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"Market Forecast '99 - Sales"

Originally appeared inNM Apartment Report
Market Sales - 1994-1998 100+ Units- Long considered the bastion of large national institutions, pension funds, and REIT's, 1997 and 1998 demonstrated that non-profit's may have the true advantage in the larger communities. Sales of Topke Commons, the Arbors, Solar Villa, and Brentwood. 1998 was also the year of the high rise, with Landmark selling to AIMCO (REIT) in an exchange for OP units, and the decrepit Towers selling to Pinnacle (Private) in an aggressive rehabilitation program. Both communities are 6 stories or larger, and represent 40% of the "high rise" market in Albuquerque. Condition is everything, which explains the almost two-fold difference in price between the two communities. 50to99 Units- 1031 exchanges, disassembly of a medium size product to fourplexes, and conversion to condominiums represents 80% of the sales in this product type since 1997. 20to49 Units- Buyers in this arena were widely diverse from bottom feeding local investors, national 1031 exchangers relocating to NM, non-profits, and small "mom and pop investors". 5to19 Units- This arena is the exclusive domain of the smaller investor, who is producing new sales with direct exchanges, seller financing, and some new loans. Duplexes/Triplexes/Fourplexes - Sales in the arena are split on a 70/30 basis between local investors and owner-occupants. Unlike most regional markets, declining sales in this arena since 1994 (reflecting a strong stock market), have created a "trickle-up" effect, providing larger product owners (5to99 units), with a limited audience of potential purchasers. Forecast 100+ units - look for at least 12 sales totaling 2,000 units with the potential for over 3,500 units in sales - making 1999 the hottest unit for sales since the early 1990's. 50+ units - Sales in this arena have always been a lackluster 2 to 3 (except for 1996 which witnessed no sales). The combination of 20 to 49 unit range shows movement, more regional investors buying this product, and increasing interest by non-profits could make this a banner year with 6+ sales. 20 to 49 units - as the smaller units start to move, look for those owners to convert their product into this range with the number of sales increasing from 2 to 10+, with a decrease in the average price per unit, reflecting declining occupancies and rents. 5 to 19 units - As fourplex owners move their current product, look for a majority of them to 1031 exchange into this product range increasing lackluster 13 sales to 25+. Duplexes/Triplexes/Fourplexes - volatility in the stock market, political uncertainty, low interest ranges, and a realistic price adjustment by owners will most likely push sales in the arena to an all-time high. Obviously, the 1999-2000 forecast is optimistic, and a reflection buoyed interest in apartments by investors both large and small.

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by Todd Clarke CCIM (www.nmcomreal.com/nmcomreal)
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