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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 19, 2017)

USA Today lists the cities in the U.S. where it’s cheaper to rent than to own. Homeowners fear losing insurance amid the raging wildfires in California, Reuters reports. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. 16 Cities Where It’s More Affordable to Rent Than to Own “Living in a large metropolitan area can be very expensive. The cost of housing can be especially daunting.” (USA Today)
  2. As California Fires Blaze, Homeowners Fear Losing Insurance “California homeowners and regulators have a new fear about wildfires ravaging the state: that insurers will drop coverage.” (Reuters)
  3. Get Your Groceries Online, Find Your Profits Elsewhere “In the war for the online grocery cart, it is robots against humans. A flurry of deals among supermarket chains reveal radically different approaches to selling food online.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. 8 Retailers Will Make Huge Money Off GOP Tax Overhaul “If you’re a retailer and not the average Joe, the proposed GOP tax bill gives you reason to cheer.” (TheStreet)
  5. US Housing Starts Total 1.297 Million in Nov, vs 1.35 Million Starts Expected “U.S. homebuilding unexpectedly rose in November, with the construction of single-family housing units surging to a 10-year high, but revisions to the prior month’s data indicated the sector was continuing to struggle with supply constraints.” (CNBC)
  6. Opinion: Rural Areas in a ‘Destructive Downward Spiral,’ No Matter What Trump Says “The fact is the problems that plague the Rust Belt are so intertwined, so deeply entrenched, that no one could reasonably be expected to come in, wave a magic wand and make things better. Where Trump did screw up, though, was giving suckers, I mean voters, in those states the impression that he could do just that.” (MarketWatch)
  7. To Thwart Amazon, Kroger and Walmart Lure Shoppers With Curbside Pickup “As looks to upend the U.S. grocery market with home delivery, some veteran supermarket operators are betting on a different strategy: curbside pickup. Americans have long loved the convenience of drive-through service for burgers and coffee. Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc. are tweaking that formula for groceries.” (Reuters)
  8. These Banks Are Exposed to Long-Distance Commercial Real Estate Lending “It seems almost counterintuitive to think of distance as a possible financial risk factor in a global economy marked by its interconnectedness, yet economic theories suggest that what’s called the ‘friction of distance’ can cause trouble. If that’s the case – and if it applies to lenders financing commercial real estate loans outside their geographical areas of expertise – it’s useful to examine regional commercial real estate lenders that are exposed to the distance factor, as we do below.” (Forbes)
  9. New York City Landlords Soon Could Be Required to Post Energy Ratings “Large buildings across New York will have to post letter grades in their lobbies disclosing their energy efficiency, if a measure before the City Council passes. The new rating system is modeled after the ubiquitous grades for sanitation posted in restaurant windows across New York.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  10. Landlord Trade Group Partners with Startup that Nixes Security Deposits “A startup offering an alternative to security deposits has inked a deal with the Rent Stabilization Association, the city’s largest landlord trade group, the organizations jointly announced today. Rhino launched in early September and has raised around $2 million from investors who were keen on the firm’s ideas to disrupt traditional security deposits.” (Crain’s New York Business, subscription required)
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