Who Are the Top 10 Multifamily Developers in the United States?
With more than 300,000 multifamily units added in 2018 alone, the multifamily development industry is growing at a steady pace. And, whether you’re a multifamily real estate investor, a broker, or are a developer yourself, it’s essential to understand the overall market landscape.Better Financing Starts with More Options$1.2M offered by a Bank at 6.0%$2M offered by an Agency at 5.6%$1M offered by a Credit Union at 5.1%Click Here to Get Quotes
Updated content: Check out our top 10 multifamily developers ranking of 2022.
The Top 10 Multifamily Developers in the U.S.
With more than 300,000 multifamily units added in 2018 alone, the multifamily development industry is growing at a steady pace. And, whether you’re a multifamily real estate investor, a broker, or are a developer yourself, it’s essential to understand the overall market landscape. That means being familiar with all the major players in the game.
At the beginning of this year, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), put together a list of the largest 25 apartment developers in the United States. We’ve taken the top 10 developers from that list, and provided some additional detail on each to help you better understand the state of the industry today.
Greystar Real Estate Partners
Company Profile: Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar clocked in as the number one apartment developer in the U.S. in 2018. Starting in the early 1990s, CEO Bob Faith grew the firm from a small property management company to an international organization with more than 14,000 employees. In addition to developing and managing properties across the United States, Greystar has successfully expanded to Europe, Latin America, and China. As of mid-2018, Greystar had an impressive $26 billion of assets under management and managed nearly 500,000 residential units worldwide.
2018 Unit Starts: 5,651
Leadership: Robert A. Faith, Chairman and CEO
Mill Creek Residential
Company Profile: As the second largest apartment developer of 2018, Mill Creek Residential started over 5,000 units in communities across the country, with a specific emphasis on the West, Southwest, the Northeast. Mill Creek’s growth is especially impressive, considering the fact that the firm was founded in 2011, only 8 years ago.
2018 Unit Starts: 5,293
Leadership: William C. MacDonald, Chairman and CEO
Company Profile: Based in Atlanta, GA, Wood Partners is another relatively recent player in the multifamily industry, having been founded a little less than two decades ago. Today, the company has 20 offices around the United States in cities including New York City, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. In the first quarter of 2019, the company opened new apartment communities in cities including Houston, Dallas, and Lakewood, Colorado.
2018 Unit Starts: 5,191
Leadership: Joe Keough, Chairman and CEO
Company Profile: Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Alliance Residential manages a $20 billion real estate portfolio, and specializes in investment, asset, and property management. The firm also specializes in REO purchases, bankruptcy trustee sales, risk management, recapitalizations, lease-up management, and marketing services. Alliance currently has over 3,500 employees and regional offices throughout the country, and is actively developing or managing projects in 20 states.
2018 Unit Starts: 5,170
Leadership: Bruce Ward, Chairman and CEO and V. Jay Hiemenz, President and COO
Lincoln Property Company
Company Profile: Since 1965, the Lincoln Property Company has worked on developing multifamily communities throughout the United States. The firm, based in Dallas, Texas, has a variety of specialties, including property construction and rehabilitation, environmental management, and national, regional, and local property management staffing for property owners and investors. Unlike many of the other developers on this list, Lincoln also has a strong emphasis on military housing, and currently has military housing communities in 10 states.
2018 Unit Starts: 5,002
Leadership: Tim Byrne, President and CEO
Trammell Crow Residential
Company Profile: Trammell Crow Residential is a subsidiary of the Trammell Crow Company, one of the largest commercial real estate development firms in the United States. The company, which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has more than four decades of experience in multifamily development and property management, and has developed more than a quarter of a million multifamily units across the United States
2018 Unit Starts: 3,863
Leadership: Kenneth J. Valach, President and CEO
Company Profile: LMC Residential, a subsidiary of Lennar, one of the country’s largest homebuilders, is focused on building high-quality apartment communities throughout the United States. In general, LMC focuses on developing communities in major and growing real estate markets, including Arizona, California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey.
2018 Unit Starts: 3,742
Leadership: Todd Farrell, President and CEO
Continental Properties Company, Inc.
Company Profile: Continental Properties Company, Inc. was founded in 1979, and, since then, has become a major player in the apartment, retail, and hospitality development sectors. The firm, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, has developed properties in 24 states, including 79 apartment complexes and over 14 million sq. ft. of commercial and industrial property.
2018 Unit Starts: 3,140
Leadership: James H. Schloemer, CEO
Company Profile: JPI, based in Irving, Texas, has developed more than 340 apartment complexes across the United States, totalling more than 100,000 units. The company prides itself on being vertically integrated, with an in-house construction management division that serves as a general contractor on all development projects. JPI also specializes in asset management and project capitalizations, boasting long-term relationships with a variety of national CRE lenders and major banks.
2018 Unit Starts: 2,832
Leadership: Mark Bryant, Managing Partner and President
The Michaels Organization
Company Profile: Unlike most of the developers on this list, The Michaels Organization places a significant emphasis on both market-rate and affordable housing development. For more than four decades, the firm has partnered with cities, universities, and community groups to increase the supply of housing for those who need it the most. The company, based in Marlton, NJ, has developed approximately 400 communities, and, today, manages more than 50,000 units across the United States.
2018 Unit Starts: 2,768
Leadership: John J. O'Donnell, CEO
What are the most successful multifamily developers in the US?
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) put together a list of the largest 25 apartment developers in the United States. The top 10 developers from that list are:
- Alliance Residential Company
- Greystar Real Estate Partners
- JLL Multifamily
- Lincoln Property Company
- Richman Group
- The Michaels Organization
- TRG Realty Company
These developers have been successful in the multifamily market due to their experience, expertise, and resources. They offer a variety of loan products, including bridge loans, construction loans, and permanent loans, to help finance their projects.
What criteria are used to determine the top multifamily developers in the US?
The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) ranks the top multifamily developers in the US based on the number of units started in the current year. For example, the 2022 ranking was created based on the number of units started in 2021.
What are the best practices for multifamily development in the US?
The best practices for multifamily development in the US depend on the market and the goals of the investor. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), the top 10 multifamily developers in the US are:
- Alliance Residential
- J.P. Morgan Asset Management
- AvalonBay Communities
- Bell Partners
- TruAmerica Multifamily
- Cortland Partners
- The Bozzuto Group
When considering a multifamily investment, it is important to shop around in different markets to find the best deal. According to Multifamily.loans, investors should scour multiple markets in multiple regions in search of the ideal environment to chase those original multifamily investment goals. It is recommended to hone in on at least five to six major markets — and maybe even two to three submarkets within those larger markets — to maximize the selection process.
What are the most profitable multifamily development projects in the US?
The most profitable multifamily development projects in the US depend on a variety of factors, such as the location, the size of the project, and the type of financing used. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), the top 10 multifamily developers in the US are:
- Alliance Residential
- Trammell Crow Residential
- The Related Group
- AvalonBay Communities
- Essex Property Trust
- The Bozzuto Group
In addition, the 5 Best Multifamily Investment Markets of 2023 by Growing Property Values report from Multifamily.loans lists the following markets as having the fastest growing sale prices per unit last year:
- San Francisco, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York, NY
- Boston, MA
- Washington, DC
These markets may be the most profitable for multifamily development projects in the US. However, it is important to do your own research before investing in any project.
If you are looking for financing for a multifamily development project, Multifamily.loans can help. We can match you with the best lenders to get you the best loan terms out there, whether your best option is a Fannie Mae Small Loan, a traditional bank loan, or anything in between. Fill in the form here and we’ll get back to you with quotes at no cost.
What are the most innovative multifamily development projects in the US?
The most innovative multifamily development projects in the US vary depending on the region and the developer. For example, Related Group, one of the top 10 multifamily developers in the US, is known for its luxury properties and its work on affordable housing and workforce housing in urban centers. According to Multifamily Executive, Related Group recently unveiled plans for Miami's first micro-unit community, which will feature a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.
In addition, Multifamily Biz highlights several other innovative multifamily projects in the US, including a project in Austin, Texas that features a rooftop pool and a project in Denver, Colorado that features a rooftop garden. Other innovative projects include a project in Los Angeles, California that features a rooftop lounge and a project in Seattle, Washington that features a rooftop deck.
What are the most successful strategies for multifamily development in the US?
The most successful strategies for multifamily development in the US vary depending on the market and the investor's goals. Generally, the most successful strategies include buy and hold, value-add, and adding another investor.
Buy and hold is a strategy where an investor buys an investment property and holds onto it for an extended period of time, usually five to 10 years or longer. The benefits of this strategy are that it allows you to build equity in the property and eventually sell it for a profit. The downside is that it ties up your capital in one property for an extended period of time, which limits your ability to invest in other opportunities.
Value-add is a strategy where an investor buys an underperforming property and adds value to it through renovations, upgrades, and other improvements. The benefit of this strategy is that it allows you to increase the value of the property and potentially sell it for a higher price. The downside is that it requires a significant amount of capital and time to complete the renovations.
Adding another investor is a strategy where an investor brings on another investor to help finance the purchase of an investment property. The benefit of this strategy is that it allows you to buy a property with less money down, which frees up capital for other investments. The downside is that you will have to give up some control over the property and will not see as much upside when the property appreciates in value.
For more information on multifamily exit strategies, please visit this article.