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10 Must Reads for CRE Investors Today (March 27, 2023)

The Real Deal does a deep dive on how multifamily borrowers navigated the initial tumult of the banking crisis. Elon Musk sounded the alarm on Twitter about real estate, reports Insider. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Nine days in hell: Inside the lending crisis that rocked multifamily “It was commercial real estate in the crucible, nine days that tested the mettle of everyone from humble rent-stabilized landlords to swashbuckling condo developers. Nobody knows how the story of the collapse will end, but its impact on the real estate industry so far is stark: This was commercial real estate’s nine days in hell.” (The Real Deal)
  2. Work-From-Home Era Ends for Millions of Americans “Some 72.5% of business establishments said their employees teleworked rarely or not at all last year, according to a Labor Department report released this week. That figure climbed from 60.1% in 2021. The survey showed about 21 million more workers on-site full time in 2022, compared with the prior year. An establishment is defined as each business location—such as an individual restaurant in a chain.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. The initial banking crisis is easing. Another may be around the corner. “So far, developers and the banks that lend to them haven’t been badly affected, because commercial real estate leases tend to span several years, unlike the one-year terms for most residential units. But millions of these leases are going to expire over the next two years, potentially setting off a domino effect that could rattle the U.S. financial system.” (The Washington Post)
  4. REBNY Policy Chief Delivers Fiery Call To Action For Real Estate To Get More Political “The relationship between the real estate community and lawmakers only seems to be becoming more fractious, and the industry’s top lobbying group is asking its constituents to get harder for Albany to ignore.” (Bisnow)
  5. U.S. ‘Industrial Policy’ Returns With $53 Billion for Chip Manufacturing “The $53 billion Chips Act seeks to end the U.S.’s reliance on foreign-made semiconductors, especially those used by the Pentagon. It’s the latest example of the federal government using its cash to remake an industry it sees as crucial to national security.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. The Future Of Work, Office Buildings And American Downtowns “There is a clear bifurcation in the return-to-office story. Older, less desirable class C and D office properties are dying a slow death. Concurrently, top-notch ones are more successful than ever. Subtlety is required when predicting the future of American downtowns.” (Forbes Finance Council)
  7. Two Real Estate Agents Say Racism Was Part of the Culture at Brokerage “Mr. Goldberg is suing their former brokerage, Bespoke Real Estate, for wrongful termination, unpaid commission and punitive damages. He claims he was fired in part for his objections to Mr. Willis’s treatment by the co-founders of the company, the brothers Cody and Zachary Vichinsky.” (The New York Times)
  8. Sustainability Street: The Role of Engineers in CRE’s Low-Carbon Future “Fiona Cousins, chair of the Americas for global engineering firm Arup, was part of the 16-member advisory board tasked with helping turn New York City’s behemoth Local Law 97 into a set of decarbonization procedures and performance standards that buildings owners could comply with.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  9. What Is a Digital Twin? And How Can It Make Companies—and Cities—More Efficient? “The digital twin combines all building and asset information in one place, making it easier to handle service requests and organize renovation projects. If the maintenance team were to receive a request to change door locks, for example, it could consult the digital twin to find the locations of all the doors that need service.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. Elon Musk sounds the alarm on real estate, warning a spike in defaults on mortgages and commercial loans could hammer banks “The turmoil in the banking sector could spread to the housing and commercial real estate markets, Elon Musk has warned. ‘This is by far the most serious looming issue,’ he tweeted on Saturday. ‘Mortgages too.’" (Insider)
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