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Five Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (December 16, 2019)

Homebuilder confidence jumped to the highest reading since 1999 in December, reports CNBC. Neiman Marcus is opening selling stations inside four of its stores for customers to re-sell their luxury items, according to These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Economists Got the Decade All Wrong. They Are Trying to Figure Out Why “In the fall of 2009, the global financial crisis had only just ended, and interest rates were a mere 0.1%. Peering ahead, economists assumed the recovery would resemble previous recoveries, though a tad slower, and thus rates would start rising the next year and plateau at 4.2% by 2015. But by the fall of 2010, rates hadn’t budged. Like Charlie Brown taking another run at the football, economists gamely made the same forecast that year, and the year after that and the year after that. Rates remained stuck near zero until 2015, a stretch of free money unseen since the 1940s.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Homebuilder Confidence Jumps to Highest Level in 20 Years “A stronger economy and a severe housing shortage have the nation’s homebuilders feeling better than they have in two decades. Builder confidence in the newly built, single-family home market jumped 5 points in December to 76, the highest reading since June 1999, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Anything above 50 is considered positive.” (CNBC)
  3. Retail Chain Sets Up Selling Stations Inside Stores “The lines between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar continue to blur. Not only can shoppers return ecommerce orders to some department stores, shoppers can now sell certain items inside some stores. Neiman Marcus has opened selling studios inside four of its stores in time for the holiday shopping season. To the high-end chain, it means two things: customers can resell items so they can purchase more new products from the store; and it can attract younger or less affluent shoppers to their brand.” (
  4. The Hottest Housing Markets of 2020 Are Far from the Coasts “Forget Seattle, Denver and San Francisco. Boise, Idaho, is poised to be the hottest housing market at the start of the next decade. A new report from identified the housing markets that are expected to see the most notable home sales and price growth in 2020. Boise ranked No. 1, a marked increase from No. 8 a year ago. Driving Boise’s climb up the ranking is the massive influx of new residents from pricier parts of the country — in particular, California. Many of these out-of-state buyers are drawn by the city’s mild climate, outdoor lifestyle, strong schools and its major employers, including and Micron Technologies.” (MarketWatch)
  5. This Building Shows How Complicated School Real Estate Can Be in D.C. “It’s a confusing cluster of leases and subleases. The D.C. government leased a school building to a nonprofit education organization, which in turn rents the building to a public school the city operates. And now the nonprofit is preparing to give the boot to the public school, Excel Academy, in 2021 to make way for a charter school. ‘It’s entirely up to them who they want to sublet to,’ Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn said.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
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