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Tyson's Corner Center NJphoto / Alamy Stock Photo
Macerich's Tyson's Corner Center shopping mall in Washington DC

11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 1, 2022)

Regional mall operator Macerich reported strong leasing and cash flow metrics for its latest financial quarter, according to Chain Store Age. asks when tenants will gain back power in the apartment rental market. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Forget Free Coffee. What Matters Is If Workers Feel Returning Is Worth It. “In response to questions from The New York Times, a wide range of readers who were working remotely and now are in an office at least part of the time said their lives had changed during the pandemic, and they have had to unravel their at-home lifestyle. It’s been hard to sort out child care and find time to keep exercising. Multiple people said the dog was not happy. The return to the office after so long away was always going to be a jarring transition, no matter what free snacks a company provided. But the responses revealed that there was something helping with this major change: if workers believed that being at the office made sense, and if they could maintain some control over their time.” (The New York Times)
  2. Macerich Increases its Quarterly Dividend, Citing Strong Leasing and Cash Flow “Reporting high leasing activity and strong cash flow, The Macerich Company has declared a $0.17 per share common stock dividend for its second quarter—a 13% increase over its previous quarter. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based operator of 44 regional malls and town centers mostly located on the east and west coasts signed 274 new leases totaling 1.2 million sq. ft. of space and renewals in Q2, a more than 25% increase over the same quarter in 2020.” (Chain Store Age)
  3. When Will the Landlord Leverage End on Apartment Rentals? “Looking for a rental apartment? Zillow offers five suggestions, noting that in a recent survey they took, more than a third of respondents said it was harder to find the rental they’re in now than it would be to get a new job. The advice: pay more up front, sign a longer lease, be flexible on move-in dates, be one of the first to look, and have strong references. It probably sounds like good news for those enjoying strong demand and rents in multifamily, but ultimately may not be. What favors one side in negotiations at a given moment frequently leads to unstable markets that can turn things upside down in unexpected ways.” (
  4. NYC Investment Sales Hit a Wall in Q3 “Dealmakers traded $7.86 billion worth of commercial properties in the third quarter, a 30 percent decline from the second quarter, according to a report from Ariel Property Advisors. The 568 deals, involving 701 individual properties, represented declines of 25 percent and 28 percent from the second quarter, respectively. Those figures represent an improvement over the same period last year, when 557 transactions combined for $6.26 billion in dollar volume, although this year’s third-quarter total was largely inflated by a single office deal that closed for nearly $2 billion in September.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Office Vacancy Story Reversed in Some Smaller Southeastern Markets “There’s been no shortage of news over the past 30 months about office vacancies. In large gateway cities, office occupancies fell dramatically during the pandemic as staffs found they could work from home. Moreover, occupancies have remained stubbornly low, as employers and staff faced off over remote work. Though the weeks since Labor Day have seen a number of firms’ employees return to in-office mode, many corporate tenants in the nation’s biggest office markets are downsizing to considerably less space.” (Forbes)
  6. JP Morgan Launching Multifamily Management Platform “JPMorgan Chase is launching a digital commercial real estate management platform called Story, Commercial Observer has learned. The new platform, being rolled out next year, aims to help multifamily property owners and operators simplify and streamline the management of their portfolios — and also scale their businesses.” (Commercial Observer)
  7. Mortgage Giant Rocket Plunges Back to Earth, Hit by Rising Rates “The mortgage industry turned from feast to famine faster than America’s largest home lender anticipated. Rocket Mortgage harnessed a generation of low rates to refinance millions of homeowners. Last year, it racked up more than double the refi volume of any other lender, accounting for more than $1 of every $10 lent out during a boom for the mortgage industry. Now the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation have sent mortgage rates soaring. And refinancing, the driver of Rocket’s business, no longer makes sense for many homeowners.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  8. BTR or BFR? Why Words Matter. “Are you building houses for rent? Or are you building houses to rent? There’s really no difference, except that the term “building to rent” receives more traction, according to a group of specialists who recently set about giving the industry some clarity and consistency when it comes to terminology. ‘Words matter’ is a popular phrase these days, which is why the 20 members of the New Home Trends Institute’s Build to Rent Council was tasked with agreeing on those that make for more effective communication.” (Multi-Housing News)
  9. After Record Year, University Endowment Returns Drop into Negative Territory “Investment returns for university endowments have fallen back to earth after scoring their biggest gains in a generation the year before, reflecting a dramatically changed investment environment in which stocks, bonds and other assets have sold off sharply. The endowment of Washington University in St. Louis lost 10.6% in the fiscal year ended June 30 after notching a 65% gain the prior year, the school told The Wall Street Journal, shrinking its size to $13.3 billion. Other schools that have reported big swings in their multibillion-dollar endowments include Stanford University, which lost 4.2% after gaining 40.1% previously; Brown University, down 4.6% after posting a 51.5% increase; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, down 5.3% after rising 55.5%.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. Trump Organization Unveils its Defense Strategy: Keep Any of the Blame Away from Trump “Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization ran scheme to dodge payroll taxes by giving executives compensation in the form of untaxed ‘perks.’” (Insider)
  11. Why Is It Called ‘Black Friday’? How the Biggest Shopping Holiday of the Year Got its Name “Black Friday is the one day shoppers can find the best deals on just about any product, online and in stores. Mattresses, laptops, stand mixers, and so much more drop to all-time low prices, often with very limited stock. But have you ever wondered where the holiday shopping extravaganza got its name? Many people believe we call the day after Thanksgiving ‘Black Friday’ because stores would go from operating at a loss, or being ‘in the red,’ to earning a profit, or being "in the black.” (Insider)
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