10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 30, 2017)

Maryland’s attorney general is investigating one of the Kushner family’s real estate businesses, reports CNN. U.S. consumer spending grew at the fastest pace in September since 2009, according to Reuters. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Maryland Investigating Kushner Companies over Apartments “The Maryland attorney general is investigating one of the Kushner family's real estate businesses after media reports surfaced earlier this year about allegedly abusive debt collection practices and poor conditions at several of its properties.” (CNN)
  2. U.S. Consumer Spending Grows at Fastest Pace since 2009 “U.S. consumer spending recorded its biggest increase in more than eight years in September, likely as households in Texas and Florida replaced flood-damaged motor vehicles, but underlying inflation remained muted.” (Reuters)
  3. Lennar, CalAtlantic Strike Deal to Create Largest U.S. Home BuilderLennar will buy CalAtlantic Group Inc. in a $5.7 billion deal, that will create the country’s largest home builder by revenue, the companies said Monday.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. This Start-Up Lets Chinese Investors Pour Cash into US Tech Firms Before They Go Public “Financial technology firm MarketX lets upper-middle class and institution Chinese investors to invest in tech firms that have not yet issued shares to the general public. These include such notable names as ride-hailing giant Lyft, music platform Spotify, bulletin board site Pinterest and workplace messaging app Slack. But they will also be given the opportunity to enter less tapped markets such as litigation finance and real estate, artificial intelligence, customizable portfolios driven by themes like health, and companies founded by Tesla's Elon Musk.” (CNBC)
  5. Portland, Ore., Leads The Best Places For Business And Careers 2017 “Despite a population of 2.4 million, the Portland, Ore., metro area is home to just one big publicly traded company with annual sales over $3 billion: Nike, based in Beaverton. But the limited big corporate presence has not stopped recent college grads from flocking to Portland for its outdoor recreational opportunities, as well as its progressive and environmentally friendly scene.” (Forbes)
  6. Developer Reaches Tentative Deal for Union Financing of Crown Heights Project “Veteran developer Ian Bruce Eichner, who has hit numerous highs and lows in his 40-year career in real estate, has taken a big step toward his latest dream: a $500 million, 1.2 million-square-foot residential project in Crown Heights that would set aside half of its units as affordable housing.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  7. Macy’s No Longer Makes Much Money as a Retailer, Citi Says, Downgrades to SellMacy's retail business continues to slip this year, causing Citi Research to downgrade its outlook for the stock's performance to sell from neutral.” (CNBC)
  8. Top Reasons Why Real Estate Investing Is So Popular “Real estate is secured by a physical asset and is an overwhelmingly stable investment. In the vast majority of cases, an investment property will retain its value and appreciate over time. If you make your monthly mortgage payments and have the correct insurance, it is very unlikely that you will experience a total loss on a real estate investment.” (Forbes)
  9. The Long View: The Dark Side of Real Estate’s Tech Investment Boom “When it comes to hobbies, New York’s real estate executives show strong herd instincts. Everyone plays golf, everyone has a boat, everyone spends summer weekends in the Hamptons. And in 2017, seemingly everyone invests in real estate tech startups.” (The Real Deal)
  10. MBA Sees Flat Growth in ’18 for Commercial Mortgages “Two mortgage banking sectors, one organization, one slow-growth economy, two divergent outlooks for the coming year. The Mortgage Bankers Association said last week that it expects commercial and multifamily originations to be essentially flat in 2018. On the residential side, though, MBA is expecting a year-over-year increase in purchase mortgage originations, even as refinancing activity is expected to slide.” (
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