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Essex Property Trust's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Michael J. Schall

Thank you, and welcome, everyone, to our first quarter earnings call.

Erik Alexander and Mike Dance will follow me with brief comments on operations and finance, respectively. John Eudy, John Burkart and John Lopez are here for Q&A. I'll cover the following topics on the call: Q1 results and market commentary; second, investment markets; and third, disposition activity.

First topic, Q1 results and market commentary. Last evening, we reported FFO and core FFO of $1.63 per share for the first quarter of '12, which is ahead of our internal expectation and above consensus. We continued to see strong growth in Northern California and Seattle and a continuation of a steady recovery in Southern California, demonstrated by exceptional same-store NOI and revenue growth of 11.2% and 7.1%, respectively.

This result reinforces our expectation for a strong 2012, driven by very limited supplies of housing and job growth that exceeds national averages in Northern California and Seattle and is near the national average in Southern California. We don't see a significant departure from this basic theme until at least 2014. Erik will discuss portfolio trends in greater detail.

Our projections for rental and for-sale housing supply for 2012 are included on Page S-15 of the supplement. As expected, we see continued growth in multi-family deliveries in many of our target markets. We closely track the supply of both rental and for-sale housing and project deliveries through 2014. From now through 2014, the largest percentage addition to the existing multi-family stock occurs in San Jose, where we expect multi-family deliveries for 2012 to be 0.5% of stock or 1,100 units growing to 1.2% of stock, 2,600 units in '13, and 1.4% of stock, approximately 3,000 units, in 2014.

Seattle has the second-highest multi-family deliveries, estimated for 2012 to be 0.5% of stock, or 1,800 units, growing to 1% of stock, 3,800 units, in 2013 and 1.1% of stock, 4,400 units, in 2014. All other West Coast Metro areas are expected to average less than 1% annual rental supply growth through 2014. L.A. and Orange Counties are expected to have the least multi-family supply, averaging 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively, through 2014.

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