Commercial Real Estate & Business News – August 16, 2017

Sunshine, affordable housing and lower taxes are drawing more Baby Boomers to Arizona. Many in this huge group don't want to retire like their parents but are picking the same state to do it in. A couple of new rankings show Arizona, and particularly several Valley cities, are the most popular for Baby Boomers to move to after they stop working full time...»
WASHINGTON, DC-Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rebounded in August, rising four points in August to a level of 68 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. All three HMI components have posted gains for this month. The component gauging current sales conditions rose four points to 74 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months jumped five points to 78...»
At 2017's halfway mark, mall REITs continue to manage the fallout from anchor store closures, in-line tenant bankruptcies, single-digit NOI growth and a stock market determined not to overvalue their underlying properties. Regional mall REITs delivered a negative year-to-date return of 11.7 percent, according to NAREIT's analysis of how 30 retail REITs performed by July 31. However, mall REIT's chief executives remained optimistic that they still had solid strategies to deliver value to shareholders...»
For years, apartment owners having been trying to get out of the package business. The long-rumored Amazon entry into the package locker business could offer them that opportunity. Last week, Endgadet's Mariella Moon reported that Amazon is launching its package locker solution, called The Hub, for apartment owners. To access packages, residents will enter a pickup code onto a digital screen and a corresponding door with the package will open...»
A monthly index of builder sentiment rose 4 points to the highest level since May. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index now stands at 68. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment. The index was at 59 last August. Builder sentiment had jumped to a cyclical high in March, following a move by the Trump administration to ease water regulations...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – August 15, 2017

PHOENIX - Almost everywhere you look around the Valley, jobs are on the rise. In fact, the University of Arizona Economic and Business Research Center says, "the state continues to outpace the nation in job creation." The Valley added 60,200 jobs in 2016. Thousands of them were in the healthcare and bioscience sectors, where jobs are growing three times the national average. This is thanks, in part, to incentives from the state and cities, including Phoenix...»
Current supply and demand trends in the U.S. multifamily and single-family markets are sending some confounding signals to investors. On the one hand, U.S. apartment construction has reached a post-recession peak, driven by demand for high-end luxury properties in the largest CBDs. On the other hand, both multifamily and single-family housing stock remain well below long-term averages that are not nearly enough to house the millions of millennials now entering their 30s and starting families...»
With all the talk about aging baby boomers and life-extending health care advances, it might be a bit bewildering deciding which seniors housing assets are best primed for success. Lee Everett, managing consultant at research firm CoStar Portfolio Strategy, might be able to provide some clarity. Two product types-active adult communities and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs)-will be the winners in the seniors housing race both in the short and the long term...»
Commercial real estate lending in the United States continued to grow in the second quarter, led by a surge in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) mortgages, according to the latest research from CBRE. Despite an increase in short-term interest rates by the Federal Reserve in June, capital markets remained favorable in the second quarter, with rising equity prices, tight spreads, and limited volatility...»
Back in the depths of the Great Recession, Maricopa was in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons, including being dubbed "A Paradise Lost" by the Wall Street Journal due to all the abandoned home developments. Now this booming city of 50,000 is once again the state's fastest growing community, and also boasts one of Arizona's highest average incomes. But all that residential growth has come at a high cost to the City of Maricopa...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – August 14, 2017

A total of 209,000 new jobs were created in July, more than the 183,000 jobs expected, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week, and the national unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent. The number of employed Americans hit a new high of 146.6 million, causing the employment-to-population ratio to move up to 60.2 percent, the highest level since February 2009. ...»
In just a year's time, a vacant dirt field in the Glen Harbor Business Park has been transformed into the second largest industrial building in the Valley. With the Aug. 1 grand opening of Conair's all new, 800,000 square foot, state of the art distribution center, the facility becomes the largest campus within their corporate system allowing this innovative, international leader to ship its products directly to the final consumer. ...»
As Phoenix negotiates the sale of the city-owned Sheraton hotel in downtown, a new aspect of the deal is sparking controversy: a proposed $97 million tax break for the buyer. The city already expects to take a hefty loss on the Sheraton. In July, Phoenix entered into exclusive talks to sell to TLG Phoenix LLC, an investment company based in Florida, for $255 million....»
Starwood Waypoint Homes, a Scottsdale-based real-estate investment trust, merged this week with Invitation Homes in a deal that will birth a colossal single-family rental home owner with an $11 billion market capitalization and a whopping 82,000 homes in over a dozen metro areas. The new company will operate under the Invitation name....»
Henley USA, a Boston-based division of Henley Investments, a UK-based private equity real estate investor, has acquired two large apartment communities totaling 481 units in suburban Phoenix. The properties were acquired by Henley Modern Residential, a new partnership between Henley USA and Arizona-based Modern Residential, a multifamily real estate team headed by Mitchell Bradford. As part of the transaction, Henley purchased the following properties from Mentor Properties...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – August 11, 2017

Retail real estate investment trust CEOs have watched many of their stocks fall in recent months, with headlines about the death of malls and physical stores prompting executives to speak out in frustration. Simon, Macerich and GGP hope to convince analysts and investors that the situation isn't as dire as some might think, and the REITs have strategies to stay ahead of bankruptcies and store closings. On recent earnings conference calls, many retail REIT CEOs discussed new opportunities being presented by e-commerce players...»
CBRE Research has released its Q2 2017 Phoenix Retail Market View and Q2 Phoenix Retail Big Box Report, and healthy levels of positive net absorption, steady big box leasing activity and a notable decline in the market-wide vacancy rate all point to a strong retail market in the second quarter of 2017. "With steady job growth and a hot housing market, the Valley exhibits strong fundamentals that are key to fostering a healthy retail market," said Todd Folger...»
TEMPE, Ariz - American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), the nation's largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing properties in the U.S., in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) announce the opening of The Fulton Schools Residential Community at Tooker House on ASU's Tempe, AZ campus. Engineering undergraduates moving into the new Arizona State University residence hall this week will find themselves immersed in a collaborative, technology-laden living and learning community built specifically for engineers...»
The Blackstone Group's (NYSE:BX) Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH) and Starwood Waypoint Homes (NYSE: SFR), two of the country's largest rental-home owners, are combining in a 100% stock-for-stock merger that would create one of the largest owners of rental homes in the U.S. with approximately 82,000 single-family rental properties. The combined company will operate under the Invitation Homes banner and continue trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol for Invitation Homes (NYSE: INVH)...»
Downtown Phoenix has nabbed another microbrewery. State 48 Brewery leased part of the historic Welnick Marketplace space on Fourth Avenue and Van Buren Street. When it opens in the renovated marketplace in early 2018, it will be the brewery's second location. The original is the first and only microbrewery in Surprise. "We couldn't be more excited about joining the downtown Phoenix community and taking part in the revitalization of the area," owner Mario Rana said in a written statement...»

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – August 10, 2017

The Greater Phoenix real estate investment market started the year slow, but reversed course during second quarter. The most recent three months posted more property sales, higher prices and compressed cap rates, according to a report released by Colliers International in Greater Phoenix. Sales of shopping centers recorded one of the most dramatic increases during second quarter, spiking more than 50 percent over the first three months...»
East Valley cities face several challenges as they prepare for continued growth in coming decades. Planners in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert all say they have developed robust and diverse water portfolios. Eric Braun, Gilbert's water resources manager, said Gilbert has complied with state law proving the town can meet estimated demand for the next 100 years...»
ICSC's annual RECon Convention in Las Vegas is a great opportunity to get a pulse of the industry. Each May, the trends and themes expressed at RECon are a great way to get a snapshot of the retail and mixed-use industry's health and collective mindset. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I heard the words 'retail death spiral' from a reporter at this year's event. "So...tell me about the retail death spiral," was the exact, and first, thing out of her mouth...»
While commercial real estate crowdfunding firms haven't disrupted the market, the top players have worked to continue to raise capital and find ways to make their bets. There are some situations where there are gap equity requirements that are well-suited for crowdfunding, for example. Crowdfunding might be a viable alternative for a property with a maturing legacy CMBS loan that requires extra equity in order to complete a refinance...»
How bad is the inventory shortage plaguing the national housing market? One measure of the lack of solutions is that at least some experts are looking over the horizon to the death of the Boomers. "Boomers own a majority of owner occupied homes in the U.S.," observes Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at home search site Trulia. "As far as we are aware, they have not found the fountain of youth, so eventually we might age out of the problem...»
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