Post Properties offers Southerners a place to hang their hats, but has also started showing Yankees some down-home hospitality. A self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT), Post Properties owns, develops, and manages primarily upscale multi-family apartment communities. Operating through Post Apartment Homes, it owns some 60 properties with nearly 22,000 apartment units. Its primary markets are Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, and Washington, DC, with additional holdings in New York, North Carolina, and other markets in Florida and Texas. Post Properties also acts as a property manager and is developing about 275 condominiums by converting some apartment complexes into for-sale units.
Atlanta is the firm's largest market, accounting for about more than a third of its total apartment units. Dallas is second, with nearly 25% of Post's apartments, followed by Washington, D.C. (13%), and Tampa, Florida (10%).
Post Properties is recovering from a steep decline in sales and profitability resulting from the deep recession. In 2011 its rental and other property revenues increased 7% vs. the prior year, primarily due to increased revenues from Post's existing communities and revenue from a community acquired late in the year. Condominium sales also contributed to the gain. Despite two consecutive years of revenue growth, Post's sales are still well below the $410 million achieved in 2007. Post turned a small profit in 2011, its first in four years.
The REIT seeks to compile a portfolio of high-quality, low-average-age properties. To that end, it is exploring opportunities in markets with high growth potential that cater to upper middle-class consumers. (Post's focus on upscale rentals hurt sales during the recession and weak recovery as cash-strapped tenants favored more modest accommodations. With the economy improving Post's prospects are brighter, although high unemployment among younger adults, who are more likely to be renters, may reduce demand for its apartments. Recent purchases include the 360-unit South End apartment community in Charlotte, North Carolina for $74 million and Katy Trail, a 277-unit apartment community in Dallas for $48,500.
Post also plans to reduce its concentration of older and less competitively priced properties by divesting apartment communities it has held for more than 20 years after they were acquired or developed.
The company plans to exit the for-sale condominium business, which has been weak, following the sale of some 275 units at its two projects: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Atlanta Buckhead (129 units); and the Four Seasons Private Residences, Austin (148 units). Post plans to liquidate its investment in the two projects and use the proceeds to invest in its core apartment business.
Investment firm FMR LLC owns more than 13% of Post's shares. The Vanguard Group owns nearly 11%.
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