Flipping the Switch: Multifamily Experts See Market Bounce Back

Ric Campo rode out a number of storms in his career. He co-founded Camden back in 1982, then helped take it public 11 years later. Anyone who’s worked in commercial real estate since the early ‘80s has seen the effects of a recession, Campo included, which is why his evaluation of the past 18 months is so good to hear.

“This is the best recovery out of a recession that I’ve ever seen in my business career,” says Campo, Camden’s Chairman of the Board and CEO.

The multifamily firm has developed dozens of luxury apartment communities all over the country — from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Campo says at the beginning of the pandemic, occupancy dropped about 100 basis points.

“When you get down to it, that’s not awful,” he says. “But what happened then was we rebuilt that occupancy in the summer of 2020 and now our national occupancy levels are in the 97 percent range.”

Campo says the turning point really seems to be March 2021. That’s when Camden noticed the biggest bump, especially in its Texas properties. Between Houston, Dallas and Austin, Camden operates nearly 50 multifamily communities in the Lone Star State.

“We were still weak coming out of 2020, then all of a sudden came March. You had more people getting vaccinated, the mask mandates being released and jobs were being added back in Texas overall,” explains Campo.

He says the impact is clear when you compare Q1 occupancy rates to those in Q2. Every single Texas market saw a bump for Camden. Austin went from 96.3 percent to 97.3 percent. Dallas got a boost from 96 percent to 96.6 percent. Houston grew from 94 percent to 95.7 percent. Quarter-over-quarter revenue is up too: 3.6 percent for Austin, 2.7 percent for Dallas and 3.3 percent for Houston. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.