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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 27, 2018)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development lost three more employees amid an ethics controversy, The Guardian reports. The White House is investigating two loans worth more than $500 million that were provided to Jared Kushner’s family business, the private real estate firm founded by his father, according to the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Three More Lose Jobs at Ben Carson’s Housing Department “Three more people lost their jobs at Ben Carson’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (Hud) on Monday, amid a widening ethics controversy.” (The Guardian)
  2. White House Probes Loans to Kushner’s Business “White House attorneys are examining whether two loans totaling more than $500 million to Jared Kushner’s family business may have violated any criminal laws or federal ethics regulations, according to a letter from a federal ethics agency made public Monday.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  3. Walmart and Target Stand to Gain Most from Toys ‘R’ Us Liquidation “Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. will get the biggest portion of the $7 billion up for grabs from the Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation, according to an analysis by Coresight Research.” (MarketWatch)
  4. Office Investors Now Look to Suburbs “A few years ago, CBD office was all the rage, but higher cap suburban properties are now finding favor.” (GlobeSt.com)
  5. Short Visits Rise at Whole Foods Stores with Amazon Lockers “Shoppers are making more quick trips to Whole Foods stores that have installed Amazon.com lockers, giving the natural and organic retailer a new way to boost sales, research from location data advertising firm inMarket showed on Monday.” (Reuters)
  6. Home Prices Continued to Rise in January “Home prices continued to grow at a rapid pace in the first month of 2018, as a new tax law and rising mortgage rates made little dent in demand in the early weeks of the year.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Bostic Says Fiscal Policy Is Creating More Uncertainty for the Fed “Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said he supports plans to gradually raise interest rates, but uncertainty over how the economy would respond next year to tax cuts and increased government spending could complicate monetary policy.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  8. Hotels Hope That Tax Law Will Revive Corporate Meetings “The hotel business has been a good one in recent years, as the economy has gathered strength. But there’s been one area that’s been lagging – hosting corporate meeting and conferences.” (The New York Times)
  9. When the Benefits Don’t Outweigh the Costs of Apartment Amenities “Sometimes more amenities come with diminishing returns to sales price, according to a new study by Newmark Knight Frank.” (GlobeSt.com)
  10. Howard County Real Estate Developer’s Bankruptcy Filings Are Piling Up “Sanford Bruce Jaffe owns a cluster of limited liability corporations, all based at 8600 Snowden River Parkway in Columbia, that have piled up almost $47 million of debt.” (Baltimore Business Journal, subscription required)
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