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When we get to the question-and-answer portion, we ask that you be respectful of everyone’s time and limit your questions and follow-ups. Management will be available after the call for your questions that did not get answered on the call.I will now turn the call over to our President and CEO, Tom Toomey. Thomas Toomey Thank you Chris and good morning to everyone. Welcome to UDR’s first quarter conference call. On the call with me today are David Messenger, Chief Financial Officer; and Jerry Davis, Senior Vice President of Operations, who will discuss our results, as well as senior officers, Warren Troupe and Harry Alcock who will be available to answer questions during the Q&A portion of the call. My comments today will focus on three topics. First, our quarterly results and broad operating trends; second, a summary of our dispositions and external growth efforts and their effects on our portfolio; and finally, our deleveraging efforts. Following my comments David will discuss our capital markets activity and balance sheet, and Jerry will provide commentary on the operating results and emerging operating trends as we enter the peak-leasing season. In the first quarter of 2012 core FFO per share of $0.34 increased by 13% year-over-year, strong year-over-year same-store revenue and net operating income growth of 5.3% and 8.1% respectively, as well as solid operating execution in our non same store portfolio drove the improvement, offset by higher than anticipated equity issuance through our aftermarket equity offering program. During the quarter all aspects of our business operated at a high level and demand for our apartment homes remained robust. With portfolio occupancy nearing 96% at quarter end, accelerating new lease, rate growth and strong renewal rate increases; we are well positioned to first rent during the upcoming leasing season. In short, all signs indicate that 2012 will be a better year than 2011.
Next, in early April, we announced the disposition and pending disposition of 21 unlevered non-core communities, comprising 6,500 homes in six markets for growth proceeds for $610 million. With these sales, we continue to process the cycling out of lower rent properties. Income per occupied home for this disposition averaged roughly $950 per month as of March 31, significantly below our portfolio average of $1,435 per home.Pricing on the sales met expectations with an average four and 12-month economic cap rate of roughly 6.25%. Once all the transactions are completed, our average portfolio income per occupied home is projected to increase to nearly $1,500 per month. In addition, we will have exceeded our previously announced disposition guidance for the year and we will have exited Fredericksburg, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona, and Jacksonville, Florida markets. Our ongoing portfolio repositioning involves two components, improving our market mix and urbanizing our portfolio in our core markets. When our planned dispositions close in the second quarter, we will have sold roughly 35% to 40% of our non-core communities necessary to complete our portfolio repositioning effort. Urbanizing our portfolio in our core markets will take place through normal capital recycling. Our development and redevelopment pipeline totaled $1.2 billion that at the end of the quarter, a third of which has been funded to date. These communities are primarily located in urban areas of gateway markets that we expect to generate better long-term growth. With the majority of our current development and redevelopment pipeline reaching completion in 2012 or 2013, we are well positioned to capitalize on the strong multi-family demand fundamentals and limited new supply, evident in our target core markets. Regarding the overall acquisition environment, we continue to underwrite opportunities in our core markets, but the landscape remains highly competitive. With that said, we formed our second joint venture with MetLife in early January. The $1.3 billion venture consists of 12 operating communities, which is owned 50% by each partner. Seven of the 12 communities were contributed from our first joint venture with MetLife, while the remaining five collectively known as Columbus Square were purchased for $630 million when the JV was formed. We will continue to explore how best to expand this relationship over time. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com