Technology features andaffordable housing investment will be among the top trends inmultifamily next year. Apartment investors are seeing increasingdemand for in-unit technology features, like security systems andkeyless locks, that can be operated from their personal smartphone. Likewise, the increasing supply and development of high-endclass-A apartment buildings and the supply demand imbalances inhousing have created substantial investment opportunities forrental product that is moderately priced.

While in-unit tech features have been available, tenants are nowstarting to demand them. “Technology continues to be important,”Mitch Siegler, senior managing director ofPathfinder Partners, tells “We'reseeing more properties with smart home features likeelectronic/keyless locks, camera/security systems, electronicthermostats, which can be operated from a smartphone. Adoption ofthese features is accelerating and many features, which arebecoming standard in new homes are also migrating toapartments.”

For affordable housing, there is a limited supply of moderatelyprices housing options, particularly in Southern California.Value-add investors see a particularly attractive opportunities inthis niche, because they have the experience to renovate andredevelop older apartment stock. “We believe there is a continuedneed for more affordable housing options,” adds Siegler. “There isa significant disconnect on the price that a new apartment coststoday to build or buy and the pricing for 1970's and 1980's-vintageprojects, which can typically be acquired for well belowreplacement cost.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.