ten must reads ahold delhaize merger

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 14, 2016)

 

  1. Cheap Real Estate Still for Sale in Closed-End Funds “Yesterday I talked about using real estate as a way of finding income in these yield-starved times. While it is true that most people are underexposed to real estate and that real estate investment trusts have handily outperformed the broader market over the past 43 years, many REIT prices have been driven to extremely high levels. It is harder now to find REITs that trade at bargain levels. So to put money to work in real estate securities at a good price you must dig a little deeper.” (The Street)
  2. More Renters Sour on Homeownership, Some Blame Student Debt “As home prices and rents continue to rise, confidence in the housing market is starting to wane. It is showing up in weaker traffic at open houses and less interest in taking on a mortgage as some worry about their student debt loads. The numbers are dropping, and a new survey from the National Association of Realtors only adds fodder to the current market's failings. While three-quarters of Americans surveyed in the second quarter of this year still think now is a good time to buy a home, the numbers are slipping, especially among renters.” (CNBC)
  3. Ahold, Delhaize Agree to Sell 86 U.S. Stores Ahead of Merger “Royal Ahold NV and Delhaize Group agreed to sell 86 stores in the U.S. as the Dutch and Belgian grocers seek to win antitrust clearance for their merger this month. The European retailers are selling 4.1 percent of their combined U.S. stores, and the sites represent 3.2 percent of their revenue in that market, they said in a statement Thursday. Buyers include Weis Markets Inc., Publix Super Markets Inc., and Supervalu Inc. The divestments are subject to approval from the Federal Trade Commission, which has yet to rule on the merger.” (Bloomberg)
  4. This Is the Future: Workplaces That Make You Healthier “When McKesson decided to revamp its headquarters in Richmond, Va., it knew it was time for a radical change. The drug distribution giant also knew it needed a workplace that was not only inspiring but reflected its primary mission: making people healthier. That’s what led the company to one of the latest workplace trends: WELL Building Certification. McKesson’s former 20-plus-year-old building was overcrowded, inflexible, technologically outdated, and lacked daylight. Addressing those issues was simply the first step. Executives wanted to create a space that benefited its workers.” (Fortune)
  5. Cabela’s Near Sale to Goldman Sachs and Bass Pro Shops “Call this a shotgun marriage. Goldman Sachs and Bass Pro Shops are close to buying retail hunting giant Cabela’s, The Post has learned. ‘Bass is the only buyer around it,’ a source said. Private equity suitors including Apax Partners and TPG Capital have dropped out of the process. The auction to buy Cabela’s is expected to wrap up within days, sources close to the process said.” (New York Post)
  6. Senators Ask FTC to Investigate Airbnb Impact on Rent “A group of senators is urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate commercial use of short-term rentals through companies such as Airbnb, HomeAway and FlipKey. Three Democrats — California’s Dianne Feinstein, Hawaii’s Brian Schatz and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — signed a letter out of concern that listings from commercial individuals or companies were ‘taking housing inventory off the market and driving up the cost of rent.’ These commercial users refer to people who rent out entire homes or multiple listings.” (MarketWatch)
  7. Apartment Absorptions and Completions Grew in 2015 “Data from the US Census Bureau shows that multifamily for-rent starts grew 13% to 372,000 units in 2015. Completions rose 23%, according to the Survey of Market Absorption (SOMA), hitting 259,500 in 2015, writes the NAHB's Carmel Ford for Eye on Housing. The good news? People were moving into those new apartments. Likewise, apartment absorption rates increased in 2015, indicating solid demand growth.” (Multifamily Executive)
  8. Why Commercial Real Estate Loans Are Not Like Wine “When fruit matures, it is ready for harvest. When certain wines and cheeses mature, they taste better. And when teenagers mature, they are able to think more logically and make more considered decisions. But what about when commercial mortgages mature? There may be benefits to waiting around for fruit, wine and teens, but waiting for a loan to reach its maturity date without examining whether it might be open to early refinancing doesn’t make the loan better – it makes the lending opportunity more likely to pass by those lenders who wait too long.” (Forbes)
  9. U.S. Office Vacancy Rates Decline in Q2 “According to CBRE Group, vacancy rates in the U.S. office market saw a modest decline of 10 basis points (bps) during the second quarter of 2016 (Q2 2016), dipping to 13.0%. The national office vacancy rate remains at the lowest level since 2008, with a 40-bps decline over the past year. The suburban vacancy rate decreased by 20 bps, to 14.4%, while downtown vacancy increased by 10 bps, to 10.5%.” (World Property Journal)
  10. Is Pokemon Go the Future of Real Estate? (Spoiler: No) “It’s barely been two weeks since Pokemon Go debuted, but the augmented reality game has already spawned the inevitable explainers, guides on where to play (hey), hot takes, parodies, backlash, and backlash to the backlash. And we’re now at the point in its life cycle where the inevitable has occurred: Businesses are looking to make bank on the game, thanks to the fact that players have to actually leave their homes and interact with their cities to play it. This is happening in ways that are totally natural—bars and restaurants, for example, are offering specials and welcoming players who are on Pokemon bar crawls—and ways that are ridiculous.” (Curbed New York)
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