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12 Must Reads for Real Estate Investors (Sept. 20, 2023)

The SEC fined CBRE $375,000 over language in its separation agreements that prevented potential whistleblowers from reporting, according to The Wall Street Journal. Global credit manager Marathon said it is among the bidders for Signature Bank’s $33 billion commercial real estate loan portfolio, reports Bloomberg. These are among the must reads from the real estate investment world.

  1. SEC Fines Real-Estate Firm CBRE Over Violations of Whistleblower Protections “The $375,000 settlement, announced Tuesday, is the latest of SEC’s efforts to probe into various agreements companies ask employees to sign, including nondisclosure agreements, that could contain language preventing the reporting of possible federal security law violations, whistleblower attorneys said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Tranche warfare: Lenders tussle for control of distressed real estate “As distress works its way through real estate, many of the equity investors have been cleaned out, leaving lenders holding the bag. But CRE lending is a different world than equity, with its own complex rules about who gets paid when — and who decides how it all shakes out.” (The Real Deal)
  3. Marathon Is Bidding on Signature’s Commercial Real Estate Portfolio, CEO Says “The New York-based global credit manager with about $20 billion in capital management will be bidding on Signature Bank’s $33 billion commercial real estate loan portfolio, which is comprised primarily of multifamily properties in New York City, Richards said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday.” (Bloomberg)
  4. Shopping Malls Being Reborn as ‘Micro-Cities’ by a New Wave of Investors “Centennial and the Los Angeles developer Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) are creating a new type of mall investor by heavily deploying capital to turn the average mall into ‘micro-city’ hubs for living, working and entertaining — in addition to shopping.” (The Messenger)
  5. Soaring Insurance Premium Costs Permeate CRE Sector “The increasing occurrence and severity of natural disasters continue to be a major worry in the commercial property insurance sector. These catastrophic events frequently lead to substantial property damage and significant financial hardships for policyholders.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Moody's Downgrades Large Piece Of $1.7B Office Loan With Exposure To X, WeWork, First Republic “Moody’s has downgraded two classes of the CMBS trust that owns the loan backing Columbia Property Trust's seven-building, 2.7M SF office portfolio on which it defaulted earlier this year. In its rating action, Moody's Investors Service wrote that the value of the buildings has deteriorated due to rent collection issues.” (Bisnow)
  7. US REIT average short interest relatively unchanged in August “The sector's recent drop was mostly due to the fall in Macerich Co.'s short interest relative to shares outstanding, declining 1.6 percentage points to 8.1% of the regional mall owner's shares outstanding, which was also among the 10 biggest decreases in short interest across all US REITs during the month.” (S&P Global Intelligence)
  8. Three trends emerging in customization of $1.5T private credit funds market “Funds are offering various options for investors with a range of liquidity profiles and there’s a growing role played by hybrid or evergreen fund structures. Four in ten include levered and unlevered sleeves and another 12% are considering offering such flexibility for future fundraising.” (Investment News)
  9. Kayne Anderson Buys $1.3B MOB Loan Portfolio “The 13 million-rentable-square-foot portfolio spans 33 states and includes 106 floating-rate mortgages secured by 308 medical office building assets.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  10. America’s Biggest Landlords Can’t Find Houses to Buy Either “There has rarely been a better time to own tens of thousands of single-family rentals. Record home prices, the highest mortgage rates in a generation and limited properties for sale are pushing homeownership beyond the reach of many Americans and leave plenty of room for rents to rise and still be cheaper than owning, analysts say.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  11. DivcoWest Sues WeWork For $30M After Beleaguered Firm Abandoned Coworking Location “The California-based landlord contends that WeWork owes it all of the rent due under the lease at 311 West 43rd St., which ran through 2032. The lawsuit alleges that WeWork didn't send notice that it was leaving and didn't remove its property from its 64K SF.” (Bisnow)
  12. Working Remotely Could Cut Worker Emissions in Half, Study Says “In a study recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers explain that a nation of remote workers helped reduce emissions. Researchers from Microsoft and Cornell University analyzed datasets that included habits from Microsoft’s own employees on commuting and remote work in the U.S.” (Gizmodo)
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