'I feel like we're at the bottom': Fort Worth's multifamily market remains choppy, likely to remain slow into the new year
Going forward, transaction volume will fall, in part, because there isn't as much new product that needs to sell.
The Fort Worth multifamily market will likely remain choppy early in 2023, but once volatility clears buyer, seller and lender participation should pick back up. 'It's not going to be a snapback, and this time next year we're all high fives and cheering.' However, deals have slowed significantly, and transaction volume and new development will likely remain low into early 2023. Kile expects new project volume to slow in the new year, he said, dipping down to levels seen before the pandemic. Going forward, transaction volume will fall, in part, because there isn't as much product that needs to sell. At the same time, lenders are carrying construction loans longer than they normally would. Supply chains remain snarled, pushing out the time it takes to get projects completed. 'The government is requiring a little bit more capital reserve for those, so they just don't have the money to put out on the next new deal.' You've got a handful of deals in the core, you've got a handful of suburban deals in markets like north Fort Worth, Mansfield and Arlington. The Mid-Cities are continuing to see methodical growth. The market can easily absorb the units that are being delivered. Is it at a slower growth rate than it has been? There are some markets that will likely see truly negative year-over-year rent growth next year, but they were also some of the boom markets that have been off the charts. Those were just generally better capitalized owners. Lower leverage, more conservatively underwritten. Operationally, they're also holding up very well... The average 70s or 80s, value-add property was probably around 80% leverage. Almost all of those were floating rate loans, and that you usually had to buy caps on. A lot of those caps were one to three years. If the SOFR curve remains high and you've got to replace that two year cap with the next cap, that cost is still very expensive. That cap today would be $1.9 million. These smaller, syndicated deals don't necessarily have the ability to go raise the money to go buy that next cap. Have they executed a business plan well where they are in a position they could still exit and make money? A lot of them will be in that position. There's a potential that there's going to be some that purchased in late '21 or early '22 that haven't had the chance to execute their business plan yet or they were undercapitalized. There could be issues where they are going to have to exit the asset or maybe exit the asset at a loss depending on how they're structured. That'll be limited and almost exclusively be in ... class B and C product. I don't think it's going to be like this year, where it went from really hot to really cold. It's going to take a while before it warms back up, meaning that everyone's going to have their guard up. A lot of people are just on pause right now.