Mike Stein

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MIAMI—Mike Stein, principal and founder of Miami-based PensamResidential, believes there is a lot of capital looking to bedeployed in the multifamily space, keeping the sector vibrant in2020.

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"From a transactional volume standpoint, it will be a veryactive year in terms of both acquisitions, as well as structuredfinance, which are both integral parts of our business," Steintells GlobeSt.com.

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High-growth markets in the Southeast will see high rent growth.Other areas seeing growth include Dallas, Phoenix and Denver.However, he sees other markets with a tremendous supply that willlikely be flat to negative in terms of rent growth. He citesHouston as an example.

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Stein says Pensam will be active this year in markets where thefirm has had success over the past five years. This includesFlorida and the Denver areas. Four years ago the firm bought TheBreakers on the east side of Denver, the largest multifamilycommunity in Colorado with 1523 units. Pensam has since changed itsname to Tava Waters, and plans on some ground-up development onadjacent land it purchased. When the project is complete, thecommunity will have nearly 2,000 units.

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In Florida, in-migration continues to drive demand formultifamily. Stein says people looking to escape high-tax statessuch as New York and Connecticut are heading south. Within Florida,Pensam primarily focuses on the south and central regions.

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"We are benefitting from a lot of in-migration," he says.

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While new restrictions and regulations have resulted in somepullback of foreign capital in primary markets, Stein doesn't seethat happening to a significant degree in multifamily.

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"There's been pullback in major urban areas in other producttypes, particularly office and hospitality," he says. "In terms ofmultifamily, the influx of international capital is so diverse,coming from South America, Mexico, Canada, Israel, Europe andAustralia. I don't see any slowdown, at least in 2020."

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Stein says Pensam by nature and by culture is a niche-orientedinvestor and lender. The firm has made some large investments intothe non-acuity senior housing business. He says that's aninteresting niche that the firm will continue to pursue.

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