Essex CEO: Apartment Market Momentum Still Going Strong

Michael Schall, president and CEO of Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.

According to Schall, the momentum that the apartment industry enjoyed in 2014 carried over into the first half of 2015. In the first quarter, Essex had same property net income growth of 10 percent from the year-earlier period, which Schall credited to the job market on the West Coast.

Essex acquired BRE Properties in ‘14 in a deal that Schall described as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the company.” Essex has made smaller acquisitions in ’15, which Schall said is in keeping with Essex’s history of growth. The company has a target of $600 million in acqusitions in ’15.

Regarding new development in the multifamily sector, Schall said he’s comfortable with the current balance between supply and demand. In Essex’s markets on the West Coast, the rate of new household formation is roughly double the rate of new housing being brought online, according to Schall.

“I think it’s very much in check nationally,” Schall said. “On the West Coast, we have the best of both worlds.”