Commercial Real Estate & Business News – February 23, 2016

Arizona's economic growth will remain steady this year and next, helping the state outperform the nation by a slight margin, according to a new forecast. Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, expects Arizona's economy to outperform the nation by 0.4 percent when final 2015 results are in, and by the same margin this year and in 2017. The estimates measure changes in Gross Domestic Product for the state and nation...Read more »
NEW YORK CITY—Stock market volatility or no stock market volatility, preliminary data from Real Capital Analytics suggest that January deal volume for US commercial property sales remained elevated at $44.5 billion. Although down 7% from the year-ago period, it still represents the second most active January on record—just as 2015’s 12-month tally of $533 billion was the second highest on record, behind 2007... Read more »
Known for its pro-business climate, high quality of life, diversified economy with a skilled workforce, robust infrastructure and public-private collaboration, the PHX East Valley region continues to experience significant growth fueled by emerging local business and national corporate relocations. Comprised of the cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Apache Junction and Queen Creek, the region offers a labor force of more than 750,000 workers highly skilled in scientific, technical, healthcare, and professional services... Read more »
Colorado-based Natural Grocers said Monday it will open stores this year in Phoenix and Chandler, in addition to two Gilbert stores previously announced. The two new stores will hire about 50 people, according to the company. The company specializes in natural and organic food, supplements and personal-care items, competing with companies such as Whole Foods Markets and Sprouts Farmers Market... Read more »
Among the four major property types, loan underwriting in 2016 appears weaker relative to 2015, according to new research from Wells Fargo Securities. So far this year, nine conduit CMBS transactions with a balance of $8.3 billion have come to market. In office-backed loans so far this year, the average debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) of 1.67x in 2016, us down from 1.84x the prior year. DSCR measures projected annual net operating income (NOI) in relation to the annual amount of loan repayment... Read more »

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