Greg Wilson

ORLANDO—Greg Wilson, a director of multifamily services for Colliers International in Orlando, has plenty of reasons why he thinks it’s a seller’s market in his neck of the woods. In part one of this exclusive interview, he gave GlobeSt.com three of those reasons. Here are the next three:

4. Rental Rates Will Continue to Increase
The Orlando multifamily market—which Colliers reports is about 25% class A, 53% class B, and 22% class C properties—has seen an increase in rental rates that Wilson expects to continue. “In the last six months, the overall average rental rates for all classes of property have increased approximately 3.1%, from $877 per unit to $906 per unit,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “As net absorption continues, over the next 12 months we expect market rents to increase between 3.5% to 4.9%.”

5. Increasing Values Shifts Focus to Value-Add Multifamily Properties
Wilson says Orlando multifamily is following the national sales trend of decreasing cap rates and increasing property values. Prices per unit are on the rise, even for class B and class C products. “Orlando-area class A multifamily properties are being sold at near-all-time low cap rates—at an average of 5.83%—so many investment groups have shifted to pursuing value-add properties, anticipating a greater return on investment.”

6. Foreign Investors Seize Opportunities
Finally, Wilson reports that multifamily sellers in Central Florida are benefiting from foreign investment activity. Thanks to Disney World, he explains, more than 55 million visitors in 2012 alone made Orlando one of the most popular U.S. cities for domestic and international travelers, and Orlando remains on their radar when investing in the U.S.

“We are seeing that international investors prefer to close transactions with cash,” Wilson says. “The majority of recent investment activity is coming from Canada, Israel, and Brazil. We expect investors from outside the U.S will purchase many of the approximately 60 multifamily properties currently available in the Central Florida market.”