News & Press

Below are press releases announcing; acquisitions, divestitures and industry news.

Why Multifamily Is a Strong Bet in 2021

As we look ahead in 2021, there are positive signs that the economy may be on track for a recovery. Approvals of COVID-19 vaccines have presented a light at the end of the tunnel for what has been a long and highly disruptive time for our industry.

In the last year, virtually every asset class in commercial real estate has been impacted in one way or another. Retail and hospitality have borne the brunt of the economic fallout, as social distancing and local lockdown measures have impacted the ability of people to shop and travel. Conversely, the continued shift to online shopping and the need for more people to work remotely have created additional demand for industrial and data center assets. While the multifamily sector may not have been propped up by the pandemic, it has maintained strong performance throughout this period of uncertainty.

Historically, during economic recessions, the multifamily sector has been resilient and has recovered more quickly than other real estate asset classes. Based on the NCREIF Property Index returns, multifamily assets lost 27.6 percent in value during the Global Financial Crisis, but it took only 13 quarters for the sector to regain its pre-recession peak — faster than all other property types. A Pension Real Estate Association survey in the fourth quarter expected the multifamily sector to be the second strongest after industrial in the next few years, with projected total return growth of 5.8 percent annually between now and 2024.

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    5 Signs An Applicant Will Be a Good Tenant For Your Rental Property

    We all strive to find a good tenant, so here are five signs that an applicant will be a good tenant for your rental property from Keepe, the on-demand maintenance and repair company.

    When you’re receiving lots of applications for tenant positions at your rental properties, sometimes it can be difficult and overwhelming trying to sift through everything.

    After all, with so many applications in front of you, where do you begin? How do you know which applicants will make good tenants?

    There are a few telling signs as to whether or not your applicants will be good tenants. You just have to know what to look for to easily identify the good from the bad and put your mind at ease.

    No. 1: They Fill Out the Application Properly

    A sign of a good potential tenant is that they properly fill out the application.

    That may sound overly simple, but this means that they include the appropriate documents that are asked for and fill out everything correctly.

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      The Benefits of Being Pet-Friendly For Rental Property Owners

      Rental property owners are now integrating pet-friendly amenities in their apartments to allow renters to keep their favorite animal companions.

      By Justin Becker

      The dog is humankind’s best friend, and this explains why it is the most domesticated pet. According to statistics in the United States, 63.4 million households own a dog, followed by 43 million households that own a cat. Today, pets are an integral part of most families. Even rental property owners are now integrating pet-friendly amenities in their apartments to allow renters to keep their favorite animal companions.

      So, what’s the benefit of your apartments being pet-friendly?

      Being Pet-Friendly Means Higher Rent

      Just as in the law of demand, fewer housing facilities means higher rent for the few available. Of course, it will cost you more to set up the necessary facilities to make your apartment pet-friendly, but you can compensate for this with a slightly higher rent.

      Rental property owners can also set non-refundable pet fees, and because renters want to keep their family together, they will willingly pay the amount. They can again ask for a damage deposit to ensure the property is covered in case of damages, or demand compensation for pet damages.

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        Home prices are rising faster in the middle of the U.S. as Covid drives people away from coasts

        Smaller metropolitan markets like Indianapolis, Kansas City, Boise, Austin, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Memphis and Pittsburgh are seeing some of the strongest price gains in the nation.

        Home prices are rising across the nation, but the Covid pandemic is turning the usual geographical trends on their heads.

        Home values have historically risen most sharply in large cities on the coasts, where supply is leaner and demand is stronger. That is no longer the case.

        Smaller metropolitan markets like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Boise, Idaho, Austin, Texas, and Memphis. Tennessee are seeing some of the strongest price gains in the nation now, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Prices in those cities are now at least 10% higher than with a year earlier.

        These have all been historically more affordable markets, and markets that generally have more inventory of homes available for sale. That makes the suddenly strong price growth in the middle of the country that much more striking.

        Much of it is likely to do with the new ability to work from anywhere due to the coronavirus. People are leaving larger more expensive metropolitan markets and heading to less expensive markets where they can get more space and land for their money.

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          USA: Increased Demand for Multi-Generational Housing

          The results from AIA’s fourth Quarter Home Design Trends Survey show growing popularity of multi-generational housing accommodations.

          Washington – The pandemic has buoyed the custom residential design sector while impacting homeowner design preferences, according to a fourth quarter Home Design Trends Survey from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

          The latest survey results—focusing on community and neighbourhood design—showed a decline in homeowner demand for infill and higher-density development, reversing a multi-year trend. Conversely, demand for multi-generational housing accommodations vaulted in popularity. Project billings, inquiries, and design contracts also rebounded from a record decline in the first quarter of 2020. Additionally, all custom residential sectors reported improved market conditions with home improvement reporting the strongest gains.

          “The uneven impact of the pandemic on specific construction sectors is nowhere more apparent than in custom residential,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Though the initial impact of the pandemic hit residential architects hard, a stay-at-home lifestyle and the desire for more space and less density has increased homeowners’ desires to modify their accommodations.”

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            Shoppers head to malls in final runup to Christmas. But Covid hot spots threaten last-minute boost

            Shopper traffic to stores on the final Saturday before Christmas dropped 40.9% from a year ago, according to RetailNext.

            The need for procrastinating shoppers to get gifts under the tree in time for Christmas was more compelling this year than snagging Black Friday doorbusters.

            The number of shoppers who turned up at stores on the final Saturday before Christmas — known as “Super Saturday” in the retail industry — fell from a year ago. But the declines weren’t as steep as those seen on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

            In fact, shoppers across the Northeast may have found parking spots at malls hard to come by on Saturday, as snow started to melt from a massive storm that barreled along the East Coast earlier in the week. Lines formed outside stores observing capacity restrictions, and some found shelves bare in categories like board games and toys. These familiar holiday scenes were likely a welcomed sight for retailers, amid signs that an economic recovery that began in the summer has been faltering with Covid-19 cases continuing to surge.

            RetailNext, which provides cameras, software and analytics to retailers, said the number of shoppers fell 40.9% compared with the last Saturday before Christmas in 2019. By comparison, traffic was down 48% on Black Friday this year from a year ago, RetailNext said.

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              Pensions Swamped in a Sea of Negative Real Rates: Brian Chappatta

              The 30-year U.S. real yield has been negative since mid-June after never falling below zero at any point since at least 2004.

              (Bloomberg Opinion)—Defined-benefit pension plans were already barely treading water heading into 2020. In the years ahead, the risk is as great as ever that a large swath of them will drown.

              As the name implies, defined-benefit pensions promise to pay a set amount to retirees. While corporate America has largely moved away from this structure in favor of 401(k) options (or “defined contribution” plans), virtually all state and local governments still offer these reliable retirement payouts. And they’ve been falling behind in a big way: In the 2019 fiscal year, states had $1.48 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, while the 50 largest local governments faced $478 billion in adjusted net pension liabilities, according to calculations from Moody’s Investors Service. The 100 largest corporate defined-benefit plans had a deficit of $285 billion in November, according to Milliman data.

              That $2 trillion hole is only going to get deeper as the Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates near record-low levels for years to come as the U.S. emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. Moody’s, unlike many states and cities, uses a market-based discount rate to determine the present value of a pension’s future liabilities. The lower the rate, the larger the current value. Analysts expect to apply a 2.7% rate to local governments’ fiscal 2021 reporting, down from 4.14% in fiscal 2018 and about the same as Milliman’s current discount rate for corporate pensions. It will likely cause pension shortfalls “to increase by double-digit percentages” in the next two years, Moody’s says.

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                The 10 biggest retail bankruptcies of 2020

                This year, Neiman Marcus and J.C. Penney joined the ranks of some of the biggest retail bankruptcies on record, including Sears, Toys R Us and Circuit City.

                More than three dozen retailers, including the nation’s oldest department store chain, filed for bankruptcy this year, marking an 11-year high.

                Pre-pandemic, several of these retailers were already teetering on the brink of survival. But the Covid health crisis pummeled the industry. Lockdown orders put in place in March to slow the spread of the virus turned into prolonged store closures for many businesses that didn’t sell essential items like groceries. Retailers that started 2020 already in a tough spot were hit harder. Liquidity was strained and sales went into a freefall.

                “The magnitude of bankruptcies has been larger this year compared to previous years,” said David Berliner, chief of BDO’s business restructuring and turnaround practice. “You’re noticing national brands and other prominent franchises, that had hundreds of stores, now being liquidated or going through a restructure to salvage what they can.”

                About 60% of the retailers that had filed for bankruptcy in 2020 through August listed more than $100 million in assets, compared with 50% of filings during the same period in 2019 and 36% in 2018, Berliner said.

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                  BLACK KNIGHT’S FIRST LOOK AT NOVEMBER 2020 MORTGAGE DATA

                  Delinquencies Improved Again in November 2020, But Nearly 2.2 Million Seriously Past-Due Mortgages Remain

                  • Despite seasonal headwinds, mortgage delinquencies improved for the sixth consecutive month in November 2020, falling to 6.33% from 6.44% in the month prior
                  • The national delinquency rate is now down 1.5 percentage points from its peak of 7.8% in May but remains a full three percentage points (+93%) above pre-pandemic levels
                  • While early-stage delinquencies – borrowers one or two payments past due – have fallen back below pre-pandemic levels, seriously past-due (90+ days) mortgages remain 1.8 million above pre-pandemic levels
                  • Foreclosure activity remains muted as widespread moratoriums remain in place
                  • November’s 4,400 foreclosure starts and 176,000 loans in active foreclosure are both at their lowest levels on record since Black Knight began reporting the metrics in 2000
                  • Prepayments fell 11% from October’s 16-year high; however, with interest rates at record lows and refinance incentive at an all-time high, prepay activity is likely to remain elevated in the coming months

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                    National eviction ban will be extended through January in stimulus deal

                    The next stimulus package will continue the ban on evictions for another month.

                    A bipartisan coronavirus aid deal that lawmakers struck on Sunday will extend the national eviction moratorium through January and establish a rental assistance fund of $25 billion.

                    The relief comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium was set to expire at the end of the month. More than 14 million Americans — or 1 in 5 adult renters — said recently that they’re not caught up with their rent, according to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

                    “This aid is badly needed,” said Douglas Rice, a senior policy analyst at The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “The CDC order prevented a wave of evictions this fall, and the extension will avert a large wave in January.”

                    Heidi Breaux had no idea where she and her two daughters, Kayleigh, 13, and Kora, 10, would go if the national eviction ban was allowed to expire on Dec. 31.

                    She fell behind on her $750 rent after the pandemic cost her both of her jobs. The family lives in a townhouse in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She recently landed a job as a custodian at a church, but makes just $10 an hour. She owes her landlord around $4,000.

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