10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 20, 2017) Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 20, 2017)

 

  1. 10 Cities Where Workers Will Earn The Least In 2017 “If one of your goals for 2017 is to find a great job and maximize your earnings, you are probably already aware that certain cities, on average, pay better than others. There are some metropolitan regions, it would seem, that you should avoid, if income is most important to you, even if cost of living is relatively low. With that in mind, we looked to a recently released report from PayScale.com, an online source for data on jobs and compensation. The report, quite simply, tells us about the salary averages for the 100 most populous metropolitan regions in the United States—namely, the ones with the lowest median income per person.” (Forbes)
  2. Rockwood Raises $1B In Capital Commitments For 10th Real Estate Fund “Rockwood Capital reached its capital funding goal for Fund X (its 10th real estate investment fund), raising $1.1B in capital commitments. The Los Angeles-based investment firm closed its fund earlier this week having hit its hard cap, and will focus investment on U.S. office, residential, retail and hotel assets in the urban and suburban core. Execs plan to use the fund to target growing neighborhoods, with an emphasis on those that combine education, wealth and positive population-based socioeconomic trends, the firm said in a statement. Per its final closing, Fund X is about 30% committed after completing nine deals. Its investor base consists of pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, funds of funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.” (Forbes)
  3. Trump’s New York real estate buddies descend on DC “When Donald Trump raises his right hand and puts his other on the Lincoln Bible, his real estate friends from New York City will be standing nearby. A cadre of real estate bigwigs are descending on the nation’s capital to watch one of their own be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. The guest list isn’t surprising: Outspoken supporters like Richard LeFrak, Howard Lorber and Steve Witkoff have all confirmed that they will attend Friday’s ceremony. Vornado Realty Trust’s Steve Roth will most likely also be in the crowd, though he hasn’t yet confirmed his plans. The night before the inauguration, some of the country’s biggest financial underwriters will be attending a private dinner with the president-elect. Witkoff said he’s attending the candlelight dinner at Union Station, which is part of a package of perks offered to those who donated at least $250,000 to the Presidential Inauguration Committee. Those who donated at least $1 million received a slew of additional benefits, including tickets to a private dinner with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife. Michael Lorber, the son of the Vector Group CEO, posted a video on Instagram of the vice presidential dinner.” (The Real Deal)
  4. Real Estate As a Source of Security and Diversification “Investors who have spent years focused on a specific area of investment, such as property, commodities or the stock market, may feel like their experience gives them an edge in that sector. However, no one can be certain of the impact that global events, politics, and policy will have on the world’s economy. This past year, the world faced many challenges that had a direct impact on the health of the global markets, including political uncertainty following the U.S. elections, the U.K.’s decision to Brexit and the global refugee crisis. As the world continuously changes, it’s important for advisors to help their clients recognize the faults that could lie in their investment portfolios if they’re too focused in one area.” (Wealthmanagement.com)
  5. Senior housing and care acquisitions double from third to fourth quarter 2016 “Publicly announced senior housing and care acquisitions in the fourth quarter of 2016 soared to $6.5 billion, more than double the $2.9 billion posted in the previous quarter, according to new data from The SeniorCare Investor. That figure is also a significant leap from the $2.3 billion in activity that took place in the fourth quarter of 2015. The number of announced acquisitions in the fourth quarter jumped by 33 percent from the third quarter to 93 individual transactions, even though this was down from the record 106 transactions in last year's fourth quarter. Those 93 deals represent the third most active quarter ever.” (Healthcare and Finance News)
  6. At Brookdale Senior Living, a Real Estate Sale or Director Fight May Be Coming “Brookdale Senior Living  (BKD)  will need to sell itself or its real estate -- otherwise expect REIT-focused activist Land & Buildings Investment Management's Jonathan Litt to launch a director-election proxy battle in the coming months at the assisted living facility owner. Litt last week escalated his effort to drive a strategic transaction at Brookdale, suggesting in a letter to the board and shareholders that he would be "extremely disappointed" if the strategic alternatives process is not fully explored and fails to result in a successful conclusion. That comes after a report last week suggesting that the company is in talks with buyout shop Blackstone  (BX)  on a potential deal. A Wall Street Journal report on the news sent Brookdale's share price soaring.” (The Street)
  7. Dow posts 5-day losing streak as Wall Street gets set for Inauguration Day “U.S. equities closed lower on Thursday, with real estate falling around 1 percent, as investors eagerly awaited President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration. ‘Everyone is just waiting for the inauguration,’ said Jeremy Klein, chief market strategist at FBN Securities. ‘The market just feels a little heavy." He also said: "When you start seeing volatility in other macro markets — specifically FX — that's going to take its toll on stocks.’ The U.S. dollar spiked against a basket of currencies on the back of strong U.S. economic data. The Dow Jones industrial average briefly fell about 100 points in afternoon ET before closing about 70 points lower, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses. The index also recorded a five-day losing streak.” (CNBC)
  8. Why Donald Trump will be good for real estate developers “Having a New Yorker who is part of the city’s real estate industry become President of the United States could be a boon for the city — in spite of walkability and traffic snafus next to his office and home at Trump Tower. The center of the tourist universe has already shifted to the blocks surrounding the tower at Fifth Avenue and East 56th Street which are now packed with gawkers, protestors, supporters, media and, yes, even shoppers. As police and visitors settle into routines, security adjustments have been made — including opening West 56th Street between Fifth and Sixth. That’s why broker and CBRE vice chairman Richard Hodos isn’t worried about customers getting to stores.” (The New York Post)
  9. BCBG to Close Stores, Restructure as Online Shift Takes Toll “BCBG Max Azria Group Inc., the glitzy fashion house founded by designer Max Azria, is looking to close stores and restructure as the company copes with a debt burden and a shift of many consumers online. The chain plans to reduce its focus on brick-and-mortar shops, concentrating instead on licensing, e-commerce and selling through other retailers, according to Seth Lubove, a spokesman for BCBG at Sitrick & Co. The fashion brand has operated more than 570 boutiques worldwide, including more than 175 in the U.S. BCBG has ‘too large a physical retail footprint,’ Lubove said in an e-mailed statement. ‘In order to remain viable, the company -- like so many others in its industry -- must realign its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment.’” (Bloomberg)
  10. Economy Watch: Architects See Surge in Business at End of ’16 “The American Institute of Architects’ Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reflected a sizable and unexpected increase in demand for architects’ design services in December, the organization reported this week. The December ABI score was 55.9, compared with 50.9 in November. This score points to a fairly robust increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). In fact, December saw the highest monthly growth of the year and brought the average monthly reading for 2016 up to 51.3, almost equaling the 2015 average of 51.6. The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity, reflecting the roughly nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending, so construction should see a parallel rise next fall. Survey participants are asked whether their billings increased, decreased, or stayed the same in the month that just ended as compared to the prior month, and the results are then compiled into the ABI. The index scores are centered around 50, with scores above 50 indicating an aggregate increase in billings, and scores below 50 pointing to a decline.” (MultiHousing News)
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