Author: Suraj Shrestha

Suraj Shrestha is an associate at Harborside Partners. He has been taking the lead role on research projects; to develop and implement online marketing strategies for search engine optimization and social media marketing. He is one of the core parts for helping to grow business revenue and the company’s online presence.

Seven CRE Professionals Offer Their Takes on Work and Life While Sheltering in Place

We spoke to industry insiders in locations with shelter-in-place orders. Here’s how they are staying sane and productive.

Over the past few weeks, an increasing number of states and municipalities have issued shelter-in-place orders, hoping to contain the COVID-19 outbreak from spreading further. This has led to large-scale temporary closures of commercial properties, including the offices of many real estate firms, forcing industry professionals to work (and largely stay) at home. This has happened at the same time as children and spouses are back at home too, with schools, colleges, non-essential shops and entertainment venues closed for business. So how are commercial real estate professionals staying productive and staying sane while adjusting to the country’s new lifestyle?

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Do Recent Interest Rates Cuts Portend a Refi Windfall? Maybe Not

Banks, life insurance companies and the GSEs are still quoting deals on a selective basis, although spreads are higher and leverage is lower.

Commercial real estate borrowers who were hoping to capitalize on dramatic Fed rate cuts and a drop in the 10-year Treasury to refinance loans at record low rates may have missed their window of opportunity—at least for now.

Borrowers that were able to move quickly did access some incredibly cheap capital. In some cases, financing rates dipped below 3 percent as interest rates plummeted and spreads remained relatively stable. Yet lenders have since tightened their grip on capital given the market volatility and uncertain outlooks for the economy and commercial real estate properties amid the spread of COVID-19.

The low benchmark rates have been countered with higher spreads and rate floors from many lenders. Rates today are in line with those found in December 2018, generally in the high 3- to low 4-percent range, notes Brian Stoffers, global president, debt & structured finance at CBRE. “Many borrowers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach and hoping for lower spreads once the market settles down,” he says. Meanwhile, those borrowers with maturing loans or 1031 exchanges that require timely closings are moving forward, he adds.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Finding the Silver Lining in Multifamily Amidst Today’s Challenges

Sabal Capital’s Pat Jackson shares why he remains positive about the sector.

With the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent stock market plunge, the first quarter of 2019 delivered a shock to the United States as citizens hunkered down at home and companies grappled to adjust and weather it out. While the economic effects will be measured in the months and years to come, many in the apartment sector are looking now at the immediate and projected impacts on rentals.

Multifamily performed extremely well over the past decade, nearly immune to dynamics that impacted other real estate classes. The sector remained strong into the first quarter of this year. Solid fundamentals and demand, as well as short supply in key multifamily categories, continued to carry it through. However, as we wade through these unchartered waters, the big question is: Will rental housing maintain its performance?

Prior to the virus outbreak, experts agreed the real estate cycle was mature. Even as many debated the possibility of a downturn, demand for apartments remained high in part because various groups—college students, workers, singles, couples, families—consistently sought units. Notably, a look over time indicates these target groups are continuously replenished by younger up-and-coming generations. A prime example today is older millennials moving out of apartments to purchase homes and being replaced by younger millennials.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Some Initial Takeaways on How the $2T Stimulus Helps CRE

Industry pros are continuing to unpack what’s in the massive $2 trillion stimulus package, but already some items stand out that should provide relief to the CRE sector.

After days of rancorous negotiations, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a $2 trillion+ economic stimulus bill aimed at helping the American economy navigate an unprecedented shock. The House appeared poised to pass the legislation on Friday and President Trump has promised to sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

It could not come at a more pressing time. On Thursday morning the Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims soared to a seasonally adjusted 3.28 million in the week ended March 21.

The bill is broken into several parts, with hundreds of billions allocated towards direct cash payments to most Americans and to vastly expanding unemployment benefits to be more generous and cover more classifications of workers. That alone will be beneficial, for example, by helping apartment tenants pay their rents.

And within the bill are specific measures that will provide some benefits to the commercial real estate sector.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Hong Kong Luxury Apartment Rents Slashed to Attract Tenants

The spreading coronavirus has crunched rents for luxury homes in Hong Kong as wealthy individuals hesitate to sign leases.

(Bloomberg) — After a bargain on an upscale apartment in the world’s most-expensive property market? Now may be the time.

The spreading coronavirus has crunched rents for luxury homes in Hong Kong as wealthy individuals hesitate to sign leases amid the gloomy economic outlook.

Landlords have cut their asking prices by as much as 20% since mid-March in a high-end area of West Kowloon, according to Arthur Chui, a senior sales manager at Midland Realty. Far fewer international companies are looking for accommodation for their staff from overseas, he said. That used to be another big source of renters in the district.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac relax appraisal, employment verification standards in wake of coronavirus

Will allow drive-by and desktop appraisals in certain circumstances

Citing the extraordinary circumstances that the country is facing with the ongoing spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Monday that it is directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ease their standards for both property appraisals and verification of employment.

The moves are part of a growing effort to “facilitate liquidity in the mortgage market during the coronavirus national emergency,” the FHFA said in an announcement.

According to the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use “appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages.” The issue of appraisers needing to inspect homes as part of the mortgage process has been a mounting concern as the virus has continued to spread throughout the nation.

Considering that new research shows that the virus can live for “several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces,” appraisers entering homes to inspect may lead to increased spread of the virus. Beyond that, cities and even entire states are going into lockdowns, thereby prohibiting appraisers from traveling to houses to inspect them.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Multifamily Lenders Highlight Challenges During Coronavirus Crisis

On-the-ground issues may keep liquidity from flowing into the market.

The situation for the affordable and market-rate lending environment remains very fluid during the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, and it’s changing hour by hour, not even day by day, says Don King, executive vice president and head of the Multifamily Finance Groupat Walker & Dunlop.

“A lot of sponsors are anxious to take advantage of the low interest rates so we have seen an uptick in calls, interest, and potential activity,” says Philip Melton, executive vice president and national director of affordable and Federal Housing Administration lending at Bellwether Enterprise. “At the same time, we have concerns.”

One of the big roadblocks for lenders is on the ground, with shelter-in-place orders, lockdowns, and social distancing affecting physical inspections and third-party vendors doing on-site work.

“Right now we are struggling with how to prudently lend when we can’t get in to inspect units,” King says. “How do you prudently assess risk?”

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Amazon Just Bought Lord & Taylor Building from WeWork. Did It Overpay?

The e-commerce giant paid more than the building’s previous sales price. It may still have been a good deal, capital markets experts say.

At a time when most investors are nervous to embark on new deals, Amazon has charged ahead with plans to expand its footprint in the Big Apple. The e-commerce giant acquired the iconic Lord & Taylor flagship building in Midtown Manhattan from troubled co-working operator WeWork for $978 million, according to New York City Department of Finance records.

While at least a temporary recession is now all but a certainty, this deal was in the works long before COVID-19 became an immediate threat to the U.S., notes Eric Anton, associate broker in the New York office of brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap.

WeWork acquired the building for its headquarters in 2019 and announced a lavish, $438 million renovation project to reposition it to office space. But a failed attempt to go public followed, and the company never moved into the building.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae move to protect renters from eviction during coronavirus crisis

GSEs will offer forbearance to multifamily property owners as long as they suspend evictions

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week suspended foreclosures and evictions on single-family homes as the coronavirus continues to spread, but that policy will only help those living in a house, leaving many renters vulnerable to being evicted.

Not anymore.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Monday that Fannie and Freddie are moving to protect renters from being evicted if they’re unable to pay their rent due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Specifically, Fannie and Freddie will begin offering mortgage forbearance to multifamily property owners on the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters who can’t pay their rent because of the coronavirus.

Because Fannie and Freddie back the mortgages on multifamily properties, but have no contact with individual renters, the only way for the GSEs to provide relief to renters is by providing relief to the property owners themselves. Missed rent payments mean that multifamily property owners wouldn’t be able to make their mortgage payments and the entire property would go into foreclosure.

As a result of the GSEs’ action, property owners now have the ability to delay their mortgage payments if their property is negatively affected by the coronavirus national emergency.

According to the GSEs, property owners can delay their mortgage payments for up to 90 days by showing hardship as a consequence of COVID-19 and by gaining lender approval.

The condition the GSEs included — that property owners can’t use the forbearance option unless they agree to suspend evictions — should have a sizable impact on the market, considering how much of the multifamily market Fannie and Freddie support.

According to the most recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie and Freddie hold or back approximately 48.6% of the entire outstanding multifamily mortgage debt.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay

We’re Two Weeks In, What Should Multifamily Firms Do Now?

Eight things to do now, if you haven’t already, to protect your residents, employees, and firms during the coronavirus outbreak.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to rock the nation, the multifamily industry continues to grapple with the new reality while reducing risk and disruption for its residents, employees, and businesses. In a period where it’s anything but business as usual, it’s critical that industry stakeholders arm themselves with guidance and resources that will accurately inform important business decisions.

By now, apartment firms’ senior-level crisis teams should be in the throes of putting their COVID-19 response plan to work and adapting it as needed to the ever-changing circumstances. However, many questions continue to surface as apartment firms pick their way through these uncertain times. To assist companies in their efforts, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) offers this list of suggested apartment owner preparations and ongoing considerations.

Click Here For The Full Article

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Start receiving; press releases, commercial real estate news, information and trends on particular markets and regions.


Picture: Pixabay
Scroll to top