Daily Archives: April 5, 2013

Appeal of Renting Versus Owning is Changing

By Donna Kimura - MultiFamilyExecutive.com

The appeal of renting versus owning a home is changing across the country, according to a new study commissioned by the MacArthur Foundation.

On the heels of the housing crisis, 54 percent of survey respondents say renting a home has become more appealing. By nearly the same percentage, 57 percent, respondents believe that buying has become less appealing.

Even though there are positive signs that the housing market has rebounded, the public clearly remains nervous. In fact, 77 percent believe the nation is still in the midst of the housing crisis or the worst is still to come.

The study by Hart Research Associates examines how American attitudes have been transformed by the housing market collapse and changing lifestyles.

Even as attitudes shift, more than seven out of 10 people still aspire to own their own home.

In the past, homeownership and renting were seen more as a zero-sum game, says Rebecca Naser, senior vice president at Hart Research.

“It’s a new way of looking at housing in general,” she says. “You can still aspire to own a home but still see renting in your future.”

In another finding, the study reveals that the public favors a balanced housing policy. Sixty-five percent believe that housing policy should be equally split on ensuring people have access to rental housing and houses to own.

“It is stunning to see how Americans are beginning to favor a new balance that serves both the homeownership and rental markets,” says Peter Hart, chairman emeritus of Hart Research. “The emergence of this more balanced view that government support for rental housing and homeownership should be equalized is both surprising and significant. The How Housing Matters survey underscores that it’s no longer renters versus owners, the haves versus the have-nots, or the young versus the old. There is a new and real acceptance of a more balanced approach to housing policy that puts renting and owning on a more equal footing.”

Other findings of the survey include:

  • 45 percent of respondents have experienced a time when their housing situation was insecure or unstable;
  • 45 percent of current owners can see themselves renting at some point in the future; and
  • Roughly seven in 10 believe that government policies “ensuring that more people have decent, stable housing that they can afford” leads to a major positive impact on the safety and economic well-being of neighborhoods, children’s ability to do well in school, and family financial security.

For more, visit www.macfound.org.

Win-Win Decisions

by John C. Maxwell

College basketball fans turn their attention each spring to March Madness, otherwise known as the NCAA Tournament. It’s a hoop-junkie’s dream come true – four weeks of “win-or-go-home” basketball featuring the best teams in the land. But what if they didn’t keep score? What if they just played for fun? It doesn’t work that way in athletics, and it seldom works that way in the professional world. We set goals, we measure results and, ultimately, we win or go home depending upon how well we do against the competition.

So when we’re making key decisions as leaders, it can seem counter-intuitive to filter outcomes with the question that I’m going to recommend: Is this mutually beneficial? I love competition, but every deal shouldn’t end with an “I won, you lost” outcome. In fact, I’m convinced that it’s possible – and profitable – to consistently make mutually beneficial decisions with the people and organizations that work with and around us.

Here’s why it’s worth the effort:

1. It adds value to others.
This is a personal value of mine and a value of the organizations that I lead. It requires that we start every day and every discussion and every decision-making process with objective of helping others improve.  All too often, people go into a meeting or a negotiation asking, “What can I get from them? What’s in it for me? How can I sneak something by them?” Wouldn’t it be terrible to spend day after day driven by the tactics of manipulation? When you’re done, you can say, “I won and you lost.” But then what? You go back to life. You’ve got to go back to why we’re here. And we are our brothers’ keepers. That’s what we’re here to do. And to lighten someone else’s load is a very noble cause.

2. It compounds influence, effectiveness and results.
When you come to the table with the attitude of helping and serving others, you immediately compound the influence, effectiveness and results of everyone involved, whether it’s two people, a group of people or multiple organizations.  We experienced this not long ago when working with the Christian Broadcasting Network. I was representing EQUIP, our non-profit ministry, at a meeting with the leaders of CBN. Because we went into the meetings looking to make mutually beneficial decisions and not just bottom line issues like funding, we discovered ways to make each other better. They needed training for their leaders, which I unconditionally agreed to provide. And their equipment, technology and experience will help us lower production costs for things like DVD’s that we use for the ministry.

3. It strengthens relationships.
You’ve probably heard the expression; “It’s lonely at the top.” Well, I want to go to the top, but I have no desire to go alone. If you’re alone at the top, you’re probably not a leader, anyway. Who are you leading other than yourself? Leaders take people on the journey with them. They help take others to the top.

Relationships are important, and mutually beneficial decisions strengthen relationships.

When you have the heart and desire to add value to people and you long as a leader to pour into other people’s lives first, then you begin to add value to them and you begin to lift them to a higher level. The benefits are compounded and relationships are strengthened. When that happens, the score really doesn’t matter. Everybody wins.

Top Tier Markets, and Assets, See Slower Rent Growth

By Linsey Isaacs - MultiFamilyExecutive.com

The top-tier assets are seeing a slowdown in rent growth, while a trickle-down effect has given Class C assets a big boost.

Rent growth for Class C properties is increasing nationally at an average of 4.3 percent, while Class A rents grew 3.2 percent, down from 4.9 percent a year ago, a new Axiometrics report shows.

And the top-tier metros are starting to slow as well. Boston and San Francisco rent growth rates are both below the national average after consistently ranking in the top tier for the last two years.

Boston’s rent growth rate decreased during the first quarter of 2013 falling to 2.9 percent this February, down from 15.9 percent a year ago. In San Francisco, the biggest decline occurred in Class A properties, with rents 2.5 percent lower this year compared to last year. But Class C assets in San Francisco are seeing the opposite: their revenue growth rates increased 12.1 percent.

Rent growth across all metros and asset types remained steady in February at about 3.5 percent, the lowest rate since August 2010.

Nationally, occupancy is strong at 94 percent, up 35 basis points from last year, and is expected to increase to 94.9 percent by the end of the year.