continued at the market’s established pace.
  • Vacancy rose 10 basis points from the second quarter, reaching 4.9 percent at the end of the third quarter. The rate is also up 10 basis points from the same period one year ago.
  • Rents posted healthy gains in the third quarter, reaching $1,266 per month. Year over year, asking rents have gained 5.8 percent.
  • Year to date, multifamily investment activity has closely tracked levels from one year ago. Nearly an identical number of properties have changed hands, and the median price of $111,600 per unit is also consistent with the 2018 median. Cap rates have compressed slightly, averaging 5.4 percent.

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Atlanta Q2 Multifamily Market Report: Job Growth in High-Wage Sectors Fueling Demand


Atlanta Q2 market snapshot
  • The Atlanta multifamily market posted steady improvement during the second quarter. The vacancy rate inched lower, while rents rose. Investment activity surged in response to the improving market performance.
  • Vacancy dipped 10 basis points from the first quarter to the second quarter, reaching 4.8 percent. The current rate is unchanged from one year ago.
  • The pace of rent growth accelerated in the second quarter. Asking rents reached $1,244 per month, up 5.9 percent year over year.
  • The multifamily investment market gained momentum during the second quarter, with transaction activity surging more than 30 percent. The median price in sales during the first half of 2019 is $110,800 per unit, with cap rates averaging approximately 5.4 percent.

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Will James joins InterFace Mixed-Use Southeast panel

Capital markets professionals put mixed-use dynamics under the microscope during InterFace panel

Will James recently joined other industry experts at the InterFace Mixed-Use Southeast panel. The event, held on August 22 at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia, attracted more than 200 attendees from numerous disciplines related to mixed-use development.

Topics covered included:

  • The interplay between the various uses present within mixed-use projects in the region
  • Equity requirements for mixed-use projects
  • A pending recession
  • The historically low interest rate environment
  • Strong competition among capital lenders

Discussing how lenders have to be careful not to overlook or make assumptions about a property type when financing mixed-use deals, James noted that “You can’t say one component is more attractive than another. Every deal is unique.”

Check out the coverage of the panel in REBusines Online.

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Atlanta multifamily market: Feels like Groundhog Day

What are the overall trends you see playing out in the Atlanta multifamily market so far this year?
It feels like Groundhog Day – still tremendous capital inflows from private and offshore capital with new investors entering the market seemingly weekly. Capital inflows, combined with very health fundamentals have put Atlanta in the spotlight in 2019.

I’ve seen recent reports pegging rent growth in Atlanta as much higher than the national average. What is driving that growth? How much room for growth is left in Atlanta before renters and investors/developers get priced out…etc?
We are benefiting from strong job growth and, uniquely to this cycle, we are seeing much of this growth in the higher-paying professional job sectors. That has driven continued demand for urban product, as those jobs have largely been concentrated in the urban sub-markets.

However, the urban sub-markets have also seen the highest number of units delivered and higher-density product has become increasingly expensive. 2019 marked a big change with construction starts moving to the suburbs in favor of the urban core. These investment flows suggest there is more runway for rent growth in the suburbs, but the urban core is performing better than many projected.

What are some areas in Atlanta or Metro Atlanta where there remain a lot of opportunities for multifamily development, redevelopment and value-add investment?
Increasing costs for land, labor and construction inputs are all stressing the underwriting for developers and value-add operators. The opportunities require creativity in design and site selection. We are seeing opportunities across the region, but the “down the fairway” deals are few and far between.

Have you seen any affect from the recent interest rate cut on the ATL multifamily market? How do you see the market being affected?
There was maybe a week or two of uncertainty with the dramatic move in the bond market, but the overall cost of borrowing is down. The Agencies are trying to pump the breaks, but by October, we will be borrowing on 2020 allocations. Overall, the lower cost of borrowing has created further cap rate compression.

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NorthMarq adds multifamily investment sales team in Atlanta

MINNEAPOLIS (AUGUST 16, 2019) – NorthMarq, a leader in commercial real estate capital markets, announces the expansion of multifamily investment sales in Atlanta with the addition of Jason Nettles and Megan Thompson. An experienced multifamily team with more than $9 billion of transaction history in the southeast U.S., they become the seventh office in NorthMarq’s expanding investment sales platform.

“The addition of this team kicks off our investment sales business in the Southeast and complements our success in the West,” said Jeffrey Weidell, president – NorthMarq. “In our constant search for talent, we are fortunate to have found another team who was attracted to our growing, privately held company.”

Nettles has more than 18 years of experience in multifamily investment sales ranging from core to value-add properties and portfolios across the Southeast. As managing director-Investment Sales, he will work to continue the expansion of NorthMarq’s multifamily investment sales business including the addtion of multifamily debt and equity producers.

Thompson, senior vice president-Investment Sales, will work with clients to advise on capitalization and disposition decisions on assets throughout the Southeast. With more than 15 years in investments sales as both a broker and an analyst, she has experience ranging from value-add to core assets.

Trevor Koskovich, president-Investment Sales, leads the platform’s growth, which started in Phoenix and now includes greater Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Dallas. He is recruiting professionals who are interested in leveraging the company’s culture and track record of debt and equity transactions. “Our goal is to develop a platform of investment sales brokers who align with our national mortgage banking and loan servicing business. Altanta marks our first along the East Coast, and we anticipate success similar to what we’ve seen in each market,” he said.

They will collaborate with NorthMarq’s debt and equity producers in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and the company’s four Florida offices, joining the 10-person debt and equity team in NorthMarq’s Atlanta office, led by Randy Wolfe, managing director/senior vice president of debt and equity.

In business since 1960, NorthMarq Capital has grown to more than 550 employees through more than 20 acquisitions, now servicing a loan portfolio of more than $57 billion with annual transaction volume of $13 billion.

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NorthMarq Capital recognizes its Analysts of the Year

MINNEAPOLIS (October 19, 2017) – Marki Shalloe, of NorthMarq Capital’s Atlanta office, and Brian Fisher, of NorthMarq Capital’s Denver office, have been named 2017 Analysts of the Year. The award was presented by NorthMarq CEO Eduardo Padilla at the company’s Analyst Conference in New Orleans held September 24-26. The award is presented to individuals who consistently provide timely, quality service that contributes to the long-term success of the company, display integrity and fairness, and are respected among coworkers and clients.

Brian Fisher was nominated for his incredible efforts over the last 12 months, during which he closed 24 transactions totaling over $562 million in debt/equity. The transactions were funded through numerous lending sources for NorthMarq, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (including six through their Green programs), correspondent life companies, local banks, credit unions and private equity sources. Fisher is described by his team and managers as “being easy to get along with and understanding that clients need accurate work produced in a timely manner—all while developing a rapport with clients.”

Marki Shalloe received her nomination in recognition of her numerous personal attributes and contributions. Shalloe is an employee who deeply cares about the company and its success. She is the epitome of enthusiasm and is a consummate team player, doing whatever needs to be done—from small office tasks, to “burning the midnight oil” to get a loan package out. Without hesitation, Shalloe will volunteer for projects and initiatives, and she continuously offers ideas for improving processes. Shalloe is extremely respected by her associates in the office, as well as the company’s borrower clients and lenders. The producers she works with trust her implicitly to handle due diligence and the closing process, and clients trust her as they know she is representing their interests.

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NorthMarq Capital’s Atlanta office welcomes new producer Bert Roberds to their team as vice president

ATLANTA (November 14, 2016) – Bert Roberds has joined NorthMarq Capital as vice president in its Atlanta-based regional office. Leveraging NorthMarq’s national platform and access to all lender types, Roberds will help clients achieve their objectives through the arrangement of debt and equity financing.

Roberds arrives at NorthMarq after being involved in commercial real estate since 2006. Most recently he served as a director in Berkadia’s Proprietary Lending Group. In this role, his responsibilities included sizing, structuring and underwriting bridge loans. Prior to his tenure at Berkadia, Roberds underwrote CMBS loans at Situs and Reliant Professional Services (formerly a subsidiary of Greystone). Having familiarized himself with the equity side of CRE as property acquisitions manager for InTown Suites, Roberds also possesses a unique understanding of real estate assets with an operating business.

“Bert is going to make an outstanding addition to NorthMarq’s Atlanta office,” said Randy Wolfe, managing director. “Our team and most importantly, our clients, will really benefit from his decade’s worth of experience in commercial real estate across numerous financing types.”

Roberds graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2005 with a BS in Management.

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Will James featured in National Real Estate Investor

Will James, vice president of debt and equity production at NorthMarq Capital’s Atlanta office, was featured in National Real Estate Investor in a story titled “Private Equity Lenders Have Increased Appetite for Bridge and Mezzanine Deals.” In the article, James notes an increase in bridge and debt deals during 2016. “It is more about debt funds this year and about private equity acting as lenders, providing equity to a debt fund. It’s another way to generate equity returns within a loan.” Read the full article here.

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NorthMarq Capital announces Randy Wolfe as managing director of its Atlanta office

ATLANTA (November 30, 2015) – The Atlanta regional office of NorthMarq Capital is proud to announce the promotion of Randy Wolfe to managing director.

In his new role, Wolfe will manage the Atlanta office’s loan production for agency lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, insurance companies and CMBS lenders that NorthMarq represents. In addition, he will oversee the office’s arrangement of joint venture/equity for various NorthMarq clients’ projects throughout the Southeast.

“Randy is a seasoned producer who has been instrumental in the growth of the Atlanta office. He has all the skills and knowledge to effectively manage and grow this office,” said William Ross, NorthMarq Capital president.

Prior to NorthMarq Capital, Wolfe accrued 30 years of industry experience, having held positions in commercial real estate lending with GE Capital Real Estate, Western Mortgage Corporation and Equitable Life Assurance Society of the U.S. He holds a BBA degree with Real Estate major from Georgia State University.

About NorthMarq Capital
NorthMarq Capital, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides debt, equity and commercial loan servicing through its 36 offices across the U.S. The company has built long-term relationships with life companies, CMBS platforms and local, regional and national banks and has a long track record of multi-family loan origination through Freddie Mac Program Plus™, the Fannie Mae DUS program and through FHA, resulting in more than $13 billion in annual production volume and a loan portfolio of more than $45 billion. For more information please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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In a changing market landscape, equity sources grow more nuanced

Many people believe equity sources are like a herd of cattle following the market in droves. On the surface, it may look like investors are all chasing the same thing; but generally, each equity source is looking for the perfect fit.

Read the full story for insight into the nuances of investment criteria among equity sources.

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Will James moderates equity panel at Bisnow’s Atlanta Capital Markets conference

ATLANTA (September 17, 2015) NorthMarq Capital Atlanta office vice president Will James moderated a panel at the Bisnow Atlanta’s Capital Markets conference titled A Real-Time Look at Debt & Equity on Thursday, September 15. The event took place in the ballroom of St. Regis Atlanta and concluded on September 17.

Along with the topic of equity, James and the panelists addressed who the key buyers are and their sweet spots, the feasibility of achieving value-add returns in secondary markets and what kinds of deal terms and structures are to be seen.

About NorthMarq Capital
NorthMarq Capital, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides debt, equity and commercial loan servicing through its 36 offices across the U.S. The company has built long-term relationships with life companies, CMBS platforms and local, regional and national banks and has a long track record of multi-family loan origination through Freddie Mac Program Plus™, the Fannie Mae DUS program and through FHA, resulting in more than $13 billion in annual production volume and a loan portfolio of more than $45 billion. For more information please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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In a changing market landscape, equity sources grow more nuanced

To follow or not follow the masses
Many people believe equity sources are like a herd of cattle following the market in droves. On the surface, it may look like investors are all chasing the same thing; but generally, each equity source is looking for the perfect fit.

Today one consistent fact for sources of equity is apartments. This sector makes up approximately 50% of all commercial real estate. Retail, office and industrial total 45%, and hotels comprise the remaining 5%. It’s only natural that apartments will always represent a larger segment of the market, and when retail, office and industrial have been so inactive in recent years the view of the real estate equity market is basically “all things apartments.”

Both empty nesters and young professionals are influencing the apartment market
The reality is that we are only four to five years into this new cycle, and what took 10 years to create will take 10 years to reposition (with a three- to four-year discovery period in the middle). It took the U.S. about eight to 10 years to drive our home ownership rate from its 63% historical norm to its 70% high point. We have now reached the historical norm of the low 60% range, but in all sincerity the apartment sector has at least another four (maybe six) years remaining before a correction would be feasible.

Additionally, the demand for apartments today is driven by two segments of our population: baby boomers (who are living and working longer) are downsizing and echo boomers renting rather than buying. Never before have we seen two segments of our population driving the apartment sector. In past apartment cycles, it’s always been young professionals driving new apartments. But today we have both young professionals and empty nesters who want the convenience of apartment living without the yard and hefty mortgage.

Continued growth ahead
It appears the apartment growth will continue, allowing today’s investors to carve out niches in the apartment investment strategy. No longer is the motto “buy anything and everything.” The new motto is “invest into certain segments of the market.” Aside from the Core Plus, Value Add and Opportunistic risk profile, investors are dissecting these risks into even more specific characteristics today. The range of criteria goes from nine-foot ceilings to newer than 1990s or 2000s.

Ground-zero locations take off amid nuanced interpretation
“Location, location, location” has long been the calling card for developers. A term relevant to today’s market derived from this phrase is “ground-zero” location.  Ground-zero refers to a property on Main and Main in the commercial business district, or is it Main and Main in the suburbs across from a Fortune 500 corporate office park, or across from a hospital, university, or bank call center.

There is discussion among experts whether ground-zero locations must have a certain unit size or unit mix, and some will even go so far as to say no ground-floor retail. Many sources today are identifying these very small nuances they have grown to understand and target these investments for the most part.

The economic recovery is spreading beyond the gateway cities
While gateway cities typically dominate the institutional investor’s attention, they are now looking to second- and even third-tier cities for investment opportunities. It may appear they are chasing yield, but in reality, the recovery is finally spreading to these smaller cities and investors know it. There are better returns in these markets. Gauging how much of the overall profit is cash flow versus residual sale profits is the difference between a gateway city investment versus a tertiary market investment.

When you consider that every equity source has an allocation issue, or timing issue, or staffing issue, or just plain-too-busy issue, one thing becomes abundantly clear. Staying in front of your equity source, maintaining a relationship with them and showing them opportunities that make sense to them is the key to raising equity in today’s market.

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NorthMarq Capital’s Atlanta office welcomes new vice president and investment analyst to its team

ATLANTA (September 10, 2015) – The Atlanta office of NorthMarq Capital is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Will James and Claude Scarborough. The two transitioned to NorthMarq after having worked together at JW Realty Capital for many years.

James joins the company as a vice president, with experience in the commercial mortgage banking industry since the late 1990s. James’ transaction experience also includes work at HFF and BridgePointe Advisors, with a focus on equity and structured finance transactions.

Scarborough joins NorthMarq as an investment analyst with a focus on structured finance, including complex transactions in retail, for rent and for sale residential, and office transactions.

“We are thrilled to have Will and Claude join the Atlanta office production team,” said Bruce Foster, managing director of NorthMarq’s Atlanta office. “Given their experience in structured finance, we believe Will and Claude will assist in the growth of the Atlanta office’s production.”

About NorthMarq Capital
NorthMarq Capital, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides debt, equity and commercial loan servicing through its 36 offices across the U.S. The company has built long-term relationships with life companies, CMBS platforms and local, regional and national banks and has a long track record of multi-family loan origination through Freddie Mac Program Plus™, the Fannie Mae DUS program and through FHA, resulting in more than $13 billion in annual production volume and a loan portfolio of more than $45 billion. For more information please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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Johnny Rankin Joins NorthMarq Capital as Vice President of Atlanta Office

MINNEAPOLIS (March 31, 2014) – Johnny Rankin has joined NorthMarq Capital as vice president of its Atlanta-based regional office.

In his new position, Rankin is responsible for the cultivation of new lending relationships and the origination, structuring, placement and closing of debt and equity financing for clients. He has 18 years of experience in residential and commercial real estate and real estate finance. Rankin earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Georgia and an M.S. degree in real estate development from Columbia University.

He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Georgia and affiliated with numerous industry organizations including the Urban Land Institute, NAIOP and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

“We are delighted to have Johnny join our production team in Atlanta,” said Bruce Foster, managing director of NorthMarq’s Atlanta office. “Given his background and personality, we believe Johnny will be very successful in this business.”

About NorthMarq
NorthMarq, the largest privately held commercial real estate financial intermediary in the U.S., provides mortgage banking and commercial loan servicing in 34 offices coast to coast. With more than $10 billion in annual production volume and servicing a loan portfolio of more than $42 billion, the company offers expertise to borrowers of all size. The company has a long track record of multi-family financing as a Freddie Mac Program Plus™ Seller-Servicer, and through its affiliation with Fannie Mae DUS lender AmeriSphere Multifamily Finance. In addition, NorthMarq has long loan production and loan servicing relationships with over 50 life companies, many CMBS platforms and hundreds of local, regional and national banks. For more information, please visit northmarqcap.wpengine.com.

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