10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 2, 2018)

A Forbes columnist analyzes the potential impact of autonomous vehicles on commercial real estate. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the limits of Amazon. These are among today’s top must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. No Parking: AVs Will Reshape Commercial Real Estate, Too, Transwestern Predicts “The dawn of autonomous vehicles is going to bring disruption with a capital ‘D’ to industries around the world. And these industries only begin with the obvious verticals such as car-making, mass transport and trucking logistics. Transwestern Commercial Services is trying to help participants in its own industry, commercial real estate, anticipate the big changes that autonomous driving is likely to bring to their realm, too. An expected decline in parking demands will be one of the big drivers.” (Forbes)
  2. The Limits of Amazoncom Inc. is a colossus. In the near future, it could even surpass Apple Inc. as the world’s largest publicly traded company. But whether you think it will get there depends on how big you think the market is for the products and services Amazon is best at. One secret to Amazon’s amazing scalability is this: Not everything is an Amazon business.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. A Tsunami of Store Closings Is About to Hit the US – And It’s Expected to Eclipse the Retail Carnage of 2017 “Retailers are bracing for a fresh wave of store closings in 2018 that is expected to eclipse the rash of closings that rocked the industry last year.” (Business Insider)
  4. Manhattan Prices Stable in 2017, Even as Luxury Takes a Breather “Manhattan’s luxury market took a much-anticipated breather for most of 2017. The frenetic pace of activity, long the norm during the recent building boom, slowed. Many high-end and ultra-high-end listings faced deeper price cuts, more time on the market and fewer bidding wars.” (The New York Times)
  5. In Cities With Low Unemployment, Wages Finally Start to Get Bigger “In U.S. cities with the tightest labor markets, workers are finding something that’s long been missing from the broader economic expansion: faster-growing paychecks.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. The Many Unknowns in the Tax Bill’s CRE Provisions “The Tax Cut and Jobs Act is the biggest change to the US tax code in 30 years. Little wonder, then, there are provisions that need further clarification from the Treasury Department. Here are the CRE-related ones that bother experts the most.” (com)
  7. Is Real Estate’s Bro Culture Going Limp? “In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and continual flood of sexual misconduct allegations, NYC’s male developers and commercial brokers may be facing performance anxiety.” (The Real Deal)
  8. Holidays Lift Retailers, But Hangover Awaits “There was plenty of news to cheer up the city’s ailing retailers this holiday season. Preliminary reports from Mastercard showed that overall retail sales rose by 4.9% in December, the biggest jump since 2011. Macy’s stock price rose by 20% 
between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and given the mob of shoppers at its West 34th Street flagship one can see how investors might conclude the hard times may well be over.” (Crain’s New York Business, subscription required)
  9. Over Supply, Biggest 2018 Concern “The cycle is maturing and interest rates are going up, but the biggest concern of 2018 will be the over-supply in many major US markets.” (com)
  10. These Were the Top Outer-Borough Real Estate Loans in November “Former Jehovah’s Witnesses properties are the gifts that keep on giving for Brooklyn. The religious group’s massive selloff of its buildings in the borough has gone on throughout 2017, and loans on two of those properties slotted in at the No. 2 and 3 spots on November’s list of the top 10 outer borough loans.” (The Real Deal)
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