REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
FAIRSTEAD | July 26, 2022
Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, today announced the acquisition of the historic Aurora Apartments (Aurora) tower in the Tobin Hill neighborhood of San Antonio. Located at 509 Howard Street, the 11-story building comprises 105 apartments that are home to low-income senior residents. Fairstead will invest $15 million to rehabilitate Aurora Apartments while preserving Aurora's affordability and historic character long-term.
The renovations will modernize the interior homes of the 92-year-old property and preserve its historic façade as well as original mosaic tile flooring and walls, historical interior doors, and hardware. Renovations will upgrade the infrastructure of the building including a new emergency generator, electrical panels and main switchgear, installing a sprinkler system, two new elevators, and new roofing. The apartments will also be upgraded with new Energy Star appliances, kitchens and bathrooms, and HVAC units. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
"Fairstead is proud to be stewards of historic properties across the country, and we are bringing our approach to preserving both history and affordability to the Aurora Apartments, By expanding our footprint in Texas, we can ensure that its critical affordable housing stock is not only protected but improved and modernized. Our plan to overhaul the homes at Aurora will ensure our senior residents can age in place with dignity – something we are committed to doing nationwide."
Allan Izzo, Director, Development at Fairstead
Fairstead is financing the rehabilitation in partnership with the Las Varas Public Facility Corporation, a nonprofit managed by the San Antonio Housing Authority, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Capital One, N.A., and Boston Financial.
"About half of the residents receiving housing assistance from SAHA are elderly on a fixed income," said Tim Alcott, the San Antonio Housing Authority Chief Legal and Real Estate Officer. "We celebrate partnerships that help maintain affordable housing options for the families we serve and provide a place of security."
"Boston Financial is proud to have partnered with Fairstead on the preservation of Aurora Apartments in San Antonio, Texas. Our investment has helped Fairstead to modernize 105 units of housing for the residents of this historic community, especially seniors, and preserved much-needed affordable homes for the region," said Stephen Napolitano, Senior Vice President, Boston Financial. "We believe in Fairstead's commitment to building vibrant communities across the US, and our work together reinforces our own vision to create a future where everyone has a home, one investment at a time."
"This renovation will help bring transformative change to Aurora Apartments with fully renovated unit interiors and common areas, as well as accessibility and energy efficiency improvements" said Evan Williams, senior vice president of Agency Finance at Capital One. "By leveraging our relationships with Fairstead and Freddie Mac, as well as the rest of the development team, Capital One was able to arrange an index lock, which mitigated the risk of interest volatility and ensured the project benefited from a 2.92% treasury rate."
Fairstead is partnering with the non-profit Rainbow Housing Assistance to provide much-needed social services to residents through the company's commitment to Community Impact.
"Rainbow is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Fairstead at Aurora Apartments. We are excited to bring valuable programs and services to the residents of the community and promote social and economic advancements while ensuring tenant stabilization," said Flynann Janisse, President and Executive Director of Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation. "Rainbow will offer a variety of programs targeting financial literacy, credit enhancements, education, ESL, career development and immediate employment. We will establish tailored programing to meet the unique needs of each individual and family that calls Aurora Apartments home. We look forward to lifting lives in partnership with Fairstead."
Built in 1930 as a luxury hotel in the Neo-Gothic architectural style, Aurora is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Known for its hand-carved fireplaces and grand common spaces, the vintage 11-story apartment building will remain a pet-friendly place to call home. Half of the building's units are reserved for residents making up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and the other half are for households making up to 60 percent AMI.
This news follows Fairstead's recent acquisition of the 160-unit affordable housing complex Gateway Apartments at Lake Jackson in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Fairstead is renovating and expanding Gateway's amenity offerings, including a fitness room and playground, and is transforming the property's outdoor recreation spaces to create a more connected community for residents.
Fairstead is a purpose-driven vertically integrated real estate developer specializing in creating sustainable, high-quality housing. The firm's national footprint includes more than $6 billion in assets and identified pipeline. With offices in New York, Maryland, and South Carolina, Fairstead's team manages 90+ communities across the country and runs its comprehensive real estate platform, which includes acquisitions and development, venture capital investments in prop tech, design and construction, energy and sustainability, property management, marketing, and leasing. The firm also administers one of the industry's most proactive community impact programs to provide on-site support services to residents.
REAL ESTATE ADVICE
Redfin | June 27, 2022
Demand for vacation homes has fallen below the pre-pandemic baseline for the first time in two years, with mortgage-rate locks for second homes down 4% from before the pandemic in May, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s down from a revised rate of 3% above pre-pandemic levels a month earlier, and 70% above pre-pandemic levels a year earlier.
Demand for second homes is declining due to high home prices, mortgage rates that have rapidly risen to nearly 6% and a slumping stock market–factors that are also cooling the rest of the housing market. Another deterrent to second-home buyers is the fact that the federal government increased loan fees for second homes in April, adding roughly $13,500 to the cost of purchasing a $400,000 home.
Skyrocketing monthly payments, along with higher loan fees, have priced many second-home buyers out of the market. Many would-be second-home buyers are also deterred by turmoil in the stock markets, high inflation and recession fears, and they can be quicker to pull back from the market because vacation homes aren’t a necessity the way primary homes are. The cooldown in the second-home market is likely to continue as long as mortgage rates are elevated and the stock market is slumping.”
Taylor Marr,Redfin Deputy Chief Economist
The drop in vacation-home demand marks a drastic change from the second half of 2020 and 2021, when mortgage-rate locks for second homes skyrocketed due to record-low mortgage rates and the flexibility to work from anywhere thanks to remote work. Demand peaked in March 2021, when it was about 90% above pre-pandemic levels.
Interest in vacation homes started declining sharply in February as mortgage rates began their ascent. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached 5.81% in the week ending June 23.
Redfin is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, instant home-buying (iBuying), rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can take an instant cash offer from Redfin or have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 6,000 people.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY
letus (previously RentMoola) | June 02, 2022
Furthering efforts to help renters balance their paychecks and landlords to collect rent on time, letus (previously RentMoola), an award-winning FinTech platform, announces its partnership with MRI Software, a global leader in real estate technology. The partnership enables commercial and residential real estate companies to streamline the payments process and offer an innovative, flexible payment experience for customers.
MRI's partnership with letus will give our Canadian community of renters and landlords easier access to a world-class payments platform. The integration will enable flexible payments, which can be a key differentiator in today's market."
Sean Slack, VP of Partner Connect at MRI
letus integrates with MRI LivingTM residential management suite and MRI @WorkTM commercial management suite of products to improve the payment experience by reducing manual entry to increase reliability and security. MRI clients now enjoy enhanced experiences through:
Streamlined experience with MRI Resident Connect and Tenant Connect
Real-time transaction reconciliation
Flexible payments and credit reporting to increase credit scores
Automated SMS messaging and payments via TXT2PAY
The partnership is a step forward in delivering comprehensive and simple solutions that empower landlords to get real-time transaction information while providing flexible payment solutions to customers. Now, MRI clients can access more payment options, financial tools, enhanced communication, and more.
"Modern property management requires real-time management," shares Karthik Manimozhi, CEO of letus. "This integration brings ultimate convenience to landlords, providing them automation and data-driven insight to provide value to their tenants."
A disruptive cloud platform offering flexible rent payments with credit reporting that empowers renters to better balance their paychecks while landlords achieve predictable and scalable on-time revenue streams. letus has processed $2Billion transactions with 2Million+ individual transactions.
About MRI Software
A leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI's open and connected, AI-first platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organizations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through innovative solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to realize their vision of building thriving communities and stronger businesses.