Top Apartment Firms Ranked by NMHC

HOUSTON – (By Dale King, Realty News Report) – The nation’s multifamily housing industry made it through coronavirus-racked 2020 in pretty good shape, reports the National Multifamily Housing Council’s just-released 2021 NMHC 50, the sector’s chief ranking of the nation’s largest apartment owners, managers, developers, builders and syndicators.

As the market moved into 2021, and continues its trek toward midyear, NMHC says the trade “remains a stable and attractive sector,” notwithstanding the exceptional circumstances created by the global pandemic.

The report does note that Asset Living, a property management firm based in Houston bucked the “stability” trend and managed to jump from 14thplace to 5thplace in the council’s ranking for the 50 largest multifamily managers. Asset Living soared upward last year to begin 2021 as the fifth best among NMHC’s top 50. The report says Asset Living, which operates in 40 states and has corporate offices in seven, manages 103,063 properties, compared to 71,679 properties in 2020.

“It’s an honor to make the list as one of the top five property management firms in the nation,” said Asset Living CEO and President, Ryan McGrath. “This was a concerted effort across the entire organization and one that comes at a time when we’re celebrating 35 years of service to our residents and clients.”

The new ranking sets a record for Asset Living in terms of size and growth achieved as the firm now has more than 100,000 units under management.

McGrath said much of Asset Living’s success “can be attributed to the strategic acquisitions expanding the firm’s portfolio in multifamily and affordable housing, single-family home rentals and senior housing divisions while still focusing heavily on organic growth within the student housing vertical.”

In the last two years, Asset Living grew by more than 60 % in total units under management, expanded to 109 new cities, and increased staff by more than 50%. In recent months, Asset Living acquired three different organizations, including Poetic, a digital focused creative agency; Shelton Residential, an Arizona-based property management firm and Alpha Barnes Real Estate, a Dallas-based property management company.

Other firms specializing in multifamily operations and construction changed little from last year. However, Houston-based Hanover Co.slipped from 16thplace to 23rdplace among NMHC’s top 25 builders. The report says the firm started construction of 2,344 units in 2020, around 700 fewer than the 3,064 units it started building in 2019.

“Before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the related economic weakening, the multifamily industry and the sector’s fundamentals were as healthy as they had been in years,” says the council’s report.

“However, the onset of the pandemic led to the worst economic disruption in decades. With stay-at-home orders, eviction moratoriums and other difficulties, the industry faced immediate market deteriorations.”

During 2020, though, investors “returned from the sidelines, reflecting both confidence in the industry’s long-term fundamentals and a positive outlook for the apartment industry going forward.”

One Houston firm placed in two categories. Camden Property Trust, led by Ric Campo, was ranked 16th(down from 15tha year earlier) among the top 50 apartment owners. It currently boasts ownership of 56,850 units, up from 56,107 a year earlier.

The same firm ranks 28th(down from 26th) in the category of largest managers. The firm manages the abovementioned apartments.

Houston has seen heavy construction in recent years.

Top Apartment Firms Ranked by NMHC

The NMHC’s report places the following at the top in each category:

  • MAA, headquartered in Germantown, Tenn., stayed atop the list of the country’s largest apartment owners with 100,490, breaking the 100,000-unit mark for the third consecutive year.
  • Greystar Real Estate Partners, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., ranked Number 1 in two categories. It remained the largest apartment manager with 669,137 apartments under its management, more than triple the next firm on the list. The firm also took the top spot of largest apartment developer with 8,525 apartments started in 2020.
  • Summit Contracting Group, Inc., headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., kept its spot as the country’s highest-producing apartment builder, starting 9,159 apartments in 2020, about 1,400 more units than the next builder on the list.

Boston Financial Investment Management, LP (headquartered in Boston, Mass.) rose from 8thplace in 2020 to become the nation’s largest apartment tax credit syndicator with 186,785 apartments syndicated in 2021.

Additional industry and NMHC 50 highlights include:

  • 2,318,732 – Number of total units owned by NMHC 50 top owners, representing 9.9 percent of the total U.S. apartment stock.
  • 3,899,797 – Number of units collectively managed by NMHC 50 top managers.
  • 6 percent – 2020 apartment occupancy rate according to RealPage, down only 20 bps from the previous year.
  • 364,600 – Number of apartments completed in 2020 according to the Census Bureau.
  • $138.7 billion – Total multifamily transaction volume in 2020 according to Real Capital Analytics.

“Despite initial fears, the multifamily sector experienced a sharp rebound after the second quarter,” said Caitlin Sugrue Walter, vice president of research for NMHC. “That positive trend continues today as shown by growth in deal flow. The recovery is not yet complete, but the industry is well-placed for a strong 2021.”

April 27, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021

For more about Texas real estate, check out the book Houston 2020: America’s Boom Town – An Extreme Close Up  by Ralph Bivins. Available on Amazon 

File: Top Apartment Firms Ranked by NMHC

Image: Courtesy D’Agostino Companies

File: (2) Canden Property Trust. Asset Living. Hanover. Top Apartment Firms Ranked by NMHC.  Greystar.

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