Affordable Housing Finance Editorial Advisory Board members shared some of the industry trends that emerged or continued in 2012. As an affordable housing professional, what other trends did you see dominating the industry over the past year? Please add to our list in the Comments box at the end of the article.
1. The increased demand for low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) by investors pushed yields again to lows that are not sustainable, with so-called economic investors leaving the market. But one EAB member says the fourth quarter saw a fiscal year rise in yields. There also has been an emergence of single investor funds or direct investors dominating the market.
2. Two-tiered pricing in the LIHTC equity market: the coasts and everywhere else.
3. Increased focus on cost containment. Over the past year, the industry has seen an increasing level of scrutiny on the cost of LIHTC developments, with a continued interest by state housing finance agencies to contain these project costs in their qualified allocation plans.
4. Continued strong economics and funding for affordable housing.
5. Increased emphasis on supportive housing as well as housing for veterans.
6. State agency underwriting for 2013 with loss of the fixed rate.
7. The overall improvement in home sales and new construction.
8. Ongoing demand for rental housing even as homeownership has picked back up.
9. Return of long-term bank financing, albeit at lower levels, in place of the government-sponsored enterprises.
10. An expanding number of public housing authority redevelopments utilizing LIHTCs.