07/16/2014 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto
Bluerock Real Estate LLC Chairman and CEO Ramin Kamfar joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2014: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
The firm’s Total Income + Real Estate fund pursues a mix of 80 percent private real estate and 20 percent public real estate investments. Meanwhile, Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. (NYSE: BRG), which completed a public offering in April, is focused on institutional-quality apartment properties in demographically attractive growth markets throughout the United States.
Kamfar commented on the prospects facing the multifamily rental market.
“What we see in multifamily is that the demographics and dynamics have lined up for a very long run,” he said.
Echo-boomers, or those born in the 1980s and 1990s, are now coming out of college and into the workforce, Kamfar said. “They are going to be coming at 4 million a year for the next 15 years, so it’s even bigger than the baby boomers in terms of the demographic wave, and 70 percent of them will rent and for extended periods,” he predicted.
"People’s perception of home ownership has also changed,” Kamfar said. “People want to rent. There’s this big and growing renter-by-choice category, and that’s what we’re trying to appeal to.”
He explained that the REIT is buying institutional multifamily assets in growth markets with strategic partners across the country.
“We have a value creation story, and that’s what’s special about the REIT because it’s more of a private equity model in a REIT wrapper,” Kamfar noted. "I don’t think anyone else is really doing that in the multifamily space."
Looking ahead, Kamfar said he expects market conditions to remain positive in the second half.
“I think multifamily is still undersupplied," he said. "I think there are attractive markets to do development in."