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13 Must Reads for Real Estate Investors (Nov. 6, 2023)

The expected bankruptcy filing by WeWork could deal another blow to New York’s struggling office market, reports The New York Times. Alternative investment managers have filed a lawsuit against the SEC over its attempts to regulate private funds. These are among the must reads from the real estate investment world to kick off the new week.

  1. WeWork Bankruptcy Would Deal Another Blow to Ailing N.Y. Office Market “The pain would be centered on landlords that have leased a large proportion of their space to the company, particularly in New York, and are struggling to make payments on the debt tied to their buildings. Some landlords might quickly accept lower rents from WeWork as part of a bankruptcy reorganization and keep doing business with any new entity that emerges, but others might have to fight in court to get anything.” (The New York Times)
  2. Turning a tiny fraction of America's dead strip malls into housing could create 700,000 new apartments “If just 10% of vacant strip malls best-suited for redevelopment were turned into housing, it could create more than 700,000 homes, a new report from housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners found. That estimate assumes half of that new housing would be lower-density multi-family housing and half would be medium-density multi-family buildings of up to six stories.” (Insider)
  3. REIT M&A Opportunities Evident Across Most Property Sectors “Although total dollar volume is down, the 13 deals announced so far this year represent a solid number by historical standards. Public-to-public deals also have emerged as the dominant strategy, with such transactions accounting for $130.9 billion of the $140.9 billion in M&As that have occurred over the past two years, according to Nareit.” (Nareit)
  4. Blackstone's Jon Gray is watching for signs of a slowdown in the U.S. economy “Gray's comments about the Federal Reserve's battle with inflation and the likelihood of an economic slowdown as a byproduct of that showdown were made days before last week's reading of gross domestic product, a blockbuster report that showed the U.S. economy grew at an eye-watering 4.9% annualized pace in the third quarter -- the most robust GDP reading in years.” (Morningstar)
  5. PGIM Real Estate sees technology as key to investment success “On the investment side, the $133 billion PGIM Real Estate is partnering with Taronga Ventures, a global real asset technology manager, to offer venture capital funds investing in early and later-stage technology companies.” (Pensions & Investments)
  6. Alt investment bodies fire first salvo in legal battle over SEC ‘power grab’ “The lawsuit alleges that the SEC didn’t properly weigh the costs and benefits of the regulations before adoption, and emphasizes that Congress intended for private funds to be regulated differently than funds available to retail customers and never gave the SEC the authority to intervene in the private funds market.” (Hedge Week)
  7. Enhancing Work Environments Through Creative Offices “These modern office campuses are no longer mere static spaces where employees clock in and out. They’ve transformed into versatile ecosystems that stimulate collaboration, creativity and productivity.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  8. Largest Real Estate Brokerages Brace for Another Year of Declines in Deals “Executives for the five largest brokerages by revenue indicated in the past week while discussing their most recent quarterly earnings that they are still hoping that real estate capital markets and leasing activity will start a tentative recovery in 2024, most likely in the second half.” (CoStar)
  9. Capital One Seeks to Offload More NYC Commercial-Property Loans “Capital One has hired brokerage Jones Lang Lasalle Inc. to sell a $120 million non-performing loan backed by five office buildings in the NoMad neighborhood of New York City. The loan was originated in 2019 and is in default for failure to pay the principal balance in May.” (Bloomberg)
  10. Holiday Retail Sales Are Expected to Increase, but at a Slower Pace “The National Retail Federation said on Thursday that it expected holiday sales to increase 3 to 4 percent from last year, to between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. The trade group estimated that e-commerce sales would grow faster than overall sales, jumping 7 to 9 percent.” (The New York Times)
  11. Google, Lendlease Scrap Agreement for $15 Billion Real-Estate Development in Silicon Valley “Lendlease said its agreement with Google to build four neighborhoods in Silicon Valley has ended after the U.S. company reviewed its real-estate investments. It expects Google to pay for work already done on the project, but didn’t quantify how much it could be.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  12. Why Student Housing Investors Need to Go Off the Beaten Track “Both private and institutional investors—including multifamily firms new to the student housing arena—are exploring this sector due to its robust fundamentals and demonstrated resilience.” (Multi-Housing News)
  13. By the Numbers: The landmark $1.8B commissions verdict “A jury found the National Association of Realtors, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America guilty of colluding over commission rates. The decision still needs to be finalized by the judge, but all parties are still looking into what’s next.” (The Real Deal)
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