Preferred Apartment Communities Uses Loans to Stand Out

John Williams, co-founder and CEO of Preferred Apartment Communities (NYSE: APTS), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2014: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Williams described the current market for multifamily REITs as a “Goldilocks world” in light of the widespread demand for apartment housing. He singled out the southeast and southwest corners of the country as the two best geographic locales for apartment companies.

Preferred Apartment Communities buys class-A apartment communities. However, the company also makes mezzanine loans to developers with an option to buy the finished properties when they’re completed at a discount market price.

“It’s a great program for us to be able to get brand new, high-quality assets at a very competitive price,” Williams said.

In conjunction with REITWorld, Williams also offered his opinion on trends in the Atlanta real estate market. He noted that the city was slow to emerge from the recession. The city still has “a fair amount of unemployment,” according to Williams. However, he pointed out that Atlanta has one of the fastest rates of job growth in the nation. Additionally, he noted that landlords in Atlanta are enjoying “great” rent increases.

“We’re positioned very well today,” he said. “There are a lot of apartments being built in Atlanta, but they tended to be congregated in a few select markets.