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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 18, 2020)

Fewer apartment households paid their full or partial rent by August 13 compared to July 13, reports NMHC. Moody’s Analytics forecast U.S. office vacancy will reach a historic high in 2021. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. NMHC Rent Payment Tracker Finds 86.9 Percent of Apartment Households Paid Rent as of August 13 “The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)’s Rent Payment Tracker found 86.9 percent of apartment households made a full or partial rent payment by August 13 in its survey of 11.4 million units of professionally managed apartment units across the country. This is a 2.0-percentage point, or 222,543 -household decrease from the share who paid rent through August 13, 2019 and compares to 87.6 percent that had paid by July 13, 2020. These data encompass a wide variety of market-rate rental properties across the United States, which can vary by size, type and average rental price.” (NMHC)
  2. Homebuilder Sentiment Jumps to Record High, But Soaring Lumber Prices Could “Dampen Momentum” “Potential buyers continue to flood into model homes across the nation, and that has builders feeling better about their business than they have in over 20 years. But rising lumber prices could sap the market’s momentum this fall. Builder confidence in the newly built, single-family home market jumped six points to 78 in August on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment.” (CNBC)
  3. Moody’s Analytics Forecasts U.S. Office Vacancy Rate Hitting Historic High of 19.9% in 2021 “Moody’s Analytics today announced its new forecasts for commercial real estate (CRE) rents and vacancies, covering eight property types and more than 3,000 submarkets across the US. The forecasts reflect the latest curated Q2 data on US CRE markets collected by the Moody's Analytics Real Estate Information Services (REIS) group.” (Business Wire)
  4. Cautious Optimism in Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets “Despite the dramatic job losses and business decline following March stay-at-home orders across the country, actions by the federal government have enabled the capital markets to carry on—albeit with lower deal volume than in early 2020. To discuss the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, KeyBank Real Estate Capital’s (KBREC) Daniel J. Baker, Head of Commercial Mortgage, joined a panel of industry experts in a recent Real Estate Journals webinar.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. CRE Transaction Activity Returning, CBRE Reports “Even with the pandemic still underway, CBRE’s latest Deal Flow Indicator signifies that commercial real estate investor sentiment and transaction activity have both begun to recover. The report, which relies on data from the firm’s digital listings platform for property sales, assesses the number of confidentiality agreements signed since the nadir of the COVID-19 crisis.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. Want to Flee the City for Suburbs? Think Again “Utopian communities like Usonia are still relatively rare, but Wright’s urban plan became a template for thousands of midcentury American suburbs, with their low-slung, ranch style homes and endless lawns. These suburbs, like their more idealistic ancestors, were a mess of contradictions. Supposedly democratic, they were ground zero for redlining policies. Plus, their commuter populations often depended on nearby light industries that flatlined in the 1990s.” (The New York Times)
  7. Bay Area Office Market May Fare Better Than Expected “Despite the issues surrounding COVID resulting in decreased office vacancies, the Bay Area office market has a long history of performing well, especially with tech companies. In fact, CBRE just named the Bay Area number one for tech talent in the nation for 2020.” (
  8. Sur La Table Sells for Nearly $90M in Bankruptcy “A joint venture by Marquee Brands and CSC Generation bought Sur La Table out of bankruptcy this week for $88.9 million, according to court documents. Marquee will add the nearly 50-year-old retailer to a portfolio now worth $3 billion in sales, with the kitchenware retailer marking Marquee's 12th brand acquisition. Marquee said in a press release that Sur La Table would complement its Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse brands in the culinary arena.” (Retail Dive)
  9. Pizza Hut to Close Up to 300 Locations Operated by Bankrupt Franchisees “Pizza Hut will close up to 300 locations as part of a deal between the Yum Brands chain and its largest U.S. franchisee, NPC International. NPC will also put its remaining 927 Pizza Hut locations up for sale. The franchisee, which also operates nearly 400 Wendy’s restaurants, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early July after struggling with its debt burden of roughly $1 billion.” (CNBC)
  10. Zappos Replacing American Eagle in Union Square “Zappos — the Amazon-owned online shoe retailer — appears to be launching a brick-and-mortar location. Sources said that Zappos has leased the three-level, roughly 16,000-square-foot corner of 19 Union Square West at 15th Street that was previously home to American Eagle and its concept-store spinoff, AE Studio.” (New York Post)
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