Business Strategy and Outlook| Kevin Brown, CFA |
Equity Residential has repositioned its portfolio over the past decade to focus on owning and operating high-quality multifamily buildings in urban, coastal markets with demographics that allow the company to maintain high occupancies and drive strong rent growth. The company has sold out of inland and southern markets and increased its operations in high-growth core markets: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, and Seattle. These markets exhibit traits that create demand for apartments, like job growth, income growth, decreasing homeownership rates, high relative cost of single-family housing, and attractive urban centers that draw younger people. The company regularly recycles capital by selling noncore assets or exiting markets and using the proceeds for its development pipeline or acquisitions with strong growth prospects, a strategy that has produced strong returns.