West Coast Housing Fundamentals Positive, Essex Property Trust CEO Says

Michael Schall, president and CEO of Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s 2018 CEO Forum & Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C.

Schall discussed fundamentals across the housing sector.

“The national economy is better and that supports our expectation for market rent growth of around 3 percent in 2018,” Schall said. Underlying that estimate is the combination of limited supply and “decent job growth,” he added.

Turning to regulatory matters, Schall highlighted the apartment industry’s opposition to rent control. ‘It’s a defining issue going forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, Schall noted that although acquisition and investment markets remain “fairly stable,” he feels REITs are less well-positioned for acquisitions given their current cost of capital. In fact, “if we don’t see a significant change in cost of capital you may see REITs more active in dispositions,” he said.

In other matters, Schall pointed out that technology is increasing its reach into the apartment industry and predicted that it will “touch every part of what we do in our operations.”