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12 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (June 16, 2022)

Even with offices in New York still at about half capacity, the city may soon face a commuter surge, reports The New York Times. Logistics companies and port operators are scrambling to buy land, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. New York Faces New Commuter Surge, Ready or Not, Study Suggests “Even if working from home quadruples from prepandemic levels, there still would be more commuters piling onto trains and buses to get across the Hudson River from New Jersey on some weekdays than in 2019, according to the study, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Regional Plan Association.” (The New York Times)
  2. Real Estate Investors See Opportunity, Despite Inflation and Uncertainty “Effi Benmelech, a professor of finance and real estate at the Kellogg School, recently joined Kimberly Adams, managing director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Seth Singerman, president and managing partner at Singerman Real Estate, for a roundtable discussion of the state of the U.S. real estate industry, how inflation and other economic factors are influencing their investing decisions, and what they see on the horizon for investors.” (Kellogg Insight)
  3. Covid-19 Shipping Boom Drives Land Rush Near Ports “Logistics companies and port operators are racing to lease vacant land close to container terminals, driving up rents and property values and spurring more investment in coastal outdoor-storage properties.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Office-to-lab conversion trend comes to Boston's Back Bay “Only a small part of the Boylston Street buildings are undergoing the conversion, which helps heralds the arrival of lab space in the office- and retail-heavy neighborhood.” (Boston Business Journal)
  5. Office Sales Stall in San Francisco “Meanwhile, the Bay Area market—comprising the East and South Bay—was more active, but still slow. In April, four office transactions were recorded, totaling $78.6 million—57.9 percent less than the previous month. During the first four months of the year, the Bay Area market had $1.2 billion in sales, 55.9 percent less year-over-year.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. U.S. Home Equity Hits Highest Level on Record—$27.8 Trillion “The increase is another consequence of a red-hot housing market. Double-digit price gains have driven some would-be homeowners out of the market. At the same time, rising home values are boosting the finances of the Americans who already own them.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. US retail sales unexpectedly drop in May as inflation weighs on spending “Weakness in May's print was led by a slowdown in car purchases as vehicles and borrowing got more expensive. Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers fell 3.5% in May. Without the autos component of the report, retail sales rose 0.5% during the month.” (Yahoo! Finance)
  8. New York Office Occupancy Hits Pandemic Era Milestone at More Than 40% Full “The closely watched Kastle Back to Work Barometer increased to 41.2% last week, up almost five percentage points compared to the week of May 30 to June 3. The security company Kastle Systems measures office occupancy via entries into thousands of private office buildings in 10 cities, including New York.” (The City)
  9. Eric Adams Unveils Plan to Pump $5B to Increase Affordable Housing in New York City “Adams announced Tuesday that his administration would allocate an extra $5 billion in capital funding for new affordable housing projects across the five boroughs, pushing the city’s total investment to $22 billion and bringing much-needed repairs to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) system, which needs an estimated $40 billion worth of work.” (Commercial Observer)
  10. Last call for America’s housing boom “Between the stratospheric price gains and rising mortgage rates, buyers eyeing a larger home or a fancier address would be paying an increasing amount for the same place. This is the emerging trade-up gap.” (The Real Deal)
  11. Proptech Backed By Amazon, Robert Downey Jr. Surpasses $1B Valuation “Despite a bear market, proptech firms that offer solutions for commercial real estate clients looking to reduce their emissions have continued to receive major funding from institutional partners like BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase.” (Bisnow)
  12. For REITs, NOI Recovery Is Trending in the Right Direction “As the country continues its slow-moving recovery from the COVID pandemic, the latest signs are pointing to a promising stabilization among REITs’ property-level net operating income.” (Commercial Property Executive)
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