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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 5, 2022)

Las Vegas’ hospitality and casino industries are booming, reports The Wall Street Journal. GeekWire looks at the role online investment platforms have played in the U.S. housing market. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Las Vegas Casinos Boom Despite of a U.S. Bust “Vegas is still booming. Despite inflation at a four-decade high, and jitters over a looming recession, people are flocking to the entertainment and gambling oasis. Executives with Caesars Entertainment Inc. and MGM Resorts International this week reported record-high performances for their Las Vegas properties in the latest quarter. Older consumers are returning to the Strip, shaking off pandemic concerns. International travelers began coming back in recent weeks and the convention calendar looking ahead is getting busier, executives said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Grim Picture of Worsening U.S. Housing Crisis Presented in Senate Hearing “Lawmakers and housing experts painted a grim picture of the state of the U.S. housing market and its impact on renters during a Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing Tuesday. While Republican lawmakers blamed the worsening housing crisis on government regulations and actions by the Biden administration, outside housing experts and Democrats called for expanded rental protections and measures that would expand the nation’s housing stock.” (Smart Cities Dive)
  3. NYC Construction Costs Rose 8 Percent in Last Year “A new report from construction consultant Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) pegged surging construction costs to supply chain and employment issues. Average diesel prices are up 80 percent compared to a year ago, causing material costs to rise, and ongoing shortages of specific items — such as HVAC equipment and kitchen appliances — have created delays for many projects. Nearly three-quarters of contractors told RLB that their projects took longer than expected in 2021.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. CRE’s Inflation-Hedging Abilities Put to the Test “After performing admirably in Q1, real estate’s inflation-hedging abilities are being put to the test, according to a new report from LaSalle about what will impact commercial real estate in the second half of the year. ‘It would be reckless to conclude that real estate will emerge unscathed from capital market chaos or a slowdown in national economies,’ LaSalle wrote. Falling stock and bond indices will likely lead to less liquidity for all forms of private equity, including real estate, and private real estate’s performance tends to lag equities and public bonds, it wrote.” (
  5. The Rise of High-Tech Investing Platforms and Their Effect on Housing Affordability “Real estate tech startups are making it easier for people to invest and manage property. But critics argue that these software companies and their business models are gobbling up the limited amount of available housing in the process, driving up costs and pushing out first-time buyers. These investing services encourage users to invest in multiple properties, taking away already scarce housing inventory, said Tram Tran-Larson, a community engagement manager for the Housing Justice Project, a Seattle-based legal aid clinic that provides eviction defense for low income tenants and is part of the King County Bar Association.” (GeekWire)
  6. W.P. Carey Exits Non-Traded REIT Business After Completing $2.7 Billion Merger “W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC), a publicly traded net-lease real estate investment trust, has officially exited from the non-traded REIT business following the completion of its $2.7 billion merger with Corporate Property Associates 18 – Global Incorporated, a non-traded REIT sponsored by the company. CPA:18 shareholders approved the merger at a special meeting held last week. The combined portfolio includes 1,390 net lease properties covering approximately 170 million square feet, as well as a portfolio of 84 self-storage operating properties.” (The D.I. Wire)
  7. How to Navigate the Slowdown in Life Sciences Real Estate “It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic was a massive driver of demand for laboratory, incubator and biomanufacturing space from life sciences companies and real estate investors alike. The sector’s unique characteristic — vital research cannot be conducted anywhere except in a lab — gave it the ability to circumvent lockdown and work-from-home mandates, fueling investor confidence in the resilience of demand for these types of facilities.” (Commercial Observer)
  8. Democrats Weigh Reducing New Taxes to Get Sinema’s Vote for Climate Bill “Senate Democrats are discussing whether to dial back some of their proposed taxes targeting wealthy investors and billion-dollar corporations, part of a new scramble to win the support of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and advance their broader economic agenda swiftly. One week after brokering a deal that secured the must-have vote of Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), top party lawmakers have set their attention on assuaging the other centrist in their ranks. They have actively engaged Sinema in private negotiations in recent days, opening the door for possible revisions to the health-care and climate-focused bill known as the Inflation Reduction Act.” (The Washington Post)
  9. Why Heat Pumps Don’t Pencil Out in Most Commercial Buildings… Yet “American environmentalist Bill McKibben thinks heat pumps can save the world. No, he’s not saying we should all join hands and sing kumbaya in buildings.” (Propmodo)
  10. Walmart Layoffs Will Target 200 Corporate Jobs “Walmart is laying off 200 corporate workers, a person briefed on the matter confirmed on Wednesday, one week after the company slashed its profit outlook saying inflation was pressuring customers to make fewer purchases. In a statement, Anne Hatfield, a company spokeswoman, said Walmart was ‘updating our structure and evolving select roles to provide clarity and better position the company for a strong future.’” (The New York Times)
  11. Ulta Beauty Launches Venture Fund “The beauty giant’s new Primsa Ventures digital innovation fund is set to invest $20 million in emerging technology startups in retail and beauty that seek to fuel greater discovery, personalization and convenience. The fund partners with early-stage startups that are primarily Series Seed and Series A technology companies within the following areas: personalized and data-driven technology; AR, VR and the metaverse; technology-powered custom beauty products and in-store services; and social commerce.” (Chain Store Age)
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