10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (January 16, 2017)

Sam Zell has made a warning about the stock market, according to CNBC. New York City set a record for the preservation of affordable homes in 2017, reports The Associated Press. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Why Chinese Investors Love Miami: “Hong Kong of the West” “Chinese Investors love Miami. Caroline Li Griffith is purchasing her third luxury condo in Miami. Griffith, a private real estate investor originally from Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province splits her time between New York and Miami. ‘I love the Miami lifestyle, its weather and the people,’ Griffith explains. Griffith recently bought two-units in the pre-construction phase at the PARAMOUNT Miami Worldcenter.  The price tags—a one bedroom for over $800,000 and a two-bedroom rings in at $1 million.” (Forbes)
  2. Billionaire Sam Zell Sees ‘Irrational Exuberance’ in the Stock Market and Holds Mostly Cash “The seemingly unstoppable rally that's pushed the stock market to record high after record high is based on emotions not fundamentals, billionaire investor Sam Zell told CNBC on Tuesday. ‘I think the current situation seems like irrational exuberance,’ said the founder and chairman of the property specialist firm Equity Group Investments. Referring to ‘irrational exuberance,’ he was echoing a warning that then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan famously issued in 1996 about the market environment.” (CNBC)
  3. New York City Sets Affordable Homes Record: 24,500 Financed in 2017 “New York City created or preserved over 24,500 affordable homes last year, breaking a record for the nation's biggest city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. The previous record was just over 23,100, in 1989. De Blasio, a Democrat re-elected last year, has made affordable housing a centerpiece of his two mayoral campaigns. The city invested over $1 billion in affordable apartments last year. The effort mostly preserved affordable homes - over 17,300 of them. Another 7,200 new ones were created.” (The Associated Press)
  4. Marriott Just Got Dragged into a Messy Fight Over the Trump Panama Hotel “An attempt to oust President Donald Trump’s hotel business from managing a luxury hotel in Panama has turned bitter, with accusations of financial misconduct. Trump Hotels is contesting its firing, and its staff ran off a team of Marriott executives invited last month to visit the property during a search for a new hotel operator, according to two people familiar with the matter. After the owners’ association accused Trump Hotels of mismanagement and financial misconduct in a $15 million arbitration claim, the company owned by the president fired back with a $200 million counterclaim and refused to turn over the property’s financial records.” (The Associated Press)
  5. 15 Companies That Are Defying the Retail Meltdown by Opening Hundreds of New Stores “While many retailers are closing stores, some are rapidly building new locations, with at least one — Dollar General — adding as many as 900 stores this year. A large majority of the retailers that are opening new stores this year are discounters, including Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Aldi, Lidl, Five Below, and Hobby Lobby. Those retailers and others will collectively open more than 2,100 stores this year, according to a Business Insider analysis based on company data.” (Business Insider)
  6. Dunkin’ Debuts Store of the Future and It Doesn’t Have ‘Donuts’ on Storefront “Dunkin' Donuts will open its second location today that just uses the word ‘Dunkin’ on the storefront. The first such spot was opened last summer in Pasadena, CA. This new 2,200 square foot site will open for business on 588 Washington Street in Quincy, MA., the city where the first Dunkin' Donuts location was opened 68 years ago.” (The Street)
  7. Checking In: Report Lists Dozens of Groups That Used Trump Properties “A new report documents 64 politicians, interest groups, corporations and entities affiliated with foreign governments that used Trump-branded properties in the past year. The report released Tuesday by Public Citizen, a liberal-funded watchdog group based in Washington, comes about a year after President Donald Trump stepped away from day-to-day management of the Trump Organization. Mr. Trump retained financial interest in the company through a trust and can draw money from it at any time.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. CRE in 2018: Change Is Afoot “With the exception of a sprinkling of uncertainty here and there, the commercial real estate industry has been riding high for the last several years, but this year, while sunny skies are still in the forecast, it won’t exactly be business as usual. According to commercial real estate services firm Avison Young’s new report, 2018 North America and Europe Commercial Real Estate Forecast, significant change is on the horizon.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. Manhattan Office Market Seeing an Accelerated Flight to Quality “According to JLL, office space users preferred Midtown's Class A buildings by a wide margin, claiming 24 of the top 26 transactions in the submarket in 2017. Midtown recorded 21.6 million square feet of total leasing activity in 2017, surpassing the 21.2 million square feet in deal volume recorded in 2016. ‘Five of the top seven leases signed in Midtown in the fourth quarter took place at newly-constructed or renovated offices,’ said Sean Coghlan, Director of Americas Research.” (World Property Journal)
  10. How to Expand Your Real Estate Investing Business into a New Market “There is no risk-free real estate investing strategy.  Investing your hard-earned money into property that you can’t drive out and see on a whim is highly risky.  These homes I’ve recently purchased aren’t going to make me rich.  I’m just hoping they’ll be a nice little shelter for me when the market turns again.” (The Washington Post)
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