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Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc (ELS) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript | The Motley Fool

Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc (NYSE:ELS)
Q1 2021 Earnings Call
Apr 20, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good day, everyone, and thank you all for joining us to discuss Equity LifeStyle Properties’ First Quarter 2021 results. Our featured speakers today are Marguerite Nader, our President and CEO; Paul Seavey, our Executive Vice President and CFO; and Patrick Waite, our Executive Vice President and COO. In advance of today’s call, management released earnings. Today’s call will consist of opening remarks and a question-and-answer session with management relating to the Company’s earnings release. As a reminder, this call is being recorded.

Certain matters discussed during the conference call may contain forward-looking statements in the meaning of the federal securities law. All forward-looking statements are subject to certain economic risks and uncertainty. The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement any statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.

In addition, during today’s call, we will discuss non-GAAP financial measures as defined by SEC Regulation G. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the comparable GAAP financial measures are included in our earnings release, our supplemental information and our historical SEC filings.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Marguerite Nader, our President and CEO.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. I am pleased to report the results for the first quarter of 2021. Our performance shows the increased demand for our properties. We continued our record of strong core operations and FFO growth, with an 8.1% growth in normalized FFO per share in the quarter.

New customer growth in both our RV and MH business contributed to the positive results in the quarter. Our new home sales grew by 24%, contributing to the high quality of occupancy at our MH communities. We ended the quarter with Core Portfolio occupancy of 95.4%. Home sale leads from websites increased by 37% in the quarter.

Within our RV platform, we were successful in offsetting some of the loss in seasonal business with significant growth in transient business for the quarter. We ended the quarter with a 15% increase in transient revenue. Our subscription-based Thousand Trails Camping Pass showed strength this quarter. Over 5,000 new members purchased the camp pass, which was an increase of 64% over the first quarter of 2020. In the quarter, we saw an increased demand for upgrades in the Thousand Trail system. Our members we’re looking for expanded access to our portfolio and we saw an increase of $5 million in sales. We now have 117,000 members with access to the Thousand Trails footprint.

We are approaching our summer RV season and encouraged by the reservation pace and the feedback we have received from our customers. We recently completed a customer survey and the results support our view that our customers are looking forward to spending time outdoors and at our properties. The survey results show that 98% of respondents who were new to camping last year, plan to camp again this year. The respondents indicated that they chose to camp because it felt like a safe choice and they were able to safely travel with their family and friends. The survey indicate the plan for increased camping adventures with 65% of those responding indicating an intention to more this year. The survey also showed that 70% of those responding do not plan to travel by plane this year.

In 2020, to help support the safety of our guests and members, we launched a new online check-in option for our RV guests. Since launch, over 160,000 guests completed the online checking process, allowing them to get to their site more quickly and with less direct interaction. In addition, we provided our guests an added way to communicate with our onsite teams during their visit by launching a text message program to reduce the number of in-person interaction. Our guests reported high satisfaction levels based on the experience provided by our teams at our properties.

Based on the first quarter survey results, guests responded to customer experienced questions with a rating of 4.5 out of 5. We continue to protect and enhance the environments where we live, work and play, and encourage our residents, members and guests to do the same. Our annual sustainability report will provide updates on our partnerships with conservation focused organizations. We have increased our efforts through partnerships with leading organizations focused on water conservation, supporting the reforestation movement and ocean conservation. Our team members did a wonderful job ensuring the safety and well-being of our snowbird residents and guests.

Our COVID response team has been instrumental in arranging 39 vaccination events at our properties that supplied vaccinations for approximately 8,700 individuals. Our operating team will now turn their attention toward the summer season properties and will focus on delivering excellent customer service to our residents, members and guests as they explore our properties this summer.

I will now turn it over to Paul to walk through the numbers in detail.

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

FThank you, Marguerite, and good morning, everyone. I will provide an overview of our first quarter results and walk through our guidance for second quarter and full year 2021. I will also discuss our balance sheet before the operator opens the call for Q&A.

For the first quarter, we reported $0.64 normalized FFO per share. The outperformance to guidance in the quarter resulted from better-than-expected transient performance, membership upgrades, and expense savings. In addition, our guidance did not assume the net contribution from our southern marinas portfolio acquisition. Core MH rent growth of 4.7% includes 4.1% rate growth and approximately 60 basis points related to occupancy gains. Core RV and marina rental income from annuals was in line with expectations for the quarter.

Annual RV rental income represents 90% of the combined RV and marina rental income from annuals, and has increased 3.5% with 3.4% from rate. Within the core marina portfolio, marina rent from annuals represents approximately 99% of total marina rental income. Core RV and marina rental income from seasonal and transient customers outperformed our expectations. Included with our guidance assumptions composed in January, we estimated a $10 million decline from combined seasonal and transient revenues compared to first quarter 2020. The actual decline was approximately $6 million.

The main factors driving this favorable result were increased customer confidence in travel, given declining COVID case counts and increased vaccine availability, as well as the cold weather pattern in February that increased customer demand for stays in warmer climates. Transient revenues represented approximately two thirds of the combined outperformance.

First quarter membership subscriptions as well as the net contribution from upgrade sales outperformed our expectations. The main contributor to outperformance was strong demand for our upgrade products. Upgrade sales volume increased by 640 units compared to first quarter 2020. The price of upgrade sold increased approximately 10% compared to last year. In addition to strong demand for upgrades, our camping pass sales volume increased more than 60% during the quarter.

First quarter core property operating maintenance and real estate tax expenses increased 2.3% compared to prior year. Utility expense payroll, real estate taxes and repairs and maintenance combined represent more than 80% of our core expenses in the quarter, and the average increase across these categories was 2.3%.

In summary, first quarter core property operating revenues increased 2.8% and core NOI before property management increased 1.9%. Property operating income from the non-core portfolio, which includes assets acquired in 2020 and during the first quarter 2021, was $3.3 million. Overall, the acquisition properties performed in line with expectations. Property management and corporate G&A were $25.9 million, flat to first quarter 2020. A key contributor to the year-over-year comparison is lower travel expenses in 2021.

Other income and expenses were approximately $3.1 million higher than first quarter 2020, mainly from home sale profits and ancillary income. Interest and related amortization was $26.3 million, slightly higher than prior year. The first quarter 2021 results include the interest expense resulting from debt used to fund our acquisition activity, offset by the accretive refinancings we closed in the first and third quarters of 2020.

The press release provides an overview of second quarter and full year 2021 earnings guidance. As I provide some context for the information we’ve provided, keep in mind, my remarks are intended to provide our current estimate of future results. All growth rates and revenue and expense projections represent midpoints in our guidance range and are qualified by the risk factors included in our press release and supplemental financial information. A significant factor in our guidance assumptions for the remainder of 2021 is the level of demand for transient stays in our RV communities. We have developed guidance based on our current customer reservation trends. While macro indicators suggest we’re heading in a favorable direction relative to the impact of COVID on daily life, our experience over the past year has shown that circumstances can change.

We intend to continue to monitor the situation closely and we’ll manage our business accordingly. We provide no assurance that our actual results will be consistent with our guidance, and we assume no obligation to update guidance as conditions change. Our full-year 2021 normalized FFO guidance is $2.38 per share, at the midpoint of our range of $2.33 to $2.43. Normalized FFO per share at the midpoint represents an estimated 9.7% growth rate compared to 2020. Core NOI is projected to increase 5.3% at the midpoint of our range of 4.8% to 5.8%.

The core NOI growth rate increase from our prior guidance is mainly the result of our first quarter outperformance. Our expectation for the second through fourth quarters is consistent with our budget. As a reminder, our core portfolio changes annually. You’ll find our definition of core on Page 19 of the earnings release and supplemental information. Our guidance for the full year and second quarter includes the impact of the acquisition activity we’ve closed in the first quarter with no assumptions for additional acquisitions during the year. We’ve also included the impact of the financing activity we’ve disclosed, including the recast of our unsecured credit facility, which I’ll discuss after highlighting some of our second quarter guidance assumptions.

We expect second quarter normalized FFO at the midpoint of our range of approximately $103.5 million, with a per share range of $0.51 to $0.57. We expect the second quarter to contribute 22% to 23% of full year normalized FFO. We project a core NOI growth rate range of 6.9% to 7.5%. Keep in mind, our second quarter 2020 transient RV business was significantly impacted by COVID-related travel restrictions and shelter-in-place orders.

MH and RV annual rate growth assumptions for the second quarter and full year remain consistent with our prior guidance. As Marguerite mentioned, we anticipate continued strong demand across our RV platform. We’ve built our transient RV revenue assumptions for the second and third quarters using factors, including current reservation pace compared to both 2020 and 2019. Our guidance for the second quarter assumes a growth rate of approximately 14% compared to 2019. This represents a core transient RV revenue increase of approximately $8.8 million compared to 2020.

Before opening the call up for questions, I’ll discuss our year-to-date refinancing activity, highlight current secured debt market conditions and provide some comments on our balance sheet. During the quarter, we closed the previously disclosed $270 million 10-year secured loan with a fixed interest rate of 2.4%. In April, we closed on an amended unsecured credit facility, including a $500 million revolver and a $300 million fully funded term loan. The term loan proceeds were used to repay an acquisition loan we originated in early February. The revolver matures in four years and we have two six-month extension options. The term loan matures in five years and we’ve executed a fixed rate swap that locks in the interest rate at 1.8% for three years.

Current secured debt terms available for MH and RV assets range from 55% to 75% LTV, with rates from 2.5% to 3% for 10-year maturities. High quality, age qualified MH assets will command best financing terms. RV assets with a high percentage of annual occupancy have access to financing from certain life companies as well as CMBS lenders. Life companies continue to quote competitively on longer term maturities. We continue to place high importance on balance sheet flexibility, and we believe we have multiple sources of capital available to us. Our debt to EBITDA is 5.7 times and our interest coverage is 5.2 times. The weighted average maturity of our outstanding secured debt is almost 13 years.

Now we would like to open it up for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from John Kim with BMO Capital Markets. Your line is now open.

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

Thank you. Couple questions on your guidance. So in the second quarter you’re projecting an $8.8 million increase in trends in RV, which would put it above 2019 levels. But I was wondering how much clarity you have on that at this moment? I know you talked about the reservation pace, but your first quarter numbers came in well above your initial projections. I just wanted to see how confident you were in the second quarter projections?

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, I think John, as we think about our guidance, the second quarter increase, that $8.8 million over 2020, that’s about 14% over 2019. We’ve taken a look at our reservation pace and we’ve taken a look at the activity in 2019 as an indicator of a normalized environment because it is quite challenging frankly to look at 2020, but we definitely recognize that over time pace can change. So we’ve given our current estimate and anticipate that that may change, but it’s our our best view into the second quarter at this time.

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

And what are you expecting as far as the growth in the Thousand Trails. You had strong demand this quarter with membership upgrades. Do you see that pace continuing in the second quarter and for the remainder of the year?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

I think that if you look at our history over the last 10 years, you see that our upgrade revenue line tends to increase in periods when we introduce a new product, and we introduced a new product this quarter, and the biggest uptick is really in 60 days to 90 days after that product launch and then it tends to fall in line with more of a historical run rate performance.

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

And can you remind us Marguerite once you upgrade the memberships, is the goal to keep them at that level or is the goal to convert them to a seasonal RV customer?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So just a little bit of history on the Thousand Trails upgraded, that really it offers a number of options. We offer a number of options to own and upgrading membership. It’s really designed for the RV’ier who plans to camp and travel in multiple locations over an extended period of time are really those who just want the flexibility to go to a single destination with fewer used restrictions. S they’re looking for longer stays, advance booking windows and the ability to kind of go resort to resort. And so, I think that as we see some of those members are becoming annuals and some of them just wanting to continue to upgrade and some of them are multiple upgraders, they continue to upgrade as the new products come on board.

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

Okay, and then my final question is on the Marina acquisition. And basically what is your appetite to do more? Right now it’s about 4% of your total sites. What is your expectations to acquire more? And also what are the opportunities?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So we — since our last call, we did purchase a portfolio or marinas of about $260. That was a deal that we’d been looking at over the last — over the end of last year and it fit really nicely into our acquisition strategy. The portfolio lines up very well with our existing marina portfolio, with about 4100 slips, 95% fee simple and 96% of the revenue is derived from annual sources. And as we look at, and I think we included it in our presentation at the time that we did the deal to talk about what we look at — what we look like on a post-acquisition basis of about 4% marinas, and I would see that continuing to be the case where will grow in MH space, the RV space, and the marina space.

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

And what was the cap rate on this portfolio?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

This deal was a 5.5 cap.

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, John.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Nick Joseph with Citi. Your line is now open.

Nick JosephCiti — Analyst

The transaction pipeline and acquisition pipeline looks like today. And then how does it compare across the three different verticals?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. So the deal flow is really — it’s in line with what we’ve seen in the immediate past. I think over the last five years we’ve closed about $1 billion of transactions, and really focused on creating that long-term value. I think the strong relationships we have in the industry that will just continue to benefit from and closing on the transactions. But as our — and we’ve talked about this Nick in the past, is our asset class continues to be sought after in our performance during the pandemic and the first quarter, I think it only heightens the desire by others to become owners of these assets.

That being said, most deals are really well marketed and the acquisition team does a very good job of underwriting assets and assessing the strategic fit for EOS. So I think there are opportunities out there and we’ll continue to update as we close deals.

Nick JosephCiti — Analyst

Is it weighted toward any of the different verticals? or are you seeing opportunities across all three?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

We’re seeing opportunities across all three.

Nick JosephCiti — Analyst

Thanks. And then just, you’re much in the technology enhancements. How does that impact long term expenses from a property level perspective and does it change margins at all?

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I think what we anticipate over the long term Nick is that there will be some shift and potential for reduction in those expenses, as we talk about the initiatives like contactless check, the self-serve options for the customers, I think that frees up resources that would otherwise be dedicated to those efforts. But in the near-term, there is a transition back to normalized operations that we’re working through, but I definitely think over the long-term we would see that.

Nick JosephCiti — Analyst

Thank you.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Nick.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Keegan Carl with Berenberg. Your line is now open.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Hello, Keegan. Keegan, do you have a question. Operator, maybe we can move to the next one and then we can circle back with Keegan.

Operator

Certainly, our next question comes from Wes Golladay with Baird. Your line is now open.

Wes GolladayBaird — Analyst

Hi, good morning, everyone. I just wanted to go back to the upgrade products. It sounds like you said the price increased 10%. Was that due to the new introduction of the product you mentioned Marguerite?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yes it was. So we upgraded the product. The upgraded product is a new product called adventure and there were some additional benefits in it, and we were able to increase the price as a result.

Wes GolladayBaird — Analyst

Got you. And then I think on the last call you kind of mentioned that deals tend to close in the fourth quarter and a little bit surprised about the first quarter deal. I guess, would you still hold that same comment for the remaining pipeline that weighted toward the fourth quarter?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I mean I think that that’s what we had seen historically is that what I think I — how I addressed it in the call last time and there was an opportunity to close them — close the deal that we did in the two deals transaction that we did in the first quarter, so there it’s lumpy. Over time, you can see it’s lumpy as to — as to the quarters, but it ends up — like I said over the course of five years I think we were at roughly $225 million a year.

Wes GolladayBaird — Analyst

Got it. And then maybe one last one on — are you seeing any inflationary pressure in the business, and probably more specifically on the home sales?

Patrick WaiteExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, sure. This is Patrick. Let me take our home sales prices first and then I’ll speak to cost. We saw an increase in our new home sale prices for the quarter of 20% year-over-year, and some of that is just mix and that will continue to contribute to quarter-over-quarter yield differences, and some of that’s based on some higher priced homes. But broadly, we saw strength in Florida where home prices were up more than 10% and we are consistently seeing 5% to 6% increases in new home sale prices in our primary sale locations across the portfolio.

With respect to your pricing pressures, lumber is up 2.5 times year-over-year, steel is up 1.5 times year-over-year, crude oil 1.7 times, that’s the base for PVC pipe and other adhesives. And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce construction index really points to price fluctuations and supply shortages in lumber, steel, PVC and copper. That’s due to a couple of issues. One, we know about increasing demand that’s broad across said the residential space, but we’re starting to see supply chain issues materialize. And another one just recently was that major winter storm in Texas disrupted petroleum processing. So we’re seeing good demand for new home sales. We’re seeing price increases come through on our new home sale prices, but there is also going to be some price impact on the cost of homes as well as potentially timing for delivery.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

The demand is very high, but it is taking us longer to get the homes to the locations, but the demand is very high.

Wes GolladayBaird — Analyst

Great. That’s all from me. Thank you.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from Keegan Carl with Berenberg. Your line is now open.

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

Can everyone hear me now.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

We got you now Keegan, hello.

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

All right. Sorry about that.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

No problem.

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

So with the explosion of RV sales and RV ownership, how your online metrics specifically trended? And I guess what conversion rate you guys anticipate from the membership fits into the annual passes?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So we’ve seen a significant increase on the camping pass sales over time, so the vast majority of the increases from our the campus of sales for the quarter, I think went from 5,000 compared to 3,000 last year, a 64% increase, and the vast majority of that comes from online channels. So we went from many years ago where we were all face to face sales to now a significant portion of our campus sales are done online. and it’s a very seamless process, something — its a subscription-based model, so people have become very familiar with that concept over time, and we’ve seen people continue to want to push that through, and we’ll continue to push other opportunities through the online channel.

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

To follow up on that. Are you seeing your average age of resident trending down? I know in the March presentation you said the average age of a new resident in the RV space is 55, but RVIA was putting out a report showing that the 18 to 34 age cohorts, that cohort is actually picking up in ownership.

Patrick WaiteExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Hi, yes, Patrick. Yes, I’m familiar with the study and I would anticipate over time that we may see additional lower age new customers coming into this space. I mean, as Marguerite and Paul both pointed out in different parts of their comments, there is significant demand across the portfolio. One thing we’re seeing that contributed to results in Q1 and also what we’re seeing in Q2 on the transient side is reservations being booked much earlier in the corresponding months, and we’ve seen in the past. So there is a real desire for people to get out in a socially distanced COVID safe manner and spend time with family and friends, that is bringing with it people with — first time users and first-time exposure to the RV space. So we may anticipate to see some younger new customers come into this space in coming quarters. We haven’t seen that come through on an average age at this point, but that means it’s a reasonable expectation.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

And it would take a lot for the average age to change, so it will take time for that to change within our portfolio.

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

And then just one final one for me. So obviously, leverage is now at 5 times, 5.7 times, highest you’ve been quite a bit. Is there an expectation this is going to come down back to the 5 times range? Or are you guys actually more comfortable with some higher leverage given how you performed during the pandemic?

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I think we’ve long talked about the strength of our balance sheet and I think we’re perfectly comfortable with the higher leverage of — higher level of leverage. We don’t have a target that we’re we’re aiming to meet.

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

All right, that’s it from me. Thanks, everyone.

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Keegan.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Joshua Dennerlein with Bank of America. Your line is now open.

Joshua DennerleinBank of America — Analyst

Yeah, hey Marguerite [Indecipherable] doing well. I’m curious on the Thousand Trails product update. Was that kind of something you had that had been in the planning for a while? Or was this an opportunity you saw because of COVID to offer something new or unique on that side?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah. So we do roll out a new program every few years, but really last fall as we continued, we saw continued travel restrictions and weakness in our seasonal revenue stream. We built the product and focused on the demand we were seeing from our current customer base. Of course, we had issues with the Canadian customer base. There was — demand was there, they just couldn’t access. So we just people, we just saw people seeing ways to have limited access to more properties, advanced booking windows as I mentioned, and so we were able to roll out that program in anticipation of that. What we saw with some weaker — some weaker issues on the Canadian border front seasonal front.

Joshua DennerleinBank of America — Analyst

Okay, got it. And then do you expect to see additional strength in the upgrades in 2Q when you kind of built them.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I mean I think that what you see — there is that uptick that I mentioned in the first as soon as the new product goes out, and then I think it goes — tends to fall more in line with our historical run rate.

Joshua DennerleinBank of America — Analyst

Okay, OK. And then on the transient revenues, they seem to come in much better than expected for 1Q, offsetting some of the weakness you’re expecting the seasonal side. How does that trend across the quarter? And has that kind of trend continued into like the early days of 2Q?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

I mean what we really saw in the quarter was that March was the highlight of the quarter. You saw really strong demand as the weather got really bad toward the end of February, up north, and then we did some more activity at our properties in March and it is continuing into April.

Joshua DennerleinBank of America — Analyst

Okay, awesome. Was it more weather driven or maybe COVID cases coming down.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think it was a little bit of — it was certainly a little bit of both. But they happened to coincide as the availability of the vaccine and then you had strong demand, so that helped. And then you saw that the weather was really difficult, and we saw strong demand in our keyes [Phonetic] properties at that time.

Joshua DennerleinBank of America — Analyst

Okay, awesome. Appreciate the color.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Josh.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from John Pawlowski with Green Street. Your line is now open.

John PawlowskiGreen Street Advisors — Analyst

Thanks for the time. Maybe just a follow-up question on the transaction market. When you’re looking at pricing in terms of private market pricing in MH and different types RV product, is pricing getting to a point where borderline irrational where you’d start to maybe sell assets and buy back stock?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I mean I think that there is certainly some deals that are trading that we’ve walked away from because we don’t think the pricing makes sense, but I do think there are still a lot of opportunities out there for us to invest in accretive deals that would make sense for us in the long-term. So I’d say we would continue to pursue those deals.

John PawlowskiGreen Street Advisors — Analyst

I guess maybe a follow-up direct question. Is your share price screening more attractive than kind of a bigger and bigger swaths of the private market across MH and RV right now?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I mean I think that the best use of our capital right now is to continue to invest in our properties, invest in development and invest in future acquisitions.

John PawlowskiGreen Street Advisors — Analyst

Okay and then just one follow-up question on Paul your opening remarks about 1Q was better than expected, but the balance of this year is trending in line with prior expectations. Is it a fair interpretation that if the positive trends on the transient and membership businesses continue, there’s going to be additional upside coming this next few quarters?

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

That’s not unreasonable statement to make.

John PawlowskiGreen Street Advisors — Analyst

Okay, thank you for the time.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, John. Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our next question comes from Todd Stender with Wells Fargo. Your line is now open.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

All right, thanks, and good morning.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Todd.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

Good morning. Not sure if I missed this. Was the Marina deal a widely marketed deal and any discussion about using OP units or any other tax advantageous currency?

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. The Marina deal was a deal that we been working on, like I said, toward the end of last year, widely marketed I would say, maybe not so widely marketed. It was certainly discuss with other — there were other people that were interested. And as far as OP units, that was not something that the sellers were interested in, so it was not that discussion point.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

Okay. Just cash. Okay.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Yes.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

And can you share your annual growth rate assumptions in the underwriting? And maybe how that compares to how you’re underwriting MH and RV right now?

Patrick WaiteExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Let me, this is Patrick. Let me cover the RV business broadly. Southern lines up as Marguerite mentioned, very similarly to our Loggerhead portfolio and our experience on Loggerhead, it’s really stable annual occupancy. The 90% of the overall revenue comes from our slip income and as Paul referenced high 90% of that comes from our annual customer base. We see 3% to 4% type rate growth topline with some some periodic upside with occupancy and some rate opportunity, and that’s really translating to NOI growth in the range of 4% subject to some of the same expense pressures that we’re seeing in other property types, like insurance and real estate taxes. Overall, the two portfolios are very similar, heavily weighted coastal, and in particular Florida.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

That’s helpful, Patrick. Any capex, any comments on deferred maintenance just because it’s such a new property type, maybe just comment on what’s required maybe going into it?

Patrick WaiteExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, I wouldn’t say that it’s a deferred maintenance issue as we work our way through due diligence. But from a run rate perspective, the capital load is more similar to RV than MH, and [Indecipherable] is somewhere in the neighborhood of 5% to 7% of gross revenue on a roll-forward basis, that will ebb in flow depending on particular improvements across the portfolio.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

Okay. probably just last question, Patrick, just to stick with you, back to home sales. Can you maybe just characterize the buying behavior? I know you spoke to the demand is so high, but because your new home sales continue to outpace used home sales, are buyers paying an all cash? or there is liquid as we think they are?

Patrick WaiteExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, its the same trend as it has been historically for us — 90%, 95% are cash buyers. And just part of the point I’ll make on the used home. We’ve reduced our used home inventory from a rental perspective pretty consistently over the last five to six years, it’s down 20% year-over-year. So some of that is just going to be a driver on the used homes that are actually available for sale. Another part of it is just due to reduce mobility at a time of COVID, but that’s been normalizing over the last quarter or two.

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

Got it. Thank you.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Todd.

Operator

Thank you. Since we have no more questions on the line at this time, I would like to turn it back over to Marguerite Nader for closing comments.

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you all for joining us today. We look forward to updating you on the next quarter’s call. Take care. [Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 37 minutes

Call participants:

Marguerite NaderPresident and Chief Executive Officer

Paul SeaveyExecutive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Patrick WaiteExecutive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

John KimBMO Capital Markets — Analyst

Nick JosephCiti — Analyst

Wes GolladayBaird — Analyst

Keegan CarlBerenberg Bank — Analyst

Joshua DennerleinBank of America — Analyst

John PawlowskiGreen Street Advisors — Analyst

Todd StenderWells Fargo — Analyst

More ELS analysis

All earnings call transcripts


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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.


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