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

SFRs are emerging as a top-performing real estate investment, according to The Wall Street Journal. After Zillow’s shutdown of its iBuying unit, multiple publications look at what went wrong. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Building and Renting Single-Family Homes Is a Top-Performing Investment “Single-family homes built to rent are emerging as the hottest corner of the U.S. property market, as investors respond to booming demand from home-seekers priced out of housing for sale. Rents on homes are rising faster than ever. New household formation is also increasing the demand for rentals, as more young people get their own places. Meanwhile, historically high housing prices and steep down payment requirements for homes are driving more people to keep renting, even as rents rise, said Green Street analyst John Pawlowski.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Fed Says China’s Real Estate Troubles Could Spill Over to the U.S. “The U.S. Federal Reserve warned Monday of potential spillover from China’s real estate troubles to the U.S. financial system. Since this summer, highly indebted developer China Evergrande has rattled global investors as the company has attempted to avoid official default. Other Chinese developers have also struggled to repay debt, adding to concerns of wider fallout in the world’s second-largest economy — roughly a quarter of which is driven by real estate.” (CNBC)
  3. The Biggest Kink in America’s Supply Chain: Not Enough Truckers “Truck drivers have been in short supply for years, but a wave of retirements combined with those simply quitting for less stressful jobs is exacerbating the supply chain crisis in the United States, leading to empty store shelves, panicked holiday shoppers and congestion at ports. Warehouses around the country are overflowing with products, and delivery times have stretched to months from days or weeks for many goods.” (The New York Times)
  4. Biden Rolls Out Multi-Billion Dollar Plan to Upgrade Aging U.S. Ports after Passage of Colossal Infrastructure Bill “Several senior administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to share details of the proposed plans, said the administration will begin work within the next 60 days with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on $4 billion worth of construction work at coastal ports, inland waterways as well as other corps eligible facilities. The plan will identify and prioritize $3.4 billion in upgrades to obsolete inspection facilities that will make international trade more efficient through the northern and southern borders, a senior administration official said.” (CNBC)
  5. Zillow’s Home-Flipping Demise Puts Other iBuyers on the Spot “Investors are stepping up their scrutiny of Opendoor Technologies Inc. and Offerpad Solutions Inc., the two biggest players left in the iBuying industry after Zillow Group Inc. pulled the plug on this business. iBuyers purchase homes from consumers who are looking to sell quickly and conveniently, using algorithms to help determine what price to pay. After renovations, they place the homes back on the market. Zillow stunned the market last week when it said that it is no longer buying homes and will lay off a quarter of its roughly 8,000-person workforce.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. Infrastructure Bill Poised to Push ‘Significant’ Dollars into U.S. Data Centers “The bill will direct more than $130B toward improving digital and energy infrastructure — programs that will aggressively impact data centers.” (Bisnow)
  7. Zillow’s Home-Buying Debacle Shows How Hard It Is to Use AI to Value Real Estate “Artificial intelligence can look at far more information, far more quickly, than a single human could when considering a fair price for a home, weighing factors like comparable home sales in an area, how many people are looking in a specific neighborhood and so on. Still, ‘you can have a real estate agent look at a house and in one second pick out one critical factor of the valuation that just doesn't exist as ones and zeroes in any database,’ said Mike DelPrete, a real estate technology strategist and scholar-in-residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.” (CNN Business)
  8. More Companies Tightening Remote Work Eligibility “New research shows that the number of companies willing to allow all employees to work remotely fell to 26% to 39% between March and September 2021 and 70% of survey respondents planned to institute policies that tighten up remote work eligibility and onsite requirements⁠—up from 60% in March. MRI Software partnered with CoreNet Global to survey a group of close to 200 tenants and landlords from a range of industries globally. At the same time, the results also show that, overall, nearly 80% of responding commercial occupiers have increased the availability of remote work.” (
  9. CRE Crowdfunding Platform Modiv Seeks 2022 Public Listing “Newport Beach-based crowdfunding platform Modiv is seeking to list its stock on a national exchange in 2022.” (The Real Deal)
  10. Denver Real Estate Firm Partners Feud over Use of Investor FundsAdam Hazlett filed a lawsuit against Ben Hrouda in late October. Hrouda formed Flywheel Capital in July 2017, and Hazlett came on as a 50 percent partner in January 2018, according to the lawsuit. In the lawsuit, Hazlett accuses Hrouda of misappropriating investor funds and filing fraudulent tax returns, among other things. Hazlett says he wants Hrouda to buy out his stake in Flywheel and its related companies because of Hrouda’s ‘compromised ethics.’” (The Denver Post)
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