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15 Must Reads for Real Estate Investors (Aug. 11, 2023)

Brookfield Asset Management is aiming to raise $150 billion this year to take advantage of the buying opportunities it sees, reports The Wall Street Journal. Industry experts react to WeWork’s “going concern” warning and what it might mean for the already beleaguered office market. These are among the must reads from around the real estate investment world to end the week.

  1. Brookfield Sets Sights on Raising $150 Billion This Year “Brookfield Asset Management sees the best opportunities in more than a decade to buy commercial property at a discount, as strong fundraising for real estate and its other investment strategies helped lift its fee-related earnings in the second quarter.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. 2 Groups Move Toward CRE Debt Fund Standard “The two groups—the CRE Finance Council (CREFC) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF)—pooled information on 15 debt funds operated by 13 managers to create a dataset that includes historical returns and metrics including loan-to-value ratio, debt yield, debt-service coverage and average loan maturity. The funds in the aggregate have $37.2 billion of assets, including $35.5 billion of debt investments.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  3. ‘Location’ isn’t the only concern for advisors recommending real estate to clients “For those intent on seeking the stable returns that property investments have historically provided, the volatility in publicly traded real estate stocks now begs the question as to the best way to allocate to that sector. And it’s an especially significant choice now that investors can easily jettison their real estate holdings entirely in favor of steadier, and safer, yield plays like the two-year Treasury note, currently yielding a healthy 4.7%.” (Investment News)
  4. Judge Allows Rent-Fixing Lawsuits Against RealPage, More Than 20 Big Multifamily Owners To Proceed “More than 30 lawsuits alleging software sold by RealPage enabled owners of rental property to collude to inflate rents have been consolidated in Nashville federal court since April, bringing together cases filed by renters from Seattle and Colorado to Boston and New York.” (Bisnow)
  5. What happens to real estate if WeWork goes bankrupt? “Because WeWork primarily leases older buildings, its demise could accelerate the pandemic-induced plunge in value and revenue for Class B and C offices. WeWork’s lenders wouldn’t fare any better, as it would be unclear how much money — if any — they could recoup.” (The Real Deal)
  6. WeWork Taps Directors With Bankruptcy Chops After Board Resignations “The flexible workspace provider, once valued at $47 billion but now a penny stock, said Tuesday that board members Daniel Hurwitz, Vivek Ranadivé and Véronique Laury resigned last week because of ‘a material disagreement regarding board governance and the company’s strategic and tactical direction.’” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Average Size of US Office Leases Reflect the Current 'Move-and-Shrink' Trend “In nearly every major market in the country, office tenants are executing leases that are smaller than what they presently occupy. This trend is particularly pronounced in West Coast markets with high exposure to tech-sector workers.” (CoStar)
  8. US set to unveil long-awaited crackdown on real estate money laundering “The long-awaited rule is expected to require that real estate professionals such as title insurers report the identities of the beneficial owners of companies buying real estate in cash to the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).” (Reuters)
  9. With $6 Billion of 'Dry Powder,' TPG Seeks To Build Real Estate Portfolio “TPG is moving toward closing on its $2.7 billion acquisition of Angelo Gordon. The investment firm, with dual headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and San Francisco, has billions of dollars in dry powder waiting to be deployed into the real estate sector, TPG CEO Jon Winkelried told investors during the firm's second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.” (CoStar)
  10. Student Housing’s Strong Report Card for Fall Semester “The category is expected to continue to perform well, in part since it’s less affected by the overall economic clouds, including the possibility of a recession and continued high interest rates and tightened lending. But for their housing, students also book their ‘beds’—how units are measured in this sector—ahead of what’s typical for other types of housing.” (
  11. Jeff Berkowitz’s ex-CFO/COO alleges he was fired over Hitler photo “A former top executive for Jeffrey Berkowitz’s firm alleges he was unfairly terminated after he posted a photo of Adolf Hitler on Facebook, according to a recently filed lawsuit.” (The Real Deal)
  12. How Commercial Real Estate Can Navigate Insurance Challenges “As in communities ravaged by natural disasters, businesses and individuals can help their clients and the industry by learning about the market’s response to elevated risk, the threats it can pose, and effective strategies to minimize its detrimental effects.” (Commercial Observer)
  13. Two-thirds of executives at US financial services firms would quit if they had to return to the office 5 days a week, survey finds “It found that 66% of executives who worked remotely at least part of the week said they would quit if they were mandated to come back to the office full-time. Over half of executives say they're feeling pressured to go into the office more often.” (Insider)
  14. Getting to Zero: New Pathways to Green Building “In only a year since its debut, GNFZ has launched a net-zero certification for existing buildings, with a second one coming later this year. The certification currently in use calculates clients’ Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, and then guides them through the process of setting targets, developing plans and implementing strategies to get to net-zero. About this and more, in the interview below.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  15. Judge Dismisses Airbnb's Lawsuit Challenging NYC's Short-Term Rental Rules “New York Supreme Court Judge Arlene Bluth issued her decision finding Local Law 18, which restricts the platform from collecting payments from units that aren't registered with the city, isn't ‘an onerous obligation,’ the Associated Press reports.” (Bisnow)
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