10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 5, 2015)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 5, 2015)


  1. Look for Fed Rate Increase Mid-Year Even as Inflation Remains Mild “Economists are slashing U.S. inflation forecasts for 2015 as oil prices tumble. What’s not changing are predictions that the Federal Reserve will raise its benchmark interest rate anyway, probably around mid-year.” (Bloomberg)
  2. Ellington Exits Single-Family Rental Foray in Big Sale “Ellington Management Group LLC has gotten out of the rental-home business. The investment firm founded by Michael Vranos that specializes in mortgage-backed bonds sold 900 houses to American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) for about $126 million, according to a Dec. 31 statement from the real estate investment trust.” (Bloomberg)
  3. The State of Washington Commercial Real Estate, in Charts “For all the concerns about Washington-area commercial real estate, and there are many, there also are reasons to be optimistic about the market in 2015. With a slowdown in leasing that began more than three years ago, tenants with expiring leases have had their choice of options recently.” (The Washington Post)
  4. The Near-Term Outlook for Commercial Real Estate “Diversification into real estate is often is interesting in many ways, but the timing of markets can also play a role. Here, we share an interview with Jay Kerner, the CEO of U.S. Realty Partners, about the current state of the commercial real estate market. Jay has over 29 years of experience in the acquisition, development, operation, leasing, and management of shopping centers, multi-family, and mixed-use properties.” (NuWire Investor)
  5. Top 10 Sovereign Wealth Fund Game-Changers of 2014 “Highlighting the importance of sovereign investors, sovereign wealth funds surpassed U.S. $7 trillion in assets, being a bigger investor market, in terms of asset under management, compared to U.S. defined-benefit plans.” (SWFI)
  6. A Decline in Problem Mortgages “While the lingering effects of the housing-market collapse continued to recede last year, millions of homeowners will still struggle in 2015 and beyond. Nationally, foreclosures and serious delinquencies have dropped significantly from a year ago. And the share of underwater homeowners (who owe more than their homes are worth) is down almost by half since the 2012 peak.” (The New York Times)
  7. Five U.S. Tech Hubs You Probably Didn’t Know About “Move over Silicon Valley. The current tech boom is not just in the Bay Area, and some unlikely cities are gaining traction as key hubs. While places like San Francisco, New York City and Austin, Texas, are often cited as thriving tech areas, other areas are gaining ground.” (CNBC)
  8. Alliance-Walgreen Merger Means KKR Triples Its Money “KKR this week swapped its remaining stake in Alliance Boots for $4.7 billion in cash and Walgreen shares when Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreen completed the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the information is private. That boosted KKR's return on paper to about $7 billion, or almost three times the amount the buyout firm invested in the 2007 deal.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  9. How Jana Partners Got a Quick Pet Smart Payday “Jana’s campaign was classic activism; it suggested PetSmart put itself up for sale and then sent a flurry of letters to the board complaining that the company wasn’t taking its advice. In the final letter, Jana threatened to release some damaging internal documents it had received as a result of its activist stake.” (New York Post)
  10. What’s Happening to New York’s Skyline? “Get used to the rise of what are called pencil towers. There will be more, with a dozen or so planned in the next several years in mid-Manhattan, as the city’s silhouette yields to a new era of Slim Jim buildings with small footprints that build straight up, not out, as 432 Park does from a base of only 93 feet by 93 feet.” (The New York Times)
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