10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 17, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 17, 2016)

 

  1. U.S. Single-Family Housing Starts Hit 9-Year High “Construction on new houses rose in February to a five-month high, led by the biggest increase in single-family units in nine years. Housing starts climbed 5.2% last month to an annual pace of 1.18 million, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected starts to rise at a seasonally adjusted 1.15 million rate. The faster pace of construction signals that housing will remain one of the best-performing segments of the U.S. economy and help underpin growth in 2016.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Caesars Could Face $5B Hit from Unit’s Bankruptcy “Caesars Entertainment and its private equity backers could be on the hook for up to $5.1 billion in potential damages over a series of corporate deals that a court-ordered examiner said Tuesday led to a $18 billion bankruptcy protection filing by the casino company's operating unit. Richard Davis and a team of lawyers have spent a year probing whether Caesars stripped away prime properties such as the LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and left the company unable to pay a mountain of debt.” (Reuters)
  3. Exploring the Connection Between Food and the Built Environment in New Orleans “A renewed focus on food is providing a bounty of innovations in real estate, attendees of the ULI Food and Real Estate Forum in February learned while sharing development experiences. The event was held at the Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel, and discussions included enhancing health, environmental sustainability, social equity, food system security, and investment.” (Urban Land Magazine)
  4. After Making Several Big Deals, Norway’s $880 Billion Pension Fund Manager Has “Limited Enthusiasm” for Property Markets “Not seeing a correction in property prices they expected, investment managers of the world’s largest pension fund, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global worth roughly $879 billion in U.S. currency, say it may be time to sit on the fence before making any more big bets on the global property markets. The fund returned 2.7% in 2015, helped by its real estate investments, which returned 10%, Norges Bank Investment Management, the fund’s manager, reported this past week.” (CoStar News)
  5. Developers, Microsoft Plan $500M Smart City in Northern Virginia “Gramercy District, a $500 million tech-centric mixed-use development that has Microsoft as one of its investors, is being planned by 22 Capital Partners for Loudoun County, Va., at the terminus of the new Ashburn Metro station on the Silver Line. Construction is expected to begin a year from now on the so-called “smart city”—a 2.5 million-square-foot project on 16 acres that runs along the Dulles Greenway (Route 267), the region’s main highway.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. Manhattan Office Investors’ Confidence Rising Despite Signs of Slowdown in Other Sectors: PWC “The luxury residential market is slumping. The retail market is cooling. But investors in the Manhattan office sector still think it’s a great time to be selling. In fact, that sentiment is on the rise. According to Big Four accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, 67 percent of private real estate firms, investment bankers and pension and investment advisers surveyed in the first quarter of this year believe Manhattan office is a sellers’ market. That’s up from 50 percent of investors at the end of 2015.” (The Real Deal)
  7. After its Dream Tenant Bailed on 2 WTC, What Happens to Silverstein Properties’ Tower? “On Friday, Jan. 15 this year, Silverstein Chairman Larry Silverstein received a call from Mr. Murdoch. The News Corp. and 21st Century Fox head told the developer that because of the shaky global economy, his companies were not going to relocate their headquarters from two locations along Avenue of the Americas in Midtown. With financing dependent on a large occupant, this meant that all plans to move ahead would be put on hold until a replacement could be found.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Excitement Builds as REIT Re-Classification Date Draws Near “Currently lumped into the financial sector, REITs are set to have their own sub-sector with S&P Dow Jones Indices on Sept. 16. Excited yet? You should be. Cohen & Steers' Thomas Bohjalian expects far-reaching impact since nearly the entire investment community uses Global Industry Classification Standards for its framework for portfolio planning and analysis. He sees three main benefits to REIT prices.” (Seeking Alpha)
  9. New Push to Change Philadelphia Real Estate Taxation “A pair of Philadelphia lawmakers are trying to change the state constitution in Pennsylvania in order to realign how their city levies taxes on commercial real estate. According to a Philadelphia Business Journal report, Reps. John Taylor (R) and William Keller (D) are leading an effort to remove Philadelphia from the state’s uniformity clause, which requires that the commercial real estate tax rate not vary by more than 15 percent from the rate applicable to other real estate.” (National Mortgage Professional)
  10. Investment, Occupational Markets Moving Toward Balance, Says JLL “The dynamics of the world’s dominant real estate markets have begun to shift, from being driven by investment markets strengthened by “a huge weight of money” targeting commercial real estate assets, to one in which occupational markets are showing more momentum, according to the latest Global Market Perspective from JLL. ‘Market fundamentals are improving across all major global regions and property sectors, and recent leasing activity has surprised on the upside,’ the report summarizes.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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