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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 19, 2022)

Sun Belt cities are becoming inflation epicenters in the U.S., according to The New York Times. Commercial Property Executive examines whether the industrial boom is ending. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. It Was the Housing Crisis Epicenter. Now the Sun Belt Is an Inflation Vanguard. “While inflation has been rising quickly across the country, it is especially intense in Sun Belt cities like Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami and Tampa, which have experienced price increases well above 10 percent this year, much higher than the national rate of 8.5 percent in July. Prices in the Southern United States have risen 9.4 percent over the past year, the fastest pace of any large region in the nation and more rapid than in the Northeast, where prices are up 7.3 percent.” (The New York Times)
  2. Rent Control Goes to a November Vote in Orlando as Apartment Rents Soar “The board of commissioners for Orange County, which includes Orlando, last week moved to put a measure on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to limit how much landlords can boost apartment rents. While Orange County officials estimate that more than 100,000 households could be eligible for rent control, its passage faces significant challenges. Florida law mostly prohibits price controls on rent, unless Orange County can prove it is experiencing a housing emergency.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. T. Dallas Smith Names New President at Influential Brokerage Firm “T. Dallas Smith, who founded one of the largest Black-owned commercial real estate firms in the country, is ceding the day-to-day reins of the eponymous tenant representation and sales brokerage company. Leonte Benton, a 38-year-old principal at T. Dallas Smith & Co., has been named president of the firm, according to The Saporta Report. Benton, who has been with Smith since the founding of the firm in 2007, will lead the brokerage while Smith, who remains CEO, will focus more on a new venture called TDS Investments, according to the online business publication.” (Bisnow)
  4. Average Sale Price for U.S. Life Sciences Properties Hits Record High “The average sale price for a life sciences lab space nationwide reached a record high of $564 per square foot in the first half of the year, even as overall sales cooled, according to a Newmark report. The total dollar volume of life sciences property sales dropped 33.6 percent to $7.7. billion in the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2021. At the same time, venture capital investment in life sciences companies in the first half of 2022 declined by 18.5 percent to $20.8 billion year-over-year, according to the report which focused on 14 life sciences hubs in the country.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. Is Industrial Boom Era Ending? “The industrial space market in the U.S. right now stands at the complex intersection of a slowing economy, the recovery of global supply chains, growing costs for carrying inventory, pent-up demand, a still-growing inventory of logistics space and a gradual turn away from e-commerce back to bricks-and-mortar.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. Trump Organization CFO Pleads Guilty in Tax Evasion Case “A top executive at former President Donald Trump’s family business pleaded guilty Thursday to evading taxes in a deal with prosecutors that could potentially make him a star witness against the company at a trial this fall. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty to all 15 of the charges he faced in the case. In a low, somewhat hoarse voice, he admitted taking in over $1.7 million worth of untaxed perks -- including school tuition for his grandchildren, free rent for a Manhattan apartment and lease payments for a luxury car -- and explicitly keeping some of the plums off the books.” (The Associated Press)
  7. A Professor Who Studies Housing Discrimination Says It Happened to Him “Last summer, Nathan Connolly and his wife, Shani Mott, welcomed an appraiser into their house in Baltimore, hoping to take advantage of historically low interest rates and refinance their mortgage. They believed that their house — improved with a new $5,000 tankless water heater and $35,000 in other renovations — was worth much more than the $450,000 that they paid for it in 2017. Home prices have been on the rise nationwide since the pandemic; in Baltimore, they have gone up 42 percent in the past five years, according to” (The New York Times)
  8. Your CRE Website Could Get You Sued “Many in real estate might associate the Americans with Disabilities Act with the need for accommodation of physical needs in buildings. This one needs an elevator with braille markers on the operating surfaces. That one has to install ramps, doors, and bathrooms designed to allow access by persons in wheelchairs. However, the ADA extends to software that a company might offer for the convenience of customers. If the site doesn’t have the proper design and capabilities, someone could sue for a breach of the ADA, and this happens more frequently than you might think.” (
  9. New Report Shows How U.S. Trails Other Countries in CRE Climate Policy “The likelihood of additional regulations in the United States is high, given its bottom-up adoption of green standards. That could pose a risk.” (Bisnow)
  10. Pizza? Bagel? Nope. You Need Bahn Mi to Get Employees Back to the Office. “When bosses first tried to lure people back to the office with free food, the doubters said a lukewarm pizza slice or plastic-wrapped bagel could never measure up to the convenience of working from home. Two lessons for business have since emerged. First, never underestimate the number of workers willing to be bribed. Second, the food had better be good.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  11. PwC Believes Hybrid Work Is Double: ‘One Size Doesn’t Fit All’ ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers is embracing the hybrid-work model because doing so enables employees to be ‘more agile,’ and the company believes it will help develop leaders at the consulting and accounting giant. ‘If you're participating virtually, or in person, that requires leadership and the opportunity for all our managers to really work on key qualities’ of communication, equity, and developing ‘an awareness of cultural sensitivity,’ Wes Bricker, the vice chair and coleader of US trust solutions, PwC's accounting and tax division, told Insider.” (Insider)
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