Deaton Investment Real Estate & The Wake County Apartment Association

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rent vs. Buy Data

According to this data from the Economix blog of the NY Times, it makes more economic sense to rent in Raleigh, rather than purchase a home. If this is true, then does that mean rents are too low or home prices are too high?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Last day for Sweepstakes Centers

It appears the day of reckoning is finally here and the little "casinos" that popped up across N.C. in the last couple of years will be forced to close their doors after today.......maybe. While the law claims to be clear that November 30th is the last day for these centers to operate, this article in the N&O points out that operators are trying to make adjustments to their games in order to remain in compliance with the law.
If the law wins (which it usually does) many retail center landlords will be sorry to see these tenants leave. However, many nearby residents will certainly to get rid of the "problems" that usually surround these places.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MyApartmentMap Launches Search Site

MyApartmentMap has officially been released and represents the most comprehensive and feature rich apartment search available. Features include interactive maps, virtual neighborhood tours, apartment deal advertisements, and vertical searches that can identify specific housing needs. Basically, this site combines tools into one place that were previously on several different sites.

This site sounds like it will certainly be utilized by the internet savvy apartment renter. You should to make sure your 'for rent' apartments show up in the results.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Downtown/NCSU Development Approved

A mixed use real estate development between Downtown Raleigh and NC State University has crossed the last approval hurdle. With a final approval vote of 6 to 1 (Crowder being the one who opposed) the Raleigh City Council gave the owner, a Charlotte-based developer, the re-zoning needed to begin the project which will include about 250 apartments. This announcement was made in the News and Observer on 10/20/10. As this article notes, the developer is still trying to finalize financing. You can get more information about the project on the developer's web site.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Downtown Raleigh Condo Auction

36 Condo units in the West at North condo development will be auctioned off on Sunday, October 31, 2010. Starting bids will begin at $95,000 for the one bedroom units that have been priced at $220,000+. Two bedroom units will also be available.

The developer says they wanted to take a proactive approach to marketing and selling units. I think that is another way of saying...nothing is selling so we need to drop the bottom out of the price and see where the market is for this product.

They certainly are beautiful units in a great location. One question...if you want to live in Downtown, where do you go grocery shopping? For more details about the auction visit:
Happy bidding.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Front-Yard Parking a HOT Topic in Raleigh

An ordinance was proposed to the Raleigh City Council last year to further restrict parking in a residential front-yard. The topic has become a hot political issue that is not necessarily divided down party lines. If you own real estate in Raleigh and are not aware of this, read here to learn more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Foreclosures are GROWING

Thought there were already a lot of foreclosures on the market...wait until next year. For the first eight months of 2010, the foreclosure rate is 14% higher than this same point last year. That means lenders will be taking these properties to the market to re-sell them at some point soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Are "DEALS" finally making their way to the market

By our calculations and criteria (how much money we made this year vs. last) we are at 2 years and counting in this recession. Many sellers during this time have chosen to "hang on until things get better." This created a scenario where a limited number of properties were selling because buyers are not willing to pay a premium in this environment. So, it has been hard to tell how much prices have really fallen because there haven't been a lot of motivated buyers AND sellers to set the market.

However, things may be changing. Take a look at this recent N&O article. These comments suggest many sellers, particularly banks, have decided it's best to go ahead and sell their properties. More and more people are beginning to believe that this "downturn" may just be the "norm" for a while. This is creating an opportunity for buyers who have cash and are ready to pull the trigger on a "DEAL."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have your apartment been bugged?

They are nasty, they bite and nobody likes them. No, not spoiled children...bed bugs. And believe it or not, they are everywhere. It's becoming a common problem for apartment landlords, hotels and even business. A movie theatre in New York had to shut down this week to perform extermination measures.

In the past, people associated these little creatures with filth and slums. This is not the case anymore. Bed bugs do not discriminate and they can be transported from place to place without detection because of their size. Even worse, many attorneys say they would rather see a lawsuit over mold rather than bed bugs. These little things are a big liability.

My advice...if you have not studied up on this epidemic...get to it. Start here at Wikipedia. Second, find an exterminator that specializes in the treatment and removal of bed bugs and get them on your speed dial. Here is one in the Triangle area. There are even dogs trained to sniff for these things.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Job Growth Still Stumped

One step step back. This seems to be the norm right right in the overall economy and the labor markets. While the Triangle area is healthier than many, our employment figures are not necessarily anything to brag about. As of June, the Triangle's unemployment rate increased slightly to 8%. Nearly 67,000 people were counted as out of work in the last survey, which doesn't include people who have stopped looking.

What do you think it's going to take to start creating jobs? How long do you think we will be in this "muddle through" economy?

Friday, July 16, 2010

More than 1 million foreclosures expected this year

It just doesn't seem logical that our real estate market is going to see any significant price appreciation in the near future. Home sales and investment property sales are at all time lows and the current inventory is not being absorbed. Sellers (individuals, banks, and even government entities like FHA and HUD) that need to move their properties are having no choice but to continue lowering prices. Add to that, even more foreclosures are coming and it's hard to imagine prices going up anytime soon. We need job creation and we need it fast.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Downtown mised use development now has a church in the plan

The development at the corner of Peace and Blount in Downtown Raleigh has been stalled for a while due to market conditions. As a result the developer has been looking to sell off pieces of the parcel in order to pay down some debt. Now, according to the News and Observer, someone may have answered their prayer. A church has part of the land under contract and hopes to begin building their worship center next year.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Check out this graph

US home sales fell to a record low in May. The graph at the end of this article may be all you need to understand the magnitude of the crisis. When do you think we will see a significant improvement in the economy and the housing market...1 year, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who is the Victim?

I wasn't sure how to react after reading this article, but I would be interested in your opinion.

Published in the NY Times, author is David Streitfeld
Owners Stop Paying Mortgages, and Stop Fretting

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Raleigh and Durham Among Top 20 Surviving the Recession

This article from Yahoo Finance list 20 cities that are "surviving" the recession better than most. On the list (not surprising to me) are Raleigh and Durham. The author cites technology and higher education as two of the primary reasons. Beyond those details, its interesting to see the other cities on the list...most of which are much bigger than Raleigh/Durham. (Picture of the Durham Athletic Park for you baseball fans)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The reality of foreclosures

I thought this article in the NY Times captured an interesting viewpoint of the foreclosure crisis. To me it was informative, sobering and worth sharing so click this link and have a read.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Triangle vacancy rates are down...WHY?

Over the last 12 months ending March 2010 the apartment vacancy rate in the Triangle area decreased from 10.3% to 8.6% (1.7%) while rents remained flat. In fact rents have trended up 1% over the last three years. These figures were reported by Karnes Reasearch and the Triangle Apartment Association in their bi-annual market report. This change came as a bit of a surprise to some who thought vacancies would remain high until the job market improved. Nonetheless, our apartment market continues to prove that it is resilient.

It seems several factors contributed to this vacancy decrease. It's easy to see that our population continues to grow, less people are buying homes and many people are being forced out of homes. However, the most signifcant factor at play is the relative lack of new apartments being built.

The level of apartments under construction has consistently fallen over the last 18 months to a point where, even in a challenging economic environment, demand for apartment housing in the Triangle is outpacing supply. This is great news for apartment owners. Imagine what might happen when we do see an improvement in the job market.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

High On Another List

Once again, North Carolina's capital city has been ranked is one of the best place to live. This time Raleigh came in #8 on the survey conducted by You can read the full report here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Foreclosure Filings Rise

Could real estate prices decline further? It's possible, especially if foreclosure filings continue to increase. Triangle area foreclosure filings were up 58% in the first quarter of 2010 vs. Q1 of 2009. This article from the Triangle Business Journal has more details numbers.

In my opinion, until we see foreclosure filings fall significantly the market will continue to struggle and we will remain several years away from any significant price increases in the real estate market.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SWAT those Foreclosures

"Prevention, Intervention and Stabilization," that is the new slogan for the Milwaukee Police task force assigned to minimize the collateral damage caused by foreclosures. Foreclosures are not only eye sores, but can serve as breeding grounds for criminal activity. In some towns, like Milwaukee, the problem has become significant enough that the Police are getting proactive. This article explains how officers are stepping into the community to provide support where foreclosures are common.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wake County Apartment Association

As we do the first Thursday of every month, members and guests of the Wake County Apartment Association (WCAA) gathered last night at the Golden Coral on Glenwood Ave. to network, learn and share some laughs. This meeting marked the 29th anniversary of the group which began in March of 1981 (the year I was born).

As the current leader of the group, I was honored that Mr. John Schrader, the original founder, agreed to speak last night. John shared a lot of great tips for those who already manage apartments and also provided some inspiration for those looking to get started. For anyone wanting to learn more about investing in real estate or managing apartments, I encourage you to visit the WCAA web site and check out one of our upcoming meetings.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Housing Shortage at NCCU

North Carolina Central University, located just south of Downtown Durham, has been in the process of redeveloping and adding on-campus housing over the past couple of years. However, the process has left the campus with a severe shortage of housing for students. As this article from the Herald Sun states, almost all upper classmen are being forced to live off campus.

While this might not be ideal for the students or the administration, this certainly offers apartment owners in the surrounding neighborhood an opportunity to capture some well qualified tenants. And it doesn't look like the problem is going to be fixed anytime soon. Current building timelines estimate there could be a shortage for another 7 years or more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Did someone say higher rents? Good news for Landlords?

If you are a landlord, this economic downturn has produced one very positive result; decreased multifamily construction activity. As hard as it may be to find quality renters right now, imagine if new developments were still popping up around us like they were just two years ago. As this latest article from points out, multifamily construction has been hammered by the credit crunch.
David Crowe, the chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders says, "The vacancy rate for apartments is elevated now, but as the economy recovers and jobs return, the people who've been doubling up with relatives and friends will want a place of there own- and there may not be one."
This may upset developers who want to stay ahead of demand, but current landlords should be cheering this development as a potential source of improvement. Some industry experts with the NAHB expect rental demand to surpass current supply by mid-2011, with increasing shortages continuing through 2014. They believe this could push rents up as much as 10% in the next two years and more than 4% per year through 2015.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another Wave of Foreclosures

Get out your arc, there is another flood of foreclosures getting ready to hit the market. As reported in an article from, there are an estimated 2.4 million foreclosures in shadow inventory that could reach the market this year and more than 1.5 million that were ready to be listed as of December 2009. These sources estimate prices could decline another 10% as a result.

It is certainly hard to imagine the real estate market stabilizing with this magnitude of foreclosures on the market. Even if there is an adequate supply of buyers (I do not think there is) to jump on these "deals," many of these properties do not qualify for traditional financing because of their condition. As a result, cash investors could be the final purchasers at even deeper discounts.
On the positive side, these properties have to be flushed out of the inventory at some point. In my opionion, the sooner that happens, the sooner the market will find the bottom. And, once we find the bottom, we can start working towards improvement.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blackberry Maker Will Open an Office in Triangle

According to the News and Observer today, Research in Motion (RIM) confirmed plans to open a research and development office in the Triangle. The company already held a job fair in the area and has started hiring. This is a big win for the local economy that has a tremendous supply of high-tech workers.

Details about the location of the office and the number of employees have not been released.