10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 17, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 17, 2016)

  1. There Could Be a Bubble in These Real Estate Markets “Credit risk is growing in U.S. commercial real estate with some banks exposed to ‘froth’ in the apartment market in New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, a top U.S. banking regulator said on Monday. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which supervises large national banks, wants lenders to tighten up loan terms to property developers and it recently reissued its guidance on how banks should approach commercial real estate lending.” (Fortune)
  2. Rental Costs Continue to Surge Past Americans’ Incomes “Rent price growth matched the highest since the financial crisis, another indication of the imbalance in the nation’s housing market. In April, rent was 3.7% higher than a year ago, the same 12-month rate of increase for the fifth month in a row, the Labor Department reported as part of the consumer price index report. That’s the highest since before the financial crisis, and it’s much bigger than pay increases.” (MarketWatch)
  3. FBI Accused of Planting Hidden Microphones around Bay Area to Nab Real Estate Investors “Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly planted hidden microphones in and around the San Francisco Bay Area as part of an effort to catch several real estate investors suspected of bid rigging at local foreclosure auctions, according San Francisco’s CBS KPIX 5 and the Daily Caller. Both reports state that between March 2010 and January 2011, the FBI allegedly placed hidden microphones inside light fixtures, at a bus stop and in other locations around an Oakland courthouse without a warrant.” (HousingWire)
  4. Recession Fears are Running Rampant on Wall Street “Wall Street is getting very close to saying the dreaded “r” word — recession. This year has been one of the most pessimistic times on the Street since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, with analysts releasing a flurry of reports on Monday predicting that markets and economic growth will slow, but stopping short of calling it a recession. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan released reports that painted a picture of a tightening economy.” (New York Post)
  5. Office Depot Assures Investors Staples, Amazon Won’t Kill It “Office Depot's (ODP) life after a failed merger with Staples in a office supply world challenged by Amazon will likely require frequent sales jobs by its top execs to concerned investors. The first assurance by Office Depot that the future remains bright came on Monday evening, a few days after a judge blocked a deal that would have merged Staples with its smaller competitor. "Today is not about looking back, but looking forward," said Office Depot Chairman and CEO Roland Smith to kick off a call with analysts.” (The Street)
  6. Ex-CEO Ron Johnson Says J.C. Penney Should Have Stuck with His Plan “Even though his strategy a few years ago to reinvent J.C. Penney sent the department store chain’s annual sales down $6 billion and caused a major cash crisis, former CEO Ron Johnson maintained on Monday that the retailer would have been better off sticking to his plan. Johnson, previously a star retailer at Apple and Target, was hired by Penney in 2011 to great fanfare, given a mandate by investors like hedge fund titan Bill Ackman to radically overhaul the department store chain.” (Fortune)
  7. The Race for the Wood Skyscraper Starts Here “At a newly renovated plant in Riddle, Ore., workers glue together boards harvested from nearby forests, where Douglas fir has grown for thousands of years, and feed the resulting 10-by-30-foot panels into a pneumatic press. What comes out three hours later, their boss is convinced, is the building material of the future. Proponents of the material, called cross-laminated timber, or CLT, say it can be used to erect buildings that are just as strong and fire-resistant as those made from steel and concrete.” (Bloomberg)
  8. Regulator Subpoenas Apollo Subsidiaries over Low-Income Housing Deals “A handful of companies connected to Apollo Global Management’s real estate business received subpoenas from a New York state regulator as part of an investigation into allegedly predatory low-income home buying schemes. The New York State Department of Financial Services subpoenaed ARM Manager LLC, an Apollo subsidiary, along with a real estate investment trust it oversees, Apollo Residential Mortgage.” (The Real Deal)
  9. How to Begin Investing in Real Estate “It may be a good time to think about adding real estate to an investing portfolio. True believers say there's nothing like owning a second, third or fourth property. Of course, true believers tend to be those who survived catastrophes like the housing meltdown about a decade ago. Ask those who were hammered and you get another view. One thing is clear: for a beginner, real estate is a different game. The lessons you learned with stocks, bonds and mutual funds aren't much of a guide.” (U.S. News & World Report)
  10. Barnes & Noble Brings Beauty to More Colleges “The newest concept in beauty retail is called The Glossary and it is arriving on more college campuses courtesy of Barnes & Noble College. The Glossary concept was piloted at the Barnes & Noble Emory University and Southern Methodist University bookstores and more recently expanded to the campuses of Tulane University and the College of William & Mary. The newest location set to open in August will be on the campus of the University of California at Riverside.” (Chain Store Age)
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