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10 Must Read Items for CRE Investors on August 29, 2019

Amazon kept meticulous notes of all the insults from New York politicians and labor leaders over HQ2, reports the Wall Street Journal. Forbes look at the fundamentals all real estate investors should know. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The Missing Piece of Amazon’s New York Debacle: It Kept a Burn Book “When Amazon scrubbed plans to build a second headquarters in New York City earlier this year, the reason appeared rooted in a debate about unions, tax subsidies and housing costs. Then there was the burn book. In a private dossier kept at the time, whose existence has gone previously unreported, Amazon executives cataloged in minute detail the insults they saw coming from New York politicians and labor leaders, according to a copy viewed by The Wall Street Journal.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. U.S. 30-Year Bond Yield Falls to Record Low Under 2% as Global Recession Fears Grow “The rate on the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond sank to an all-time low on Wednesday while the U.S. yield curve inverted even further as fixed-income traders grew more confident in forecasts of tepid inflation and slower economic growth. The 30-year bond yield dropped to as low as 1.907% early Wednesday morning, breaking its prior all-time low of 1.916% clinched earlier in August. The 30-year rate later moved off those lows to trade at 1.933%, still below yields on U.S. debt of far shorter duration such as 3-month and 1-month bills.” (CNBC)
  3. Millennium Tower: Panel OKs $100M Fix for SF’s Tilting Building “Independent experts charged with reviewing the proposed $100 million fix to San Francisco’s famously sinking and tilting Millennium Tower endorsed the plan Tuesday, saying that they ‘see no reason to withhold approval of the building permit for the structural upgrade of the foundation.’ The four-person panel, hired by the city and headed up by Stanford engineering professor Gregory Deierlein, submitted its review of the ‘perimeter pile upgrade’ plan to San Francisco officials.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  4. The 15 Best Cities in the U.S. to Buy a Home “Falling unemployment rates and rising housing prices have led to a thriving market, according to WalletHub. However, rising mortgage rates mean less affordable homes. So, where are the best places to buy a house? Per WalletHub, the answer is about more than square footage and architectural style — it's also about how healthy the local housing market is and whether people living there can actually afford to buy homes.” (Business Insider)
  5. For Business Travelers, Apps to Find Enviable Workspaces “Business travel has many, many downsides: barbaric jet lag, cramped seats, cacophonous hotel rooms, delays when it comes to flights, trains, rental cars. But one aspect of working on the road has gotten an upgrade in recent years: Thanks to clever new apps and websites, you can now efficiently find a place to park with your laptop. Whether you’re looking for a half-day hotel room to bridge the gap between checkout and takeoff, a private place to record your podcast or a poolside seat with high-speed Wi-Fi, these apps can pump up your productivity, pleasurably.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  6. 10 Fundamentals Beginning Real Estate Investors Should Know “Starting as a real estate investor can be a daunting task. Markets are usually already established—and trying to break into an established field takes time and effort. Many times, newcomers aren't aware of everything that's going on, which can leave them scrambling to find out themselves or to recover from a surprise. While the ‘fake it till you make it’ mentality is useful to an extent in the industry, it belies an integral part of becoming a professional—you won't learn anything if you don't admit you don't know.” (Forbes)
  7. Landlord Arrested After Home Invasion to Chase Tenants Away, Police Say “A family newly arrived to Silicon Valley from North Carolina — and having trouble making their first rent payment — became the target of a home invasion orchestrated by the frustrated landlord as a way to scare them from the apartment, police and one of the alleged victims said Tuesday. The bizarre plan backfired — and now, the landlord and four of her friends are facing attempted robbery and other felony charges.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
  8. Puma Is Opening a Massive Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue. Here’s a First Look Inside “Sneaker retailer Puma on Thursday is opening a brand new flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York. The massive 18,000-square-foot space, spanning two levels, marks Puma’s first bricks-and-mortar location in New York, and the first of its kind in North America. It currently has a little more than 100 outlet stores in the U.S., but doesn’t have full-size or full-price locations. Instead, it’s been focused mainly on selling through wholesalers.” (CNBC)
  9. A Fresh Look at Office Real Estate “We have updated our opinion of the five office real estate investment trusts we cover after taking a fresh look at the industry. Despite tweaking our fair value estimates, we are maintaining our no-moat and stable trend ratings for each of the companies. Although we agree that the central business districts where these companies operate face supply constraints, we think new construction can eventually come on line to correct any supply/demand imbalances over the long run.” (Morningstar.com)
  10. Continuing Construction Worker Shortages Could Pose a Threat to Economic Development in Texas “A majority of multimillion-dollar Texas construction firms say they're having trouble hiring qualified workers in trade specializations across the board, the Associated General Contractors of America says. The association conducted a survey of more than 2,000 construction firms across the U.S., including 210 in Texas, and found that 80% of firms nationwide say they're struggling to recruit the skilled workers they need.” (Dallas Morning News)
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