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10 Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (Feb. 15, 2023)

The Mortgage Bankers Association has lowered its 2023 forecast for commercial mortgage production, predicting a 15 percent decline. Kroger and Albertsons will sell off 300 stores in order to complete their merger, reports These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. MBA CREF 2023: CRE Loans Benefitting from Prior Value Spike “A previous sharp rise in commercial real estate values that predated headwinds spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising interest rates provides cushion for some loans set to mature in the near future. Jamie Woodwell, vice president of CRE research & economics at the Mortgage Bankers Association, put recent declining valuations in context Monday afternoon in San Diego at the MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Finance Convention and Expo, known as MBA CREF 2023.” (Commercial Observer)
  2. A 15% Drop in Commercial Loan Production in 2023: MBA Forecasts “The Mortgage Bankers Association on Monday lowered its forecast slightly for this year’s production of commercial mortgages backed by real estate, while raising its estimate for last year. The mathematical result is a forecast showing a much sharper percentage drop this year than the one predicted in the MBA’s last forecast released Jan. 5, and a larger recovery in 2024.” (Credit Union Times)
  3. Rents Remain Flat, But Pros Are Cautiously Optimistic “The national average multifamily rent remained flat at $1,701 in January 2023, according to Yardi Matrix’s latest National Multifamily Report. This follows a $4 decline in December and a record $9 drop in November. Year-over-year rent growth continued its decline with a 70 basis point drop in January, down to 5.5%. Indianapolis continues to lead the major markets in YOY rent growth at 10.5%. Although rent growth is decelerating, YOY growth remains positive in all of the top markets — even Phoenix (0.6%) and Las Vegas (0.3%), which have fallen far from their positions at the top of the list one year ago.” (Multifamily Dive)
  4. Brookfield Defaults on $748M Loan Connected to DTLA Office Towers “Brookfield has defaulted on $784 million worth of loans connected to two of its trophy office towers in Downtown L.A. The firm defaulted on a $465 million loan package connected to the Gas Company Tower at 555 West 5th Street and $319 million in loans connected to 777 South Figueroa Street, according to an SEC filing on Friday.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Kroger, Albertsons to Sell 300 Stores to Seal Merger “Retail supermarket giants Kroger and Albertsons are planning to sell up to 300 stores—mostly in areas where the grocery chains overlap—to try to fend off antitrust challenges to Kroger’s $25B acquisition of Albertson. The merger, announcing in October, would combine the two largest supermarket chains in the US into an entity with a nationwide footprint of nearly 5,000 stores.” (
  6. Who Owns Your Mom’s Nursing Home? Biden Wants to Know “The Biden administration is proposing new rules that would require more transparency about the owners, managers and contractors at nursing homes, Daniel reports. HHS officials said Monday the new rules — if finalized — would allow the public to see more information about the entities making money from nursing homes — and help federal officials better understand the impact of private equity on the industry and, critically, patients’ health.” (Politico)
  7. Trends Driving E-Commerce Innovation in CRE “E-commerce, sustainability and new technology are influencing how companies adapt and design the warehouse space. Here are some ways business leaders are planning for the future: Solving the trucking bottleneck: Dan Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder of Convoy, a digital freight network, sees opportunities for trailers to pre-position, load up and roll out of warehouses more efficiently. Trucks could enter and exit warehouses autonomously, which might also warrant more parking in and outside facilities.” (J.P. Morgan)
  8. One of the World’s Cleanest New Skyscrapers Collides with the Future “One Vanderbilt, a commanding new skyscraper in the heart of Manhattan, seems to be reaching for the future. One of the world’s tallest buildings, it pierces the sky like an inverted icicle and fuses seamlessly with an expanding network of trains and other transport at its foundations. It is also the rare skyscraper designed with climate change in mind. It holds a self-contained, catastrophe-resilient power plant capable of generating as much energy as six football fields of solar panels.” (The New York Times)
  9. Walmart to Close Three Tech Hubs, Tells Tech Staff to Return to Offices “Walmart Inc. plans to close three of its U.S. technology hubs and require hundreds of workers to relocate to keep their jobs, according to a memo reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The retailer will also begin to require all its technology workers to come into the office at least two days a week. The retail behemoth will close offices that house technology staff in Austin, Texas; Carlsbad, Calif.; and Portland, Ore., according to a memo to staff last week from Suresh Kumar, Walmart’s global chief technology officer.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. Subway Confirms It Is Seeking Buyers “Subway’s shareholders are exploring a possible sale of the closely held sandwich chain, confirming an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal. The company said Tuesday that JPMorgan Chase & Co. is serving as an adviser as it looks for potential buyers, although it has no assurance of whether or when a sale might occur. The announcement follows the Journal’s report last month that Subway had retained advisers for a potential sale that could value the company at more than $10 billion.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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