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Multifamily's Love & Hate of the Fed's Interest Rates – And Why Others (even Google and Amazon) Might Feel the Same Way

Updated: May 17

The Federal Reserve Building

As the Federal Reserve continues to navigate economic turbulence with its interest rate policies, some multifamily real estate investors are feeling the ongoing pressure. Based on some insights from an interesting and recent Bloomberg podcast, along with our own behind the scenes experience as multifamily owner and operators, there’s an important message that needs to be shared: other industries aren’t likely to be spared, even if the impacts are not yet as readily obvious as they are to multifamily investors. 

Understanding the Impact on Multifamily Investments

Rising interest rates directly influence borrowing costs, impacting multifamily investments in several key ways:

  • Financing Challenges: Increased interest rates translate to more expensive loans for new developments and acquisitions. This can compress returns on potential investments and put pressure on existing projects financed with variable-rate debt. For existing portfolios with variable-rate loans, this can lead to significant increases in monthly payments, potentially squeezing cash flow and overall returns.

  • Property Value Recalibration: Higher interest rates also influence capitalization rates, which are used to determine property values. This can lead to downward pressure on multifamily asset valuations, potentially resulting in fewer deals closing and reduced overall market liquidity.

  • Refinancing Challenges: Property owners looking to refinance may face difficulties if their asset valuations have dropped significantly, potentially reducing the amount they can borrow. This makes it harder for them to leverage their existing assets for further investment or meet debt obligations.

  • Lender Requirements: Declining property values can lead to stricter lending criteria as lenders become more risk-averse. Investors might need to provide additional equity, personal guarantees, or accept higher interest rates, making it more difficult to secure favorable financing terms.

While no multifamily investor relishes these challenges, the Fed's actions have created significant opportunities to capitalize on:

  1. Increased Rental Demand: Rising mortgage rates make homeownership less attainable for a lot of buyers, with a recent study showing that it is now more affordable to rent than buy a house in all 50 states.

  2. Buy When the Market is Down: As borrowing costs rise, cap rates (capitalization rates) have followed suit, leading to downward pressure on multifamily property valuations. While this initially appears to be a challenge for property owners and investors, as explained above, it also presents a golden opportunity for those looking to acquire multifamily assets in a corrected market.

  3. Proactive Risk Management: Multifamily owners and operators can recalibrate their debt structures and financial models in response to market changes. By strategically managing financing costs, investors can protect their portfolios from adverse rate changes and adjust rental rates to move with the market.


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Beyond Multifamily: Potential Effects on Other Industries, even Giants like Google and Amazon

The ramifications of the Fed's actions extend beyond multifamily real estate. Here's a glimpse of how other sectors might be affected:

  • Consumer Goods & Retail: Rising borrowing costs and inflationary pressures could lead to decreased consumer spending, potentially impacting retail sales volumes and profitability. Inventory adjustments and potential job market fluctuations may also occur. Despite recent consumer spending reports, consumer confidence took another hit in April, falling to 97.0. This marks a drop from the previously reported level of 103.1 in March, after two straight months of decline.

  • Construction & Development: Higher financing costs could dampen commercial and industrial development activity. Larger projects reliant on borrowing may experience delays or cancellations, impacting the labor force and supply chains. According to Marcus & Millichap, construction starts for warehouses took a nosedive in the fourth quarter, with a staggering 40% decline compared to the previous three months. This slowdown coincides with a major shift from industry leader Amazon, which put a halt on new facility construction last year. Notably, Amazon accounted for a significant portion of the market, contributing roughly 16% of all warehouse construction starts over the past three years.

  • Technology & Innovation: Increased interest rates could restrict access to venture capital funding, particularly for early-stage technology firms. This could lead to industry consolidation and a shift towards established players, potentially slowing down innovation. A clear example of this is the recent tech layoffs at giants like Microsoft and Tesla, in addition to Amazon and Google both suspending their US green card applications for 2024.

  • Manufacturing & Global Trade: As borrowing costs rise and global demand fluctuates, manufacturers may face increased input costs and reduced export demand. This could lead to supply chain disruptions and adjustments in workforce needs.

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  • The Federal Reserve's interest rate policy continues to cast a shadow over various sectors, creating an environment where multifamily investors must deftly navigate challenges while seizing emerging opportunities. Rising rates may temporarily compress margins and squeeze financing options, but they also highlight the potential for strategic acquisitions and proactive risk management within a corrected market.

  • As other industries brace for the inevitable effects of higher borrowing costs and economic turbulence, multifamily investors can stay ahead of the curve by understanding local market dynamics and recalibrating their portfolios. By recognizing the broader impacts on consumer goods, construction, technology, and manufacturing, investors can adapt their strategies to remain resilient and profitable in a changing economic landscape.

  • Ultimately, the love-hate relationship with the Federal Reserve's rate hikes requires careful observation and a nimble approach. Now is the time for investors to focus on proactive strategies, diversify portfolios, and leverage newfound opportunities that arise from shifting market dynamics. With the right approach, multifamily investments can continue to deliver consistent returns even in uncertain times.

As always, Be Bold, Be Great, and Keep Pushing Forward!

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P.S. If one of your priorities, like mine, is building and preserving your wealth through multifamily real estate investments, click here to download my new eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Creating & Preserving Your Wealth.


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If you are an accredited investor interested in learning more about passively investing in multifamily properties, click here to complete our investor form and schedule a call with our Investor Relations team.

About Ellie Perlman

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Ellie Perlman is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.

A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.

Ellie is the founding host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.

She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.

Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at

*The content provided on this website, including all downloadable resources, is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. Furthermore, this material does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.


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