Michael Schall, president and CEO, Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: 2022 Investor Conference in New York on June 7-9.
Schall discussed how return to office patterns in the tech sector are affecting Essex and its portfolio strategy. He noted that Essex is seeing tech workers coming back to the home office or closer to it, while service workers are also coming back.
“The migration trends have really helped us more recently and it’s really driven job growth as well,” Schall said. He added that job growth is now well above the U.S. average on the West Coast.
Meanwhile, Essex expects to see supply in its portfolio decline about 15% overall and the biggest component of that is a 54% drop in supply in northern California. These conditions are likely to remain in place over the next couple of years, Schall said.
As for reasons to invest in Essex, Schall pointed to “great rent growth” this year, with new lease rates up about 20% year-over-year. “We’re in full swing with respect to the recovery on the West Coast.” He also noted that supply and demand are “in good order,” and added that Essex has grown its dividend for the past 28 years.