Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Developers Remain Bullish on Rentals

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Developers Remain Bullish on Rentals

Article excerpt

WHIPPANY -- Real estate executives remain bullish on the market for apartment dwellings in North Jersey next year; however, some predicted that rent increases could stabilize and the best opportunities could be in older buildings, not new luxury properties.

"Multifamily remains the darling of all the banks," said Robert Holland, president and co-managing director of Kislak Co. in Woodbridge.

Holland was a speaker during one of the panels Thursday at the fourth annual New Jersey Apartment Summit, which attracted about 350 attendees to Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Commercial real estate developers and executives from financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase and Prudential Mortgage Capital spoke about the outlook for multifamily properties, a booming commercial real estate sector across the nation, as well as North Jersey.

At the conference, panelists said they saw no end soon to the appetite of investors to develop and buy multifamily housing in North Jersey, particularly the Hudson River Gold Coast and Jersey City. With interest rates on other investments low, and real estate prices soaring in Manhattan, the apartment sector has proved an alluring alternative for investors.

In addition to domestic buyers, "an abundance of capital" is coming to the Garden State from China, Canada, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East and Australia, said Marc Schulder, managing director of Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group.

"Capital is pouring in from all over the world," said another panelist, George Vallone, the founder of urban redeveloper Hoboken Brownstone Co.

The fierce competition for the limited amount of multifamily properties for sale, and the limited amount of vacant land in North Jersey, has driven up prices for apartment buildings, several panelists said.

"Finding new deals and new land is always challenging," said Bryan Oos, vice president of development for luxury home builder Toll Brothers Inc.

JPMorgan has made a string of acquisitions in North Jersey and got a foothold in the hot Hoboken multifamily market by purchasing the Curling Club Apartments, said Drew DeWitt, an acquisitions officer at JPMorgan Global Real Assets. …

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