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Urban Commercial Real Estate, Multifamily Housing Favored by Opportunity Zone Fund Managers

Published on November 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC —  Fund managers aiming to raise capital through the Opportunity Zone (OZ) tax incentive enacted last year are heavily focused on commercial real estate in larger urban areas, according to a new analysis by the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA).

NCSHA reviewed public information on 34 “Opportunity Funds,” representing more than $10 billion in potential investment, and found the following:

  • The most common investment focus is commercial real estate (24 of the 34 funds), closely followed by multifamily residential development (23) and mixed-use development (22).
  • Other investment areas of interest include economic development (12 funds), affordable housing (11), workforce housing (10), community revitalization (9), and small business development (9).
  • While 12 funds characterize their footprint as “national,” the majority target specific states or regions.
  • Currently, the northeastern United States is seeing the heaviest concentration with 10 funds focusing on that region, five of which target investment in New York.
  • Nearly half of the 34 funds reference a specific urban area or an urban targeting focus, while only two of the funds reference investment in rural areas.

“The emergence of a significant number of Opportunity Funds in the last several weeks is early and encouraging evidence that the OZ incentive is motivating investors to look at real estate opportunities in areas they had not before,” said NCSHA Executive Director Stockton Williams. “For the program to reach its full potential, however, small businesses and rural communities need the same level of attention.”

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Kansas Department of Commerce, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and Michigan State Housing Development Authority are among the many housing finance agencies promoting OZ investment in the eligible areas of their states.

NCSHA’s analysis is based on the significantly expanded second edition of its Opportunity Zone Fund Directory released today.

About the National Council of State Housing Agencies 
For more than 50 years, state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) have played a central role in the nation’s affordable housing system, delivering financing to make possible the purchase, development, and rehabilitation of affordable homes and rental apartments for low- and middle-income households.

The National Council of State Housing Agencies is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created to advance, through advocacy and education, the efforts of the nation’s state HFAs and their partners to provide affordable housing to those who need it. NCSHA’s vision: An affordably housed nation. Learn more at

For more information, contact Lisa Bowman, Director of Marketing and Communications.