Campo: Multifamily Sector Benefits from Housing Revival
11/14/2012 | by Matthew Bechard
Ric Campo, chairman and CEO of Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), joined for a video interview at REITWorld 2012: NAREIT's Annual Convention at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

Camden Property Trust, an S&P 400 Company, is one of the largest publicly traded multifamily REITs in the United States. The company is engaged in the ownership, development, acquisition, management and disposition of multifamily residential apartment communities. Camden owns interests in and operates 200 properties containing 67,762 apartment homes across the United States. Camden's workforce totals nearly 2,000 employees, and the company is headquartered in Houston.

Campo offered his analysis of apartment REITs' relative underperformance of the REIT market in 2012.

"I think what's happening is the market believes that there's a non-binary situation where single-family housing can do well and multifamily housing can't do well," Campo said.

He also pointed to two major drivers impacting market perception of multifamily companies.

"The idea is that people are going to move out of apartments to buy a house. That's just not the case. Moving out to buy a house is really a demographic issue and a lifestyle issue, not an issue of dollars and cents. People don't get that," Campo said. "Single-family and multifamily have done well together before. The key is jobs and a positive economy. If we can get the single-family marketing going and we have job growth associated with that, which is what the economy lacks today, then our business will be much better."

Campo also offered his opinion on what's driving rental rates. He noted that rates are rising in all of Camden's markets and same store net operating income in the third quarter was the best in company history.

"Rental rates are going up for a real basic reason: It's supply and demand. There's a whole lot more demand than there is supply," Campo said. "Rental rates in some markets are up double digits. It's pretty amazing what's going on right now, and we don't see a lot of slowdown given the supply picture in the economy that we see."