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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jun. 11, 2021)

Goldman Sachs is making employees returning to its offices in the U.S. report their vaccination status, according to CNBC. Global investible assets have reached a record $250 trillion, reports Institutional Investor. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Global Investible Assets Reach Record $250 Trillion “Despite a year of economic uncertainty, financial assets, including stocks, bonds, and other investment funds, globally reached a record $250 trillion in 2020, according to a report by BCG released on Thursday. An additional $235 trillion was in real assets, led by real estate ownership, making up 48 percent of total global wealth.” (Institutional Investor)
  2. Long Recovery for Urban Apartments Challenges REITs “As vaccinations rise and the pandemic begins to slowly moderate, workers are returning to their homes, and soon their offices, in urban centers. Despite the associated improvement in demand for urban multifamily rentals, however, a full recovery to 2019 levels is likely years away. As concessions abate, and multifamily occupancies and rents recover, suburban and Sun Belt markets are clearly outpacing urban.” (Multi-Housing News)
  3. New York Rents Appear Close to Bottom “After months of record price cuts and concessions, New York City’s rental market appears to be turning the corner, but it could be at least a year before prices return to their pre-Covid peak, according to two new reports. In May, the median rent in Manhattan, including concessions, was $3,037 a month, up 8.8 percent from the previous month — the biggest monthly increase in nearly a decade, according to the brokerage Douglas Elliman.” (The New York Times)
  4. Goldman Sachs Is Making U.S. Employees Report Their Vaccination Status Ahead of Return to Offices “Goldman Sachs is making its U.S. employees report whether they’ve taken one of the Covid-19 vaccines, according to an internal memo sent this week. Employees must inform the New York-based bank by noon Thursday on their status, according to the memo. Last month, Goldman told its workforce that they should be ready to return to offices in the U.S. and United Kingdom by June 14.” (CNBC)
  5. Homeowners Got $2 Trillion Richer During the First Three Months of the Year “Homeowners are getting richer and richer as prices keep soaring – and the numbers are staggering. Those with mortgages — about 62% of all properties — saw their equity jump by 20% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to CoreLogic. This represents a collective cash gain of close to $2 trillion. Per borrower, the average gain was $33,400.” (CNBC)
  6. Blackstone’s $10B Deal to Buy Data Giant QTS: The Context “It’s clear why the deal is good for QTS shareholders. It’s also relatively clear why Blackstone wants to invest in one of the top players in a market that’s projected to continue growing into the foreseeable future. It’s less clear why the acquisition is good for QTS, the business. As customary, its executive team is staying quiet following the deal’s announcement.” (Data Center Knowledge)
  7. New York City Will Invest $1B in Life Sciences “New York City is doubling down on life sciences. Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced a plan to invest $1 billion in the booming sector over the next decade. The investment adds $500 million to a previous $500 million commitment to LifeSci NYC initiative, a plan launched by the city in 2016 to create jobs and help make New York a leader in the life sciences arena by attracting more pharmaceutical and biotech companies.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Amazon Employees Can Work Remotely 4 Days per Week—and Spend 4 Weeks Each Year Working from Anywhere in Their Home Country “The update follows an earlier announcement that Amazon would return to ‘an office-centric culture’ by the fall.” (Insider)
  9. NY Lawmakers Pass Bill to Convert Distressed Hotels into Affordable Housing “The New York State Legislature passed a bill to allow the conversion of some distressed hotels and vacant commercial office spaces into permanent affordable housing. The legislation, called the Housing Our Neighbors With Dignity Act, will create a mechanism for the state to purchase hotel or office properties that will be owned and operated by nonprofit organizations, to be determined by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Small Landlords’ Raise-the-Rent Campaign Lacks Backing “The “RGB Responsibility” effort, organized by the Small Properties Owners of New York has no fiscal backing and will rely on letter-writing and landlord testimonies.” (The Real Deal)
  11. Headliners and Headdresses Return to Las Vegas. Will Tourists Follow? “Fifteen months ago, this bustling tourist destination in the desert shut down almost overnight, as theaters, restaurants and casinos emptied out and Las Vegas confronted one of the biggest economic threats in its history. The stakes could not be higher as the Strip tries to emerge from the shadow of the pandemic and the first crop of shows face a challenging reality: It is hard to open shows without tourists, and it’s hard to draw tourist without shows.” (The New York Times)
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