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Equity Residential: The Largest Apartment Building Owner in the US

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Company overview

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Equity Residential (EQR) is an S&P 500 company and a leading mall owner. The company is mainly focused on the acquisition, development, and management of rental apartment properties. Equity Residential mainly owns apartment properties in urban and suburban coastal markets.

Founded in March 1993, Equity International (EQR) also operates property management offices in six major coastal markets: Boston, New York, Southern California, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. On March 31, 2017, EQR had almost 2,700 employees.

The company held ~96.4% ownership in ER Operating Limited Partnership (or ERPOP) on March 31, 2017.

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The company’s US properties primarily consist of wholly owned properties, consolidated master-leased properties, consolidated partially owned properties, and unconsolidated partially owned properties. These properties comprise garden-style properties and mid-rise and high-rise properties. While the garden-style properties are usually two- and three-story buildings, the mid-rise and high-rise properties have more than three stories.

Business in the US

On March 31, 2017, Equity Residential (EQR) owned 302 properties in ten states and the District of Columbia, comprising 77,498 apartment units.

Market cap and competitors

Equity Residential, the largest apartment property owner company in the US, and its market capitalization is ~$24.8 billion. It competes with some other apartment REITs and other types of rental and single-family housing properties.

Its major competitors include:

  • Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities (AVB)
  • California-based Essex Property Trust (ESS)
  • Colorado-based UDR (UDR)
  • Texas-based Camden Property Trust (CPT)

Equity Residential comprises ~2.9% of the Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ).

In the next article, we’ll look at the company’s business and operating segments.

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