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Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.
Santa Barbara Metrics
David Toti – Cantor Fitzgerald: I have a couple of just small detailed questions. Looking at the metrics for Santa Barbara in the quarter, it appears you had pretty good occupancy gain and rent growth was pretty flat. Was that a deliberate effort to build up occupancy and if so, why so aggressive in that particular market?
Erik J. Alexander – SVP, Operations: This is Erik. Yes, it was. Basically, that building is a student-dominated building and so, the leases that you see in the fourth quarter are essentially the leftover from the pre-leasing done during the summer. So, the sooner we get those, the better we are for the rest of the year.
David Toti – Cantor Fitzgerald: So, that just depends on the specifics to that market, not an overall expectation for the portfolio in general?
Erik J. Alexander – SVP, Operations: No, no, absolutely. The total specific to University of Santa Barbara.
David Toti – Cantor Fitzgerald: Going back to NAREIT, you guys were talking about capping or potentially capping rent increases in Northern California that doesn’t seem to have happened, do things continue to improve above expectation in said part?
Erik J. Alexander – SVP, Operations: This is Erik. We actually do cap the rents at the majority of the properties to stabilize the assets including Northern California.
Michael J. Schall – President and CEO: On renewals.
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