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14 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (July 9, 2020)

Over 77 percent of U.S. apartment households made full or partial rent payments by July 6, according to NMHC. Brooks Brothers has filed for bankruptcy protection, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 77.4 Percent of Apartment Households Paid Rent as of July 6 “The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker found 77.4 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by July 6 in its survey of 11.4 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country. This is a 2.3-percentage point decrease from the share who paid rent through July 6, 2019 and compares to 80.8 percent that had paid by June 6, 2020. These data encompass a wide variety of market-rate rental properties across the United States, which can vary by size, type and average rental price.” (NMHC)
  2. Homebuyer Mortgage Demand Spikes 33% as Rates Set Another Record Low “After a brief pullback at the end of June, homebuyers rushed back into the mortgage market last week, taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week and were a remarkable 33% higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s index, which was seasonally adjusted, including for the Fourth of July holiday.’ (CNBC)
  3. Brooks Brothers, Hurt by Casual Fridays and Coronavirus, Files for Bankruptcy “Brooks Brothers dressed the American business class in pinstripes for more than 200 years, survived two world wars and the shift to casual dressing. But it was no match for the coronavirus pandemic. The closely held company, which is owned by Italian businessman Claudio Del Vecchio, filed for bankruptcy protection in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday. One of the few brands to make clothes domestically, it warned in June that it could close its three U.S. factories. It has 500 stores around the world and roughly 200 in North America, after deciding to close about 50 locations because of the pandemic.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  4. Real Estate CEO Expects ‘Exodus’ of Central Business Districts to Last the Next Two Years “The coronavirus pandemic is pushing businesses and dwellers out of city centers and downtowns into the outskirts in the short term, but demand can be expected to return to big cities, according to the head of the largest commercial real estate broker in the country. Hessam Nadji, president and CEO of Marcus & Millichap, on Tuesday told CNBC that it will be a test for suburban areas to accommodate exponential demand.” (CNBC)
  5. Healthcare Real Estate “Remains a Sector of Change” Amid Pandemic “A new report from BTIG shows that health care REITS are down nearly 26% year-to-date as opposed to the wider REITS sector, which is down about 14%. The report states that health care ‘remains a sector of change.’ ‘The acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to different levels of operating stress across the healthcare system,’ the report states…. ‘Potential disparities in outcomes based on insurance coverage during the pandemic could also lead increased calls for changes to government healthcare programs.’” (GlobeSt.com)
  6. NYC Rental Market Pushed to Breaking Point by Tenant Deals “Two-thirds of New Yorkers rent their homes, making it America’s biggest rental market, and it’s always had its own crazy kind of housing math. But with unemployment soaring and the typical rent about twice the national average, the numbers no longer add up. A quarter of the city’s apartment renters haven’t paid since March, according to the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), a group that represents mostly landlords of rent-stabilized buildings.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  7. DC Council Votes to Extend Rent Control, Increase Affordable Housing Funds “The D.C. Council gave the first of two approvals to the $16.7B budget for the District, which faces revenue shortfalls due to the coronavirus.” (Bisnow)
  8. IRS Sticks to July 15 Filing Deadline “The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it won’t be extending the July 15 tax filing and payment deadline. It had previously granted a 3-month postponement of the April 15 due date in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Although taxpayers filing Form 1040 series returns may file Form 4868 by July 15 to obtain an automatic extension to Oct. 15, the extension only provides additional time to file the tax return; it doesn’t provide an extension to pay any taxes due.” (WealthManagement.com)
  9. Here's What Trouble in Commercial Real Estate Means for You “This isn’t just a problem for people who own buildings. When buildings fall in value, that’s usually because fewer people have cause to work and shop in them, which corresponds to reductions to income and consumption for individuals. And because cities and states depend heavily on taxing commercial properties and the activity that occurs in them, a shock to commercial real-estate values is likely to cause yet another problem for state and local government budgets.” (New York Magazine)
  10. Walgreens to Open Doctors’ Offices at its U.S. Stores “Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., hit by slowing profits from prescription drugs, will attach doctors’ offices to hundreds of drugstores as the pharmacy chain seeks to remodel itself as a health-care provider. The largest U.S. drugstore chain by stores is pairing with primary-care provider VillageMD to open 500 to 700 clinics at Walgreens sites across the country over the next five years. Walgreens will pay VillageMD $1 billion in equity and debt over the next three years in exchange for a 30% stake in the Chicago-based startup by the end of that term.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  11. How a $2.6B Real Estate Fund Has Stayed on Top Through Booms and Busts “When David Copp was six years old, his father left a job in corporate real estate to become an independent developer in Southern California, entering a fairly risky and cyclical business. ‘It’s a very boom-and-bust industry, potentially, and a bust would have meant the financial demise of our household,’ says Copp, 47. ‘He tried to run his business in a way where that was a low probability.’ Those lessons have remained valuable for Copp in his own career, as a managing director at Nuveen and especially as co-manager of the $2.6 billion TIAA-CREF Real Estate Securities fund (ticker: TCREX).” (Barron’s)
  12. Mall ETFs Fall Even as New York Eyes Some Re-openings “Exchange-traded funds with exposure to malls slumped Wednesday even after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said shopping centers could open starting Friday, with some restrictions. The Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight Real Estate ETF EWRE, -0.28%, which has 3% of its holdings in Kimco Realty and 2.9% in Simon Property Group—two of the biggest mall operators - was down 0.6% midday.” (MarketWatch)
  13. Movie Theaters Sue New Jersey for Right to Reopen “Cinema chains, including AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Regal Cinemas, have filed suit against New Jersey's governor for refusing to allow them to reopen amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the lawsuit led by the National Association of Theatre Owners of New Jersey, naming Gov. Philip Murphy and New Jersey's health commissioner, Judith Persichilli, the plaintiffs argue that because churches and retailers have been allowed to open in the state, the movie theaters should be permitted to reopen as well.” (NPR)
  14. A Coronavirus Consultant Shares How She Advises Businesses on Reopening “Dr. Dana Lerman was on the verge of launching a mobile Botox service with her business partner Andrea Stone. They were hoping to improve the reputation of traveling Botox with their company Social Remedy, based in Denver, Colorado. They had a website, lawyers, insurance, and a planned launch date of the first weekend of June. Then the coronavirus hit. ‘My business partner and myself are very ambitious entrepreneurs, and we’re just not the type of people to sit and watch and just wait,’ Lerman, an infectious disease specialist and entrepreneur, said.” (Vox)
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