Ramin Kamfar, chairman, president and CEO of Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. (NYSE: BRG), joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWeek 2017: NAREIT’s Investor Forum at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Kamfar said he expects Bluerock to be a net acquirer of properties this year. He pointed out that millennials are forming households at a rate of about 2 million a year. Of that group, 70 percent will rent and stay in rental properties for a period of 10 years or longer, he noted.
“That is a big tailwind for our industry and is going to generate a tremendous amount of demand over the next decade,” Kamfar said.
As for geographic markets, Kamfar stressed that Bluerock wants to be in growth markets due to the 80 percent correlation between job growth and apartment demand. The average employment growth in Bluerock’s markets is 3 percent per year, which Kamfar says is double the rate for the entire United States
“You’ll see us outside the Sun Belt as we grow,” Kamfar said.
Meanwhile, Kamfar noted that Bluerock’s decision to internalize management in the third quarter fulfills a promise made to investors when the company went public. The benefits of internal management include a slower pace of growth in general and administrative (G&A) costs, as well as increased acceptance of the REIT among larger institutional investors, he said.