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12 Must Reads for Real Estate Investors (Sept. 1, 2023)

Some companies that reduced their office space are now going back and signing new leases, reports Bisnow. U.S. non-life insurers are positioned to withstand any difficulties in their mortgage portfolios, according to Fitch Ratings. These are among the must reads from around the real estate investment world to end the week.

  1. U-Turn Permitted: Companies Rethinking Office Abandonment After RTO Mandates “It’s not the full-fledged return to the office that many landlords and brokers have in mind as they mark the fourth Labor Day weekend — annually pointed to as a date by which workers will come back to their desks — since the pandemic cleared out offices in early 2020. It is instead a trickle of companies that abandoned office space in the last few years changing their minds.” (Bisnow)
  2. US Non-Life Insurers to Withstand Commercial Real Estate Deterioration “The US non-life insurance sector’s holdings of commercial real estate (CRE) and other real estate should withstand the challenging economic environment and reduced valuations over the medium term, Fitch Ratings says. We expect any losses to remain within ratings sensitivities given low levels of portfolio exposure.” (Fitch Ratings)
  3. How to Play the Property Meltdown in Five Charts “A record $205.5 billion of cash is earmarked for investment in U.S. commercial real estate, according to dry-powder data from Preqin. But good deals may not be available for another six to 12 months. Here are some trends investors can watch for signs of when it is the right time to buy.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Six anxious months later, Signature loan sale at hand “The outcome will offer an unprecedented line of sight into rent-stabilized buildings, an asset class that is at least struggling, and at worst is in a catastrophic downward spiral.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Build-to-Rent Units Move Into Master-Planned Communities “Build-to-rent neighborhoods within master-planned communities rent for a higher dollar amount than similar rental neighborhoods located outside the gates, according to Brad Hunter, president of Hunter Housing Economics.” (Multi-Housing News)
  6. Prologis Infuses More Capital Into 2 Major Funds, Clears Redemption Requests “The San Francisco-based REIT also reported clearing all redemption requests for the two funds through the second quarter, a notable announcement considering the redemption limitations many REITs have implemented over the last few quarters as withdrawal requests have spiked.” (Bisnow)
  7. Where Tech Investors Are Buying Up Land, Locals Are Worried “The mystery buyers had been a subject of discussion in the town for the past few years, with theories ranging from more development for the wind turbines that dot the surrounding hills to an attempt to build another Silicon Valley to some foreign interests doing who knows what.” (The New York Times)
  8. Historic Highs Are Behind for Self Storage “Year-over-year, street rates for the 10×10 non-climate-controlled units declined in all of the top 31 metros tracked by Yardi Matrix. Rates decreased in all metros for 10×10 climate-controlled units as well.” (Multi-Housing News)
  9. EV Boom Remakes Rural Towns in the American South “The auto industry’s geographic shift has been slowly progressing for decades, but has sharply picked up in recent years with the transition to EVs. Automakers are now rushing to construct assembly plants and battery-making facilities—some sitting on sites the size of 60 football fields.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  10. CIBC to focus less on U.S. office real estate after profit miss “Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (CM.TO) said on Thursday it would reduce its focus on U.S. commercial real estate due to weakness in that business, as the lender missed earnings forecasts due to a jump in bad loan provisions.” (Reuters)
  11. CDO Stack: Why Change Is No Longer the Exception “The role of the CDO, by nature, is about advancing all things digital. Increasingly, the title is conflated with that of chief transformation officer or chief innovation officer. Whatever the role is called, it’s no longer simply about ‘managing’ or being the ‘chief’ of information—it’s about advancing the ways work gets done.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  12. Trump Asks to Dismiss Suit as A.G. Says He Inflated Worth by $2.2 Billion “Ms. James’s lawsuit disputes the value of some of Mr. Trump’s best-known properties, including Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate, and Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. In her new filing, she wrote that, given the way that the worth of Trump Tower was calculated in 2018, it was overvalued by nearly $175 million. The following year, she said, the value of the building was falsely boosted by nearly $323 million.” (The New York Times)
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