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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry (March 22, 2019)

CNBS looks at the top 10 Southern U.S. cities for retirees to move to. A U.S. District Judge dismissed a complaint against a Chicago developer over EB-five funded assisted-living developments, reports Crain’s Chicago Business. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. The Top 10 Southern Cities in the U.S. for Retirement “When you think of Southern living in the United States, a sunny climate and warm hospitality may come to mind. So it should come as no surprise that moving south is a popular choice for retirees. But with so many options to choose from, where should you look to spend your golden years? While every choice is an individual one — such as whether you want to spend your time on a beach or exploring a city — GOBankingRates has compiled a list of the top Southern cities for retirement.” (CNBC)
  2. SEC Loses Fraud Case Over Developer’s $89 Million Visa Fundraising Campaign “A Chicago developer has dodged a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission that accused him of cheating more than 200 foreign investors through a controversial federal visa program. U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall dismissed the complaint against Taher Kameli, who raised nearly $89 million from the investors to finance eight assisted-living developments in the Chicago suburbs and Florida. Kameli has completed just one of the projects, a 60-unit facility in Aurora, which was hit with a foreclosure suit and landed in Bankruptcy Court.” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  3. Ignore the Yield Curve Because the Economy’s Fundamentals Are Fine, Top Forecaster Says “Economist Ryan Sweet of Moody’s Analytics has a message for his fellow economists who are predicting a recession in the next year: ‘The Fed isn’t going to kill this expansion.’ The decision by the Fed this week to hold off on further rate hikes shows that the Fed is ‘learning from its past mistakes,’ Sweet says. ‘The Fed isn’t going to jump from behind the curtain and kill the economy.’ Sweet, director of real-time economics at Moody’s Analytics, won MarketWatch’s Forecaster of the Month contest for the fourth time. He took second place in the Forecaster of the Year contest in 2017 and fourth in 2018.” (MarketWatch)
  4. Tiffany’s Sales Slow on Softer Demand “Changing Chinese consumer habits continued to weigh on Tiffany & Co., as sales fell more than expected in the latest quarter. Overall, fourth-quarter world-wide net sales declined 1% from a year earlier to $1.32 billion. Analysts had expected sales of $1.33 billion. Sales in the Asia-Pacific region fell 1% in the latest quarter while comparable sales were unchanged. Same-store sales dipped 2% and remained flat on a constant-currency basis. Analysts expected a 1.4% drop in comparable sales and a 0.1% decline on a constant-currency basis, according to a Consensus Metrix poll.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. GM Confirms Plans to Build New EV, Invest $300 Million in Michigan Plant “General Motors Co confirmed on Friday it will invest $300 million in a suburban Detroit assembly plant, adding 400 jobs to build a new Chevrolet electric vehicle. The largest U.S. automaker has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump in recent days over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant earlier this month. GM officials said the announcement was planned well before Trump’s series of angry GM tweets that started on Saturday.” (Reuters)
  6. Hibbett Sports on Hunt for CEO; to Close 95 Stores “Hibbett Sports is losing its chief executive. The sporting goods retailer announced that Jeff Rosenthal plans to retire as president and CEO once a successor is named. A 21-year company veteran, Rosenthal was named to the top position nine years ago. Hibbett is starting the search to find a new chief. ‘He [Rosenthal] has worked tirelessly over the past several years leading the company in a very difficult retail environment,’ said Mickey Newsome, chairman.” (Chain Store Age)
  7. Compensation for Corporate Real Estate Professionals Jumps “In a recent survey of corporate real estate executives at corporations globally, 87% reported that their base salary increased from 2017 to 2018, by an average of 5.3%. In addition, 80% projected further increases of roughly 4% on average in 2019, according to a survey conducted by CoreNet Global and FPL Associates. Total annual remuneration, including long-term incentives, for a global head of corporate real estate was $385,000 in 2018, compared to $339,000 in 2017.” (
  8. New Apartment Deliveries Increase Demand for Property Management “New apartment deliveries are creating more demand for property management companies. Research from CBRE estimates that the top 66 metros in the US will deliver a total of 300,000 new apartment units this year. That is a 15% increase over 2018 deliveries. Multifamily investment will also increase this year, with an expectation of more than $150 billion in multifamily investment. Opportunity zone funds will also fuel additional investment this year as well.” (
  9. U.S. Existing Home Sales Surge, Boosted by Fed’s Signal on Rates “U.S. home sales surged in February to their highest level in 11 months, a sign that a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve was starting to boost the U.S. economy. The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales jumped 11.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 million units last month. That was the highest since March 2018 and well above analysts’ expectations of a rate of 5.1 million units.” (Reuters)
  10. Religious Groups Fuel NYC Nonprofit Investment Sales Boom: Report “Churches and other religious organizations unloading property accounted for half of all the nonprofit and public sector real estate sales in 2018, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield provided exclusively to Commercial Observer. Out of 160 property trades involving nonprofits, half—or 80 sales—included religious groups as either the seller or the buyer. But in most cases, the religious group was selling. Those numbers are up from 2017, when religious sects only bought or sold 40 properties, or 36.7 percent of deals in the nonprofit sector.” (Commercial Observer)
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