10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 29, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 29, 2015)

 

  1. Fed’s Asset-Bubble Focus Tries to Clear Path for Gradual Hike “The Dec. 18 message from the Federal Reserve and two other government agencies seemed innocuous enough. It ‘reminded’ financial institutions about ‘existing regulatory guidance on prudent risk management practices for commercial real estate lending.’ Make no mistake, though, the joint statement from the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency sent an important warning to banks across the U.S. that federal regulators were on high alert for slack lending standards.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Home Prices Rise at Fastest Annual Pace Since August 2014: S&P/Case Schiller “U.S. home price gains quickened in October, and several cities saw double-digit growth. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index rose 0.1% for the three-month period ending in October, for a 5.5% yearly gain. That was stronger than the 5.4% annual growth notched in September’s reading and the fastest annual reading since August 2014, when prices climbed 5.6%.” (MarketWatch)
  3. 10 Things Real Estate Appraisers Won’t Tell You “The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act of 2010 required more state and federal supervision of appraisers, and put more pressure on lenders to work through appraisal management companies, or AMCs. These independent firms are designed to keep appraisers and lenders from getting too cozy, explains Sam Heskel, manager of appraisal firm Nadlan Valuation in Brooklyn, N.Y. But appraisers say that new rules have made the process slower and more complicated for consumers—and that they haven’t stopped some appraisers from yielding to pressure from banks.” (MarketWatch)
  4. Done Deal: USAA Real Estate-Led Group Closes on Mega Retail Portfolio “A partnership headed by USAA Real Estate Co. in San Antonio recently closed on one of the largest shopping center purchases of the year in the U.S., acquiring five regional malls in a deal worth $1.1 billion. USAA, along with Dallas real estate investment company Centennial Real Estate and Montgomery Street Partners (a unit of San Francisco-based Blum Capital) purchased the malls from Sydney, Australia-based Westfield Corp., according to news reports.” (San Antonio Business Journal)
  5. Target Announces New Stores for 2016, 2017 “Minneapolis-based Target Corp. has announced its 2016 and 2017 store openings, and nearly all are smaller stores located in urban areas. The retailer is planning to open stores in the New York City, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago areas next year ranging from 19,000 square feet to 45,000 square feet on two levels. The stores are planned to include apparel, home, tech and beauty items, and fresh groceries.” (Argus Leader)
  6. De Blasio Wants to Shrink City Apartments into Walk-In Closets “Thousands of tiny apartments the size of glorified walk-in closets will set a new standard for cramped New York City living under a plan that would end how small homes are required to be, city officials said on Monday. Mayor de Blasio wants to shrink the city’s current 400-square-foot apartment-size limit as part of his ambitious plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing.” (New York Post)
  7. The 10 Juiciest Real Estate Lawsuits of 2015 “Nothing goes hand in hand with New York real estate quite like litigation – and 2015 was no exception. Real estate’s biggest players were sued this year for allegations ranging from commission disputes to broker poaching, racism and even wrongful death. The Real Deal was there to document these messy legal battles. Read on to take a look at some of the year’s juiciest cases.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Big-Name Hotels Pledge to Go Green “More than a dozen of New York City's most famed hotels are pledging to get greener. The Waldorf Astoria New York, the Lotte New York Palace and the Crowne Plaza Times Square are among 16 major hotels where owners have agreed to cut greenhouse gases from their buildings by 30% or more in the next decade. That's the goal of the NYC Carbon Challenge program, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio.” (The Associated Press)
  9. Mall Brawls: Teens Terrorize Holiday Shoppers “You might want to slip on a Kevlar vest and some body armor the next time you head down to the local mall to do some shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond or the Pottery Barn. The entitlement generation is on the rampage - turning many of our nation's shopping centers into war zones. Over the long holiday weekend, mobs of unsupervised teenagers terrorized shoppers and department stores across the fruited plain.” (Fox News)
  10. NRN Predicts 2016 Restaurant Finance Trends “Let this be a warning for those about to read this story: I’m not all that good about predicting the future. Still, a lot of trends are at work in the restaurant finance world. Prices have grown too high. There’s a lot of money sloshing around in the industry. Debt is still cheap. Things are happening. So here are a couple of things I think will happen next year. Just take them with a grain of salt.” (Nation’s Restaurant News)
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