Editors' pick: Originally published June 29.
With all that's going on in the world from Brexit to Zika, U.S. investors may want to consider keeping their money at home in multi-family real estate projects.
But not necessarily in publicly traded real estate investment trusts.
" Buying real estate is better done on a direct basis," said Eric Jones, chief investment officer of Dome Equities. "Public REITs are too correlated to the public market and interest rates in particular.
Jones spent 11 years at Citibank and GE Capital prior to joining Dome Equities. While at Citibank, Jones spent two years directing its private bank's private equity co-investment platform. The private bank platform was the genesis of Dome.
Dome Equities is a New York-based private equity real estate investment firm specializing in core plus, value-add, and opportunistic strategies in U.S. Real Estate with a current focus on multifamily rental properties. Jones said he is targeting 7% to 9% yields on his portfolio, with a low-teens total return.
Jones said higher income suburban locations in major metropolitan areas will outperform urban core for apartment investment. In his view, new supply in urban core areas with slowing growth coupled with investors currently paying too low of cap rate is a recipe to lose money, even in multi-family apartments.
He prefers to focus on regions with above-average growth in prime renter demographics and regional economies with strong economic vitality. Jones said his favorite locations right now include North Miami Beach, Orlando, Dallas and Denver.
Jones said the demographic trends are also compelling for the multi-family apartment space as millennials are still primarily renting. "Home ownership rates for people under the age of 35 have not found a bottom yet," said Jones. "They are getting married later in life. That makes them rent longer. And there is a record number of millennials living at home."