Commercial Real Estate & Business News – December 19, 2014

It might be a good thing that this month marks only my fourth with Phoenix Business Journal. I only have to look back over 120 days to pick my economy stories of the year. Three on my beat really stand out… Read more »
The state added 24,400 workers for the month, which boosted jobs by 2.6 percent over 2013. The unemployment rate is still 1 percent less than a year ago. For the year, the state has added nearly 67,000 jobs over 2013. The job increase in November beat both the 10-year average and the post-recession average… Read more »
A company formed by B.H. Properties to acquire 428,044 sq. ft. of space in three office buildings located within the Pointe At Squaw Peak community in central Phoenix. The seller was a limited partnership formed by Starwood Capital Group… Read more »
A joint venture formed by EverWest Real Estate Partners and CenterSquare Investment Management paid $21.95 million ($123.79 per foot) to buy a 177,312-square-foot office project located at the southeast corner of 16th Street and Missouri Avenue in Phoenix. The seller was a company formed by Orsett Properties… Read more »
Vintage Partners, the Phoenix-based commercial real estate development and investment company, announced its selection by the Chandler City Council to develop the The Row in downtown Chandler’s newly designated entertainment district, an all-new mixed used project on the SW corner of Arizona Avenue and Chandler Boulevard… Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – December 18, 2014

The latest CoStar Commercial Repeat Sale Indices (CCRSI) continued to track the upward progress of property pricing trends, with commercial property values boosted by minimal speculative construction, a firming economic recovery and the combination of rising rental rates and low benchmark interest rates, such as the 10-year Treasury, which continued to decline in October… Read more »
Professional services that have traditionally led demand for office space, including finance, insurance and real estate, have finally made a comeback after a slump following the recession. Office market experts hope that the sectors, collectively referred to as FIRE, will now join with the tech and energy industries to heat up office demand in primary cities in 2015… Read more »
Overall, the forecast predicts that national economy will grow at 3% and the unemployment rate will decline to about 5%. The national economy will generate 200,000 to 260,000 jobs next year with employment compensation increasing to 3.2% in 2015 and 3.9% in 2016. California’s unemployment rate will decline steadily throughout 2015, meaning that by the end of 2016, it will be nearly identical to the national unemployment rate at 5.3%. Personal income will grow by 4.5% over the next two years, and payrolls will continue to grow steadily…Read more »
However, after commercial real estate underwriting standards eased for the third consecutive year in a row according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s 20th Annual Survey of Credit Underwriting, some are beginning to be concerned that perhaps lending standards are becoming too accommodating… Read more »
Commercial and multifamily mortgage debt reached a record high in the third quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Tuesday. The 1.1% increase in outstanding debt brought the total to $2.59 trillion, with multifamily mortgages accounting for more than half the quarterly increase… Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – December 17, 2014

With 2014 coming to a close, many are planning their strategies for the year ahead. But what’s can we expect in the coming quarters? What sectors and cities are hottest? What weak spots remain the Southeast that investors should beware of?… Read more »
A joint venture formed by Cypress Office Properties and Harbert Management Corp. paid $71.5 million ($150.16 per foot) to acquire 476,172 sq. ft. of office space in five buildings at Fountainhead Corporate Park in Tempe. The seller was Tempe Fountainhead Corporate LLC, a company formed by Principal Financial Group Inc…Read more »
The eight Phoenix branches of Meridian Bank NA (MFC) are now part of UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF). Meridian Arizona, along with five branches of Meridian Bank of Texas, was acquired for around $182.5 million from the Pohlad Family… Read more »
A four-story, 220-unit apartment building is proposed for the northeast corner of 19th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix. The owner and developer of the seven-acre project, called Aura on Indian School, is Trinsic Residential Group, the engineer is Kland Engineering of Phoenix, the architect is Phoenix-based ORB Architecture LLC and the landscape architect is Collaborative V Design Studio Inc. of Scottsdale. The owner, Todd Gosselink of Trinsic, will be building the project… Read more »
In a move to ensure the Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor Study continues to move forward, the Arizona State Transportation Board approved the next step in the process and the funding to make it happen…Read more »

Commercial Real Estate & Business News – December 16, 2014

PREA Members Forecast Improvement for CRE Industry in 2015

The good times for commercial real estate are likely to keep going a little longer, according to experts surveyed for the latest Consensus Forecast survey from the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA). “Forecasters continue to become more optimistic for 2015,” says Greg MacKinnon, director of research at PREA… Read more »

US Construction Spending to Rise 7%

Fitch Ratings has just released its annual outlook report for the US building materials industry and projects strong growth in overall construction spending during 2015. The private sector should be particularly strong and help boost construction spending by 7%. “Public construction spending remains constrained and is expected to increase only slightly next year,” Fitch researchers say… Read more »

Consumer Sentiment: Confidence Surges to New Postrecession High

Americans’ confidence surged to a new postrecession high this month, a survey showed Friday, boosting hopes for stronger consumer spending in coming months as gasoline prices tumble. The Thomson-Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment rose to 93.8 in early December–the highest level in eight years–from a final reading of 88.8 in November, analysts said. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the index to climb to 90.0… Read more »

More international investors targeting U.S. retail properties: Report

The U.S. retail market is becoming more important to international investors seeking diversification and strong returns, according to JLL’s report on global capital flows, released at the ICSC New York National Deal Making conference this week in New York City. The firm anticipates a measured and selective uptick in cross-border retailing and capital flows into the U.S. in the coming year… Read more »

Home Equity Grows During the Third Quarter

According to NAHB tabulations of the third quarter Federal Reserve Flow of Funds, the real estate equity position of U.S. households (the difference between assets and liabilities) increased nearly 1.6% for the quarter. The market value of real estate held by U.S. households increased $180 billion dollars during the quarter, while liabilities (home mortgages) remained virtually unchanged. The value household-owned real estate, including owner-occupied and second homes, totaled $20.4 trillion for the quarter. Total home mortgage debt outstanding stands at $9.4 trillion… Read more »

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