NMHC 50 List Highlights Unrelenting Nationwide Demand for Apartments


Washington, D.C – April 7, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — Record renter demand continues to fuel apartment industry growth, as evidenced in the National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) newly released 2016 NMHC 50, the authoritative ranking of the country’s largest apartment owners, managers, developers and contractors. This year’s lists showed many of the industry’s heaviest hitters shoring up their positions and balancing their portfolios as both new and smaller industry players looked to aggressively capture market momentum and move up the ranks.

Topline takeaways:

Alden Torch Financial (headquartered in Denver, Colo.) takes home the title of this year’s largest apartment owner. The company was founded last year in a management buyout agreement with Hunt Companies, which had been the top apartment owner for the previous two years.

Greystar Real Estate Partners (headquartered in Charleston, S.C.) remains at the top of the manager list after adding 20,600 units to its portfolio and becoming the first property manager to break the 400,000-unit threshold.

Alliance Residential Company (headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz.) holds the top developer spot for the second consecutive year with 7,765 units started in 2015. Alliance also moved into the top general contractor position this year.

“The apartment industry continued its bull run in 2015, as demand for both apartment homes and apartment properties intensified,” said Mark Obrinsky, NMHC’s Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Economist. “Big transactions were more common than usual, causing some noteworthy changes in the NMHC 50 rankings.”

Five multi-billion-dollar portfolio sales led industry consolidation, pushing several companies off the list and reshuffling others. The largest transaction was Lone Star Funds’ purchase of Home Properties for $7.2 billion, followed by Clarion’s buyout of Gables Residential, Brookfield Asset Management’s buyout of Associated Estates, and Blackstone’s purchase of part of Greystar Real Estate Partners’ portfolio.

As large-scale investors take bigger positions in the industry, this trend is fueling the growth of third-party asset management services. For the third consecutive year, the number of apartments in the NMHC 50 managers’ portfolio exceeded the number collectively controlled by the top apartment owners. Top owners had a combined portfolio of more than 2.8 million apartment homes, compared with nearly 3.1 million units for the top managers—an all-time high. Managers also collectively topped owners for the top firm’s unit count, minimum threshold for inclusion on the list, and mean portfolio size. However, owners had a larger median portfolio size.

Additional industry and NMHC 50 highlights:

  • 10.8 million – Growth in the number of renter households from 2005 to 2015, according to the Census Bureau.
  • 260,000 – Absorption of apartments, which is 82 percent higher than the average since 2000, according to MPF Research.
  • 384,400 – Starts in multifamily buildings with at least five units, also the highest level in 28 years with more than 90 percent being apartment homes (versus condos), according to Census.
  • $150 billion – Total value of apartment transactions in 2015, which was a new record high at almost one-third more than the previous year’s record high, according to Real Capital Analytics.
  • 1.2 million – Total number of apartment units sold in 2015, which is another record, according to Real Capital Analytics.
  • 3,046,557 – Number of apartment homes managed by the 50 largest apartment property managers. This represents a 3.6 percent growth over last year and gain of 27.8 percent from a decade ago.
  • 60,931 apartments – Mean portfolio size for top managers, an all-time high. Managers’ median portfolio size of 46,333 apartments was also a record.
  • 38 – Number of management firms that increased their portfolios.
  • 2.8 million – Number of apartment homes collectively owned by the 50 largest apartment firms. This represents approximately 14.3 percent of the U.S. apartment stock.
  • 200,000 – The number of apartments by which the top managers’ combined portfolio eclipsed that of the top owners.
  • 4 – Number of firms to debut on the NMHC 50 owners list: Denver, Colo.-based Alden Torch Financial, LLC (No. 1), Madison, N.J.-based Prudential Real Estate Investors (No. 28), Starwood Capital Group (No. 30), Franktown, Colo.-based Monarch Investment and Management Group (No. 41).
  • 7 – Number of new  companies on the NMHC 50 managers list: Philadelphia, Pa.-based GoldOller Real Estate Companies (No. 30), Irvine, Calif.-based Steadfast Companies (No. 34), Atlanta, Ga.-based Cortland Partners, LLC (No. 41), McLean, Va.-based Kettler Management (No. 44), Orlando, Fla.-based ZRS Management, LLC (No. 45), Franktown, Colo.-based Monarch Investment and Management Group (No. 48), Alpharetta, Ga.-based Pegasus Residential (No. 50).

NMHC partners with Kingsley Associates, a leading real estate research and consulting firm for the NMHC 50’s research and analysis. All apartment owners, managers, developers, and contractors are invited to answer a survey questionnaire that asks about their prior year activities. Apartment owners and managers are ranked based on their portfolio holdings (either owned or managed) as of January 1, 2016, while developers and general contractors are ranked based on the number of units started in 2015.

For more details about the NMHC 50, visit www.nmhc.org/The-NMHC-50

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