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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 21, 2018)

The New York Times looks at the reasons for New York City’s housing crisis. Fortune examines Amazon’s plans for Whole Foods. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Help Wanted: Home Builders Need Women, Immigrants and Robots to Fill Shortage “Alan Hoffmann has been building homes in Texas since 1987, and he’s seen all kinds of real estate cycles. But he’s never seen a worker shortage this severe. A decade ago, when Hoffmann needed an electrical crew to wire a house, four or five electricians would show up. Today that crew is typically two people. That means homes take longer to build — usually 12 months instead of nine — and costs rise because longer project time means more months in which builders have to tap bank loans to finance construction.” (MarketWatch)
  2. Behind New York’s Housing Crisis: Weakened Laws and Fragmented Regulation “Affordable housing is vanishing as landlords exploit a broken system, pushing out rent-regulated tenant and catapulting apartments into the free market” (The New York Times)
  3. President Trump Still Thinks Like a Real Estate Developer: Here’s How That Helps Him “When Donald Trump was asked about the effects of a vote by Great Britain to leave the European Union, he speculated that a weaker British pound could boost sales at his golf course in Scotland. When he made his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly, he noted that the building he was speaking in had helped make a nearby residential tower of his a success. And when he was addressing racial violence in Charlottesville, he took time to note that he owns a nearby winery.” (Time)
  4. How Amazon Is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination “With the $13.7 billion acquisition, Amazon had bought itself a real shot at remaking the $800 billion U.S. grocery sector—the last frontier of e-commerce and a massive one at that. Some 20% of retail spending goes toward food, but only 2% of those sales take place on the Internet. ‘Grocery is the Wild West for online,’ says Carrie Bienkowski, the chief marketing officer of online grocer Peapod. ‘The size of the prize is huge, and it’s growing.’” (Fortune)
  5. The 10 Best Cities for New Grads Starting Out “NerdWallet analyzed data for the 100 largest U.S. cities and scored each according to the environment offered for recent college graduates who are looking to get a foothold in the working world. Here’s what we looked at — and factors you might want to consider.” (MarketWatch)
  6. Here’s How Much the World’s Billionaires Park in Real Estate “Among the wealthiest individuals surveyed this year, 173 billionaires identified real estate as their primary business with their average net work hovering around $2.7 billion; in total, their wealth adds up to $468 billion, according to the census. Real estate is the third-largest industry following finance, banking and investments and industrial conglomerates.” (The Real Deal)
  7. Disney Expansion Turning Orlando into Hotspot for Brazil Real Estate Investors “Tosiyuki Nakamura. Odds are you have no idea who that man is, or where he is from. It is not Japan.  Nakamura is a Brazilian. He says he brings in $2,900 per month from a three bedroom vacation home bought in 2017 for $330,000 at this place called The Grove Resort & Spa, once a deserted shell around four miles from Disney's west gate. For the record, that is the equivalent of R$10,150 per month, which happens to be 6.5 times more than the average monthly income in Sao Paulo.” (Forbes)
  8. Commercial, Multifamily Borrowing Up 1 Percent Annually in U.S. “According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Quarterly Survey of Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Bankers Originations, first quarter 2018 commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations increased one percent compared to the same period last year and, in line with the seasonality of market, first quarter originations were thirty-three percent lower than the fourth quarter of 2017.” (World Property Journal)’’
  9. Oaktree Capital Nabs Charlotte CBD Tower for $134M “CBRE Capital Markets has brokered the sale of a 33-story, Class A office tower in the central business district of Charlotte, N.C. The property, known as 400 South Tryon, traded for $133.5 million, according to Mecklenburg County records. Oaktree Capital Management acquired the asset from a partnership between DRA Advisors and Trinity Capital Advisors. Citizens Bank facilitated the transaction with $93.5 million in acquisition financing.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. Crexi Raises $11 Million to Bring Commercial Real Estate Out of the Dark Ages “Managing, buying, and selling commercial real estate  is a fairly primitive process. Crexi founder Mike DeGiorgio remembers one experience in 2014 when he was required to fax and mail details about an urgent transaction to the leasing office, a move that made him think he was back in the era of Pogs and MTV’s Real World Season 1.” (TechCrunch)
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