Ramin Kamfar, founder and CEO of Bluerock Real Estate (NYSE: BRG), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWeek 2016: NAREIT’s Investor Forum at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
Bluerock acquires institutional-quality apartment properties in growth markets across the United States. The firm has been particularly active in Florida. Kamfar explained that the company’s focus is on markets with high employment growth, especially markets where employment growth is driven by intellectual capital. Many Florida markets fall into that category, he said, while new supply has also been limited since the recession.
Looking at Bluerock’s portfolio overall, Kamfar said he expects rent growth of roughly 5 percent or better in almost all markets this year.
Kamfar also discussed the environment for construction financing.
According to Kamfar, conditions have become more difficult in the last six months. “It’s really bifurcated the market into the haves and have-nots,” he said.
“Strong sponsors, and we’re in that category, are continuing to be able to access financing,” Kamfar said. He added that tighter financing has shut down a part of the supply pipeline. “What we’re doing is setting ourselves up for a tremendous supply-demand imbalance in our markets in 2018,” he observed.