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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 24, 2016)

10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 24, 2016)


  1. Economy Watch: Most State Unemployment Rates Hold Steady “Unemployment rates were significantly lower in September in seven states, higher in only one state, and stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. Compared with last year, the pattern was similar: Six states had jobless rate decreases from a year ago, four states suffered increases and the vast majority—40 states and D.C.—saw no significant change. This stability among the states mirrors the national rate. For more than a year now, it’s been hovering around 5 percent, which is where the rate happens to be now. That can be taken either as a sign of a reasonable recovery from the recession, or of an employment market stuck in neutral.” (MultiHousing News)
  2. Ultra-wealthy still interested in buying real estate despite slowdown, uncertainty “Although high-end real estate has softened — sales of homes priced above $1 million have tumbled recently, according to recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) figures — high-net worth individuals "feel good about their lives, are confident about their decisions and have a very strong intent to purchase real estate," the report's authors wrote.  As such, real estate is still in demand for the economic elite, but varied somewhat depending on their location.  The YouGov survey found that 25 percent of the wealthy were looking to purchase new property over the next three years, with 18 percent looking to sell. Outside the U.S., the mood was far more confident: 45 percent of wealthy buyers are looking to purchase real estate with only 23 percent looking to sell, the data showed. The report showed that ‘nearly 1 in 4 of the Global Top 1 percent plans to make a real estate purchase in the next three years, with almost as many considering selling as well.’” (CNBC)
  3. Real Estate Investors Seek Shelter for Brexit’s Finance Refugees “A property company managed by Schroders Plc is bidding for an office building in Frankfurt, anticipating the banking fallout from Brexit will boost values in the German financial center. The London-based property investor isn’t alone preparing for an exodus from the British capital, with both CBRE Global Investors LLC and Standard Life Plc seeking to purchase office space in cities from Dublin to Amsterdam... Real estate investors are now seeking to capitalize on that shortage by buying partially vacant offices and plots with the potential to develop buildings the banks may need.” (Bloomberg)
  4. Commercial Real Estate Praised in Climate Change Fight “While commercial property has been blamed for generating nearly one-third of the world’s climate-destructive carbon emissions, a new report from the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance is detailing how leading commercial real estate owners and managers are making an exemplary effort to reduce energy wastage in their buildings The new report tracks more than 5,400 commercial properties around the world that are owned by Greenprint’s members and found a 3.4-percent reduction in energy consumption, a 3.9-percent reduction in carbon emissions and a 4.8-percent reduction in water use between 2014 and 2015. Within the U.S., the ULI report found San Jose experienced the most significant reduction in energy use by office buildings, with a 10 percent drop, followed by Houston at nine percent, San Francisco at seven percent and Chicago and Washington, D.C., at six percent. San Diego led the in reducing water use by office buildings, registering a nearly 40 percent drop that was achieved despite water-stressed conditions facing that part of California.” (National Mortgage Professional)
  5. Your next home may be a shipping container “In fact, because they are so new, one potential downside is that because containers are mobile, it brings into question how to finance such projects, said Adam Day, an architect with AMR Architects Inc. in Little Rock, Ark., who recently pitched a container-home project to a developer. Mobile homes, or manufactured homes, aren’t always considered real property because, as their name suggests, they’re mobile, and thus some banks won’t lend a mortgage on a mobile home, unless the wheels are removed, the mobile home sits on a foundation and the utilities and the plumbing are connected. ‘If you don’t attach it to a permanent foundation, it might be difficult to get a mortgage,’ Day said. Container homes may have the same financing issue. Because of their mobility by truck or rail, they’re just as mobile as a mobile trailer home, Day said, which made financing for his project tougher. ‘We pitched the project as being able to be deconstructed later to build something bigger, but because of the ease of it being taken apart, the developer didn’t buy it,’ he said.…Still, container homes can provide affordable living, and they can be relatively quick to build.” (MarketWatch)
  6. Return of house flipping eases affordable housing crunch in some states “The number of flipped houses is at a six-year high. But while such rapid turnover helped fuel the housing crisis a decade ago, advocates and analysts say the current wave is helping to ease a shortage of affordable housing in some parts of the country. The resurgence of flipping, or selling a house less than a year after buying it, comes as the construction of affordable single-family houses fails to keep up with demand, as builders concentrate on multi-family housing. In some states like Florida and Nevada, which have large stocks of cheap, foreclosed houses, flipping is boosting the housing supply for homeowners and for investors who want to rent out the properties. The renovated homes are helping to bring downtrodden neighborhoods back to life, while making homeownership possible for some first-time and low-income buyers.” (Miami Herald)
  7. Report: Dick's wins Golfsmith's US business with $70M bid in bankruptcy auction "Dick’s Sporting Goods and a team of liquidators won a bankruptcy auction on Friday to take over Golfsmith International’s U.S. business with a bid for $70 million, sources told Reuters. Dick's and Golfsmith did not respond to requests for comment from Reuters. Dick’s will keep at least 30 Golfsmith stores open and shutter the rest with the help of liquidators from Hilco Global and Tiger Capital Group, while continuing to employ about 500 Golfsmith employees. The athletic retailer also won the rights to Golfsmith’s intellectual property. The auction is awaiting the approval of a U.S. bankruptcy court judge and the results of the auction are not yet public, Reuters reports. Shares of Dick’s rose in mid-afternoon trading on Friday afternoon after Reuters released news of the bid, according to The Street.” (Retail Dive)
  8. Iron Mountain Breaks Ground on NoVa Data Center “Iron Mountain Inc. recently broke ground on an 83-acre data center campus in Manassas, Va. Kessinger/Hunter & Co. has been selected as the development partner for the first, 150,000-square-foot phase of the project. The data center will be built to Uptime Tier III construction standards for critical infrastructure design and availability…Iron Mountain’s Northern Virginia data center campus will feature 60 megawatts of capacity spread across at least four individual colocation facilities. The currently under-construction building will offer 10.5 megawatts of critical power and a flexible design which will meet the strict requirements of cloud services providers, Federal Government Agencies, systems integrators, financial services firms and healthcare companies.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. Trinity unveils plans for 26-story commercial towerTrinity Church revealed plans for a 26-story office building on the site of its scrapped condo project. Officials from the church unveiled the design for the $300 million development at 74 Trinity Place, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects design calls for a 310,000-square-foot building that will be linked to the church across Trinity Place. ‘The design itself is like the process we used to design it,’ Rev. Dr. William Lupfer, Rector of Trinity Church, said. ‘We wanted people to see in and feel the vitality and welcome.’” (The Real Deal)
  10. Downtown landlords keep repricing higher as other submarkets seesaw “Midtown and Midtown South — two of Manhattan’s three office submarkets — have been all over the map when it comes to price adjustments this year. One quarter more square footage is repriced upward, another quarter the net balance moves lower. That’s not the case in Downtown, where dwindling lower-cost options have allowed landlords to push a balance of the submarket’s available space upward for three consecutive quarters. ‘The only consistent pattern we’ve noticed year to date was Downtown, where upward repricing has taken place in existing blocks,’ said Franklin Wallach, senior director of the research group at Colliers International. ‘It appeared in nearly every segment of the Downtown market.’” (The Real Deal)
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