Linda Coburn, Vice President of Asset Management at NexMetro Communities, is the 2023 AMA Board Chair. She leads a board that is 50 members strong in an industry that has seen tremendous growth in Arizona, particularly in the Valley. Linda has been with NexMetro, a national developer of luxury leased home neighborhoods, for 5 years.
Q: What are your goals as Board Chair for 2023?
A: So many goals, so little time. At the top of my list for 2023 is increasing member engagement and it starts with our board. I’m excited to lead the charge on redefining how we show up for our members. Another goal that’s at the top of my list is putting a spotlight on the AMA’s value proposition. I look forward to working with my fellow industry leaders on increasing the awareness and appreciation of what the AMA does for its members.
Q: How do you see the Arizona apartment industry shaping up in the new year – do you foresee more runway or more headwinds?
A: With all indications pointing to a possible recession, we are definitely feeling the headwinds in both occupancy and rent growth. However, considering we’re coming off of nearly two years of record-setting rent growth, I see this as a return to normal historical trends. Even with a looming recession, the single most pressing issue facing Arizona’s apartment industry in 2023 is the ever-growing possibility of rent control. The key to combating rent control is to increase supply, but with NIMBY-ism on the rise, it’s getting harder for developers to get deals done. That said, I view this as a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of the AMA.
Q: What is driving interest in people who chose to live in rental housing rather than owning their own home? Amenities? Location? Convenience?
A: I don’t think it’s a secret that more people are choosing to rent rather than own, and the main reason is affordability. With the rising cost of home prices and interest rates, people are opting to rent. The freedom, flexibility, and affordability of renting are all compelling propositions.
Q: Is the industry seeing a shift in demographics as to who is now a renter vs. who is a homeowner?
A: As a developer of luxury leased home communities, we are seeing more renters by choice; they have good credit and can afford to buy but choose to rent. The reasons vary from those wanting to wait and see what happens with the housing market, to those intentionally looking to downsize and simplify their lives so they can travel and not hassle with home repairs and landscape maintenance.
Q: Big cities across the U.S. for years have attracted people who want to live in an urban setting with numerous live-work-play amenities. Is Metro Phoenix seeing this movement as well?
A: As one of the top Sunbelt states, Arizona offers beautiful weather, a business-friendly environment, and affordability. All of those elements contribute to attract people from all over the United States. And while downtown Phoenix is still a draw, the suburban markets are seeing a lot of the growth as more people are working from home in some capacity.
* Article is from the 2023 At A Glance publication.
Read 2023 At A Glance