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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 24, 2021)

The private label mortgage market reached $42 billion in issuance in the second quarter, a post-pandemic high, reports The Wall Street Journal. A survey administered on behalf of The New York Times found the majority of U.S. workers (69 percent) would like to return to the office for at least part of the week. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. New Appetite for Mortgage Bonds That Sidestep Fannie and Freddie “The so-called private-label mortgage market—in which financial firms serve the middleman role of creating giant pools of loans and selling them to investors—had more than $42 billion of issuance in the second quarter. That is the most since the pandemic started and almost the most for any quarter since the last financial crisis, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research firm.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. It's ‘Back to Isolation Bubble” for Workers Pining for the Office “In a national survey of more than 950 workers, conducted in mid-August by Morning Consult on behalf of The New York Times, 31 percent said they would prefer to work from home full time. By comparison, 45 percent said they wanted to be in a workplace or an office full time. The remaining 24 percent said they wanted to split time between work and home. Morning Consult surveyed workers from a variety of industries, so white-collar office workers were represented alongside those working in other fields, like retail.” (The New York Times)
  3. New York’s Economy, Poised for Comeback, Finds Setback Instead “For New York City and its trillion-dollar economy, September was supposed to mark a return to normal, a moment when Broadway theaters reopened, stores and restaurants hummed, and tourists and office workers again filled the streets. But that long-awaited milestone has been upended by the Delta variant of the coronavirus. One big company after another has postponed plans to come back to Manhattan’s soaring towers. Trade shows have been canceled. Some small businesses have had orders evaporate.” (The New York Times)
  4. Buy a Luxury Building, Then Lower the Rent. A Housing Fix for California’s Middle Class? “A new program involving local subsidies aims to help middle-income Californians afford better housing. Critics say it's a bad use of public funds.” (Los Angeles Times)
  5. Managers Heed the Call of the Great Outdoors “Office properties with outdoor access are gaining popularity — and higher valuations.” (Pensions & Investments)
  6. MRI Capital Group Finds Sticking Close to Walmart Is Good Business “Walmart stores aren’t forever. Sometimes they close and become another part of the CRE circle of life. But MRP Capital Group is betting heavily, and so far, successfully, on keeping its customers and investors close and the retail giant even closer.” (
  7. Pop-Up Restaurants May Stick Around as COVID Sees Resurgence “Pop-up restaurants, many started as stopgap measures by struggling chefs and owners, may have staying power as consumers continue to embrace takeout and delivery and the delta variant threatens to make dining in less of an option. Pop-up restaurants can take a variety of forms, from a ramen maker appearing for one-night only at an established bar or restaurant, to a taco maker using an unused space to temporarily host diners, to a chef offering meatballs for delivery only.” (The Associated Press)
  8. Target Will Expand to Over 160 In-Store Disney Shops “Target Corp. is nearly tripling its offering of ‘shop-within-in-shop’ Disney stores in time for the holidays. By the end of the year, the discount giant will expand to over 160 Disney store at Target locations across the country. Target launched its in-store and online partnership with The Walt Disney Company in 2019, opened in-store Disney shops in 25 locations, as well as a complementary online experience. Featuring a "shop-in-shop" layout, the Disney stores in Target average 750 sq. ft. and are located adjacent to kids’ clothing and toys.” (Chain Store Age)
  9. New York City Mandates COVID Vaccine Shots for Public School Teachers and Staff Following FDA Approval “New York City is requiring all 148,000 public school faculty and staff to get their Covid-19 vaccine shots this fall, expanding on a mandate that already applies to city employees and health-care workers. Public school staff throughout New York City’s five boroughs must receive at least one Covid vaccine dose by Sept. 27, city officials said at a press briefing Monday morning.” (CNBC)
  10. People Liked Malls “Amazon Appears to Have Discovered That’s the Fastest, Freest Shipping Is Picking Stuff Up in Person.” (The Atlantic)
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