January 22, 2019
John Williams, President and CIO of Avanath Capital Management, shares a few thoughts leading up to next month’s ULI National Housing Opportunity gathering in Newport Beach, CA. He looks at what’s ahead for the year, touches on a few of the in-demand services and amenities, as well as investors’ and developers’ views on affordable housing.
Q: What trends can we expect to see in affordable housing in 2019?
A: We will begin to see more services and amenities introduced into affordable communities. This follows the trend of improved amenities in market-rate communities, as well as in just about every other sector of real estate.
Affordable communities will also become nearly indistinguishable from market-rate housing in terms of their physical appearance and structure, finishes and curb appeal. The goal is to incorporate affordable housing seamlessly into the fabric of the general community, and create product that is attractive, well-kept, and a point of pride for residents.
Several panels at ULI’s National 2019 Housing Opportunity conference next month in Newport Beach will be addressing the topic of emerging trends in affordable housing, where both myself and our Founder, Daryl Carter, will be speaking.
Q: What types of services and amenities will be introduced to affordable housing this year?
A: There is strong demand for health services to be on site and readily available to residents in affordable communities, particularly senior communities. We are exploring adding health and wellness clinics to one of our Maryland-based senior assets, which will offer preventative health services like flu shots and annual checkups to residents of the community.
Naturally, there is a demand at affordable-housing communities for the same amenities you would typically find in market-rate communities, such as fitness centers, pools, outdoor gathering areas, and dog parks, among others.
We always take a holistic approach to our properties integrating these types of amenities, as well as programs that improve quality of life for residents such as after-school programs, kids basketball programs, financial literacy and many others.
Q: How are investors’ and developers’ attitudes toward affordable housing expected to change in 2019?
A: We expect to see increased interest in affordable-housing development and investment, as the tax benefits of Opportunity Zone legislation encourage investors and developers to channel capital into underserved areas of the country. Interested parties are continuing to ask for clarification on the benefits and restrictions of this new legislation, but once the smoke clears, we will most likely see this legislation fuel strong affordable-housing activity that will certainly go to benefit those areas.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser