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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (August 29, 2018)

Former Sears stores are still valuable to investors, The New York Times reports. A banking regulator took the first step toward rewriting rules for lending in lower-income areas, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. As Sears Withers, Its Former Stores Fuel a New Fortune “These developments are rising from the ashes of former Sears department stores. And they represent an audacious feat of financial engineering by a group of wealthy investors who bet that one of the retailer’s greatest assets was its real estate.” (The New York Times)
  2. U.S. Bank Regulator Moves to Modify Lending Rules for Poorer Communities “A national banking regulator took the first step Tuesday toward rewriting rules for lending in lower-income neighborhoods, an effort that could allow institutions to redirect billions of dollars spent on loans and investments.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Under ‘Amazon Effect’ Retailers Could Be More Exposed to Supply Shocks “Growing online competition is not only forcing retailers to hold prices constant across geographic regions, but it is also pushing companies to adjust their prices more frequently, according to new research.” (CNBC)
  4. J.C. Penney’s Struggle to Pin Down Its Core Customer Is Putting It at Risk “J.C. Penney Co. is out of step with the rest of the retail sector. As rivals stage a steady rebound from the weakness of the last few years, the Plano, Texas-based department-store chain has deteriorating financials, is struggling to identify its core customer and is still searching for a new chief executive, all issues that analysts say could push it into bankruptcy if it can’t turn things around quickly.” (MarketWatch)
  5. Barnes & Noble Is Sued by Ex-CEO Over Termination “The former Barnes & Noble chief executive who was fired last month for alleged policy violations sued the bookseller for breach of contract and defamation in connection with his sudden termination after just 14 months on the job.” (Reuters)
  6. U.S. Consumer Confidence Surged in August to Near 18-Year High “A measure of economic confidence among American households rose in August to its highest level since October 2000. The Conference Board on Tuesday said its index of U.S. consumer confidence climbed to 133.4 in August from 127.9 in July.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Home-Price Growth Slows Again, Case-Shiller Says “The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% and was up 6.2% for the year in June. The 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% and was up 6.3% compared with a year ago.” (MarketWatch)
  8. Short-Term Interest And Mortgage Rates Rising In Sync: What This Means For Real Estate Investors “An increase in short-term interest rates will result in increased mortgage rates. This may be a statement of the obvious, but the potentially valuable implications for real estate investors may be less so.” (Forbes)
  9. Vornado Perparing for $20M Tax Showdown with City “New York City’s Finance Department is reopening a huge can of worms on completed deals to bring in additional taxes, causing havoc for REITs and shareholders. Vornado Realty Trust is challenging a New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal decision that could cost it over $20 million.” (New York Post)
  10. Proposed Regulations Blow the Roof Off of Many Real Estate Deduction Opportunities “Most real estate investors and business people are well aware that new Internal Revenue Code Section 199A allows a 20 percent deduction for certain types of income, and that the real estate industry was favored under these new rules.” (Forbes)
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