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11 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 17, 2022)

Demand for design services decreased considerably, according to the latest AIA Billings Index. Institutional investors are increasing target allocations to real estate, however the denominator effect has left some funds overexposed to the sector, reports the latest Institutional Real Estate Allocations Monitor. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. 2022 Institutional Real Estate Allocations Monitor “Average target allocations increased 10 basis points in 2022 to a ten-year high of 10.8%, which is expected to support liquidity and transaction volumes over the coming years. However, in the short-term, a combination of overallocation and decreased conviction is slowing down the pace of capital deployment.” (Hodes Weill & Associates and Cornell University)
  2. ‘The old playbook is being thrown out the window’: Malls are rethinking what anchors should look like “Malls are becoming less transactional and more experiential. Since word got out that the American Ninja Warrior Adventure Park will open at MainPlace Mall, CEO Adrian Griffin told Spectrum News that mall operators and landlords flooded his inbox showing interest in opening an obstacle course at their locations. In the U.K, where 14 of these obstacle courses are open, each location brings 200,000 to 250,000 visitors.” (ModernRetail)
  3. Demand for design services decreases considerably “AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) score for October was 47.7, the first decline in billings since January 2021 (any score below 50 indicates a decline in firm billings). Inquiries into new projects continued to grow in October with a score of 52.3, while the value of new design contracts declined, with a score of 48.6.” (American Institute of Architects)
  4. AvalonBay exec: Inflation, not demand, drove rent growth this year “Apartment rents did not spiral out of control over the past year, despite what investors, policymakers and disgruntled renters might think — and the Fed is largely to blame for that illusion, according to Craig Thomas, AvalonBay senior vice president for market research.” (Multifamily Dive)
  5. The four-day workweek is new standard for 40% of companies, EY survey finds “Forty percent of companies surveyed either have implemented or have begun to implement a four-day workweek, EY said in a press release, an approach that has gained popularity abroad but has seen little adoption in the U.S. until recently.” (CNBC)
  6. U.S. Consumers Show Strength With Jump in Retail Sales “Shoppers spent more on increasingly expensive everyday staples such as gasoline and food, but they also shelled out more for big-ticket items such as cars and furniture. Some of the spending was due to purchases of building materials and home furnishings in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, economists said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Democrats who want to 'stop Wall Street landlords' and rein in the $4.4 trillion single-family-rental industry will likely be foiled by Republicans who will soon run the House “The NRHC has argued that the housing shortage is the real culprit behind rising housing costs, not institutional landlords. The US needs a greater supply of all types of housing, both rental and owner-occupied, David Howard, the executive director of the NRHC, said in an emailed statement.” (Insider)
  8. Newark’s Reviled Terminal A Is Getting a $2.7 Billion Upgrade “But replacing the 49-year-old terminal was not easy nor inexpensive. The new terminal, which will be home to several airlines, including American and JetBlue, took several months longer than expected to complete and cost more than $2.7 billion.” (The New York Times)
  9. First Look: Starbucks’ new mega-store in Empire State Building “Starbucks Reserve at the landmark Empire State Building offers exclusive experiences that include hands-on coffee workshops, guided tasting flights and an array of new premium coffee beverages and cocktails. Spanning 23,000 sq. ft. and three floors, the store also features a full-service bar and restaurant, with an extended menu of food items exclusive to the location.” (Chain Store Age)
  10. More Homeowners Using Helocs as Financial Safety Net “Financial planners say the ready access to money Helocs provide can be particularly appealing during a time of economic uncertainty—as long as borrowers refrain from treating their home as an ATM. Lenders tend to tighten credit standards during a downturn so it may be wise to apply for a Heloc now if you’re worried about needing the funds later, they said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  11. Moinian Group Sues Coliving Firm Ollie for Back Rent “Moinian sued Ollie Holdings, an entity associated with the now-shuttered Ollie, for allegedly failing to pay rent on its fifth-floor offices at 450 Park Avenue South from April 2020 to June 2021, according to a lawsuit filed in New York County Supreme Court on Monday.” (Commercial Observer)
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