As more millennials look to enter the home buying market for the first time, and homeowners look to leave more densely populated areas, demand for housing has steadily increased. At the same time, pandemic-related supply chain issues have made it harder for builders to meet that demand. Romano Capital monitors these conditions with each of its investment funds to better manage risk and to capitalize on opportunity.
“Across the country, values on residential real estate are climbing,” said Ted Cassel, executive vice president of investments for Romano. “There is very high demand for residential housing, especially entry-level housing. New homeowners are entering the market in numbers we haven’t seen in decades.”
Romano is positioned particularly well when it comes to real estate investments. Not only does the investment company sponsor its own funds, but Romano also owns construction and property management subsidiaries to increase efficiencies and investor returns.
As the country continues to bounce back from the pandemic, Cassel said this is a unique time to invest in real estate, as projects
are continuing to get back online after work stoppages, and companies are bringing back their full workforces. While the cost of labor and materials increased during the pandemic, those costs are expected to stabilize all while interest rates are being held low.
“Interest rates are being held low right now to help spur the economy from the damage caused by COVID,” he said. “We expect those rates to be kept low, but that could change with little notice, especially if price inflation continues trending up. This makes it a good time to invest because money is cheap, and margins are still high.”
One concern many have when it comes to an increase in housing values is if we’re seeing another bubble like in 2007. Cassel said he doesn’t view what’s going on now in the same way.
“We’ve seen banks since then increase their lending standards beyond what is required by law, so it’s harder to get qualified for a mortgage loan than it was 10 years ago,” he said. “People were taking risks that they’re not taking now, so I don’t see the bottom falling out. The markets should handle price corrections without cascading bad debt because there is less risk in the system to begin with.”
“It’s not a mystery. It’s not abnormal. It’s what happens when you have a lot of people who want something that is particularly scarce right now.”