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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 10, 2022)

Investors are jumping at opportunities to buy land in Sun Belt cities, reports The Wall Street Journal. Politico looks at the groups that lobby for retaining the carried interest loophole. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Sunbelt Land Boom Brings Big Profits and Big Risks “Fast-growing Sunbelt cities are experiencing a land rush, sending investors, moguls and professional athletes rushing to buy empty lots while lifting land values to new heights. Billionaire distiller Tito Beveridge and championship golfer Phil Mickelson are among those fueling the land boom. They and other wealthy investors are descending on cities such as Miami, Phoenix and Austin, Texas, where demand for land to build homes and warehouses is soaring and the number of vacant sites is running low.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Who Lobbies for Carried Interest Backers “If you have somehow been living under a rock for the past 72 hours, the Senate on Sunday successfully passed its landmark climate, health care and tax measure after making last minute changes to secure Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-Ariz.) must-have vote and following an overnight amendment process that made additional tweaks to the bill. Though the business community is still staunchly opposed to the package because of its tax changes and drug pricing provisions, one group that emerged from the weekend likely breathing a sigh of relief is supporters of the so-called carried interest loophole long championed by private equity firms and hedge funds.” (Politico)
  3. CEOs Stand Athwart the Remote Work Era, Yelling ‘Stop!’ “Bloomberg calls this the “Pret Index,” which tracks transactions at café chain Pret a Manger. Known for its omnipresence in the lunch scene of New York’s and London’s financial districts, but also with a sizable suburban presence, Pret is an ideal vehicle for measuring remote work’s reshaping of daily commuting habits—and the huge impact on business as a result. As of July 14, transactions at Pret locations in business districts were 20% below their pre-pandemic rates; suburban locations were up 120%. Stanford economist and WFH Research founder Nick Bloom summed it up: ‘WFH office workers are lunching from home in the suburbs, cutting city center spending and boosting suburban spending.’” (Fortune)
  4. Americans Are More Pessimistic About the Housing Market Than at Any Time in the Last Decade “Americans haven't felt this bad about the housing market since 2011, according to a monthly survey.  The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell 2.0 points in July to 62.8%, its lowest in a decade, according to a Monday report. That print also reflects a level well below the all-time high it reached in 2019. The decline was charged by higher borrowing costs as the Federal Reserve ramps up interest rates to ward off hot-inflation pervading through the US economy, while home affordability is still sky high.” (Insider)
  5. Industrial Owners and Developers Look to Data Center Opportunities “A new analysis from Avison Young principal and head of industrial capital markets Erik Foster suggests that Amazon’s increased interest in data centers, hardly recent even if reinvigorated, is about to get some company, as 5G and the digitization of apparently everything means all that data has to get processed and stored somewhere. Another giant that has entered the space: Prologis, which partnered with Skybox Datacenters to develop data centers in major US markets.” (
  6. The CHIPS Act Could Kick Off a Comeback for Factory Towns “Areas near major metros with lots of land, electricity and water stand to benefit the most from the federal government's semiconductor subsidies.” (Bisnow)
  7. Construction: The Costs Keep Rising “Even as some parts of the economy are supposedly improving, with maybe inflation growth showing signs of slowing in the U.S., the state of commercial construction is painful, according to an analysis from construction consultancy Rider Levett Bucknall. A graph of their data through mid second quarter of 2022 shows that if anything, the speed of growth for costs, indexed to April 2001, has gotten faster.” (
  8. Criminal Background Checks May Be Banned in N.Y.C. Housing Applications “A bill to be introduced in City Council on Thursday would, with a few exceptions, ban landlords and brokers from seeking a person’s criminal records, and bar them from denying housing because of prior arrests or convictions. The mayor has signaled that he is favorable. Criminal background checks are often a routine part of applying for an apartment in New York City and elsewhere, and advocates for landlords and industry groups maintain the practices are essential.” (The New York Times)
  9. Mark Cuban Says Buying Virtual Real Estate Is ‘The Dumbest S… Ever’ as Metaverse Hype Appears to be Fading “What gives metaverse land value, in theory, is the same two principles of physical real estate: scarcity and location. However, experts told Insider in January that doesn't apply to the metaverse because you can't artificially introduce scarcity. That's an idea that Cuban shares, too. ‘It's not even as good as a URL or an ENS, because there's unlimited volumes that you can create,’ Cuban told Altcoin Daily, referring to Ethereum naming service domains that serve as readable crypto wallet addresses, which have become a lucrative market.” (Insider)
  10. Primark Continues Expansion into New States, Announces Prize Freeze “Primark’s newly announced stores will see the brand open its first-ever locations in Maryland and North Carolina, as part of its goal to hit 60 stores in the U.S. by the end of 2026, up from 13 today. The three new Primark locations will be at Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, N.Y.; Arundel Mills, Hanover, Md.; and Concord Mills, Concord, N.C. Primark, known for its extremely low prices, said its expansion comes at a time when many U.S. households are feeling the impact of inflation. The retailer’s assortment includes women’s, men’s and kids fashion, as well as beauty, homeware and accessory items.” (Chain Store Age)
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