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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 13, 2021)

A survey by Morning Consult found that the majority of return-to-office plans remain unchanged, reports The New York Times. The Mortgage Bankers Association has released its latest multifamily lending report. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Most Return-to-Office Plans Unchanged, For Now “Every week for three weeks, Morning Consult asked a nationally representative panel of 1,000 adult American workers when their employer was planning to have them return to their workplace either full time or part time. The first survey began on July 16 and ended last Thursday. The most recent one found that most workers were already in the office. Eight percent of workers said that their companies had adopted a permanent work-from-home policy. And 7 percent said their companies had not yet announced a policy.” (The New York Times)
  2. Agricultural Real Estate Values Jump 7%, Largest Increase Since 2012 “The U.S. average farm real estate value, a measurement that includes the value of all land and buildings on farms, clocked in at a record $3,380/acre. This 7% increase over last year represents a percentage change not seen since 2014 when values increased 8% over the previous year. In looking at the dollar value of the change, this is a $220/acre increase over 2020, a level not seen since 2012.” (Farm Bureau News)
  3. Multifamily Values Amid a Shifting Landscape “The summer has brought big news for the housing industry including but not limited to multifamily market participants. MBA released its 2020 Multifamily Lending Report, noting $359.7 billion of multifamily mortgages were originated last year. ‘Multifamily borrowing and lending remained strong in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said Jamie Woodwell, MBA Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research.” (Mortgage Bankers Association)
  4. SFR Financing and the Other Half of the Capital Stack “Few asset classes outperformed the broader commercial real estate industry in 2020 like single-family rentals, and 2021 is already shaping up to be another strong year for SFR. Rent growth, occupancy gains and reduced turnover throughout 2020 magnified the appeal of single-family rental to real estate investors. Known as a mom-and-pop asset for decades, institutional investors have adopted SFR as a viable asset class seemingly overnight.” (Multi-Housing News)
  5. CRE’s Growing Problem: A Labor Shortage “Commercial real estate is booming; second quarter data affirms it. ‘Market confidence was high, with investor inquiries and newly launched deals recovering to near 2019-levels,’ said Richard Barkham, Global Chief Economist for CBRE, in a statement sent to ‘Going forward, while the delta variant and inflation concerns are seen as potential headwinds, we are yet to see this materialize in the investment market.’” (
  6. The Greatest Multifamily Redevelopment That Never Was “If you have ever looked at Manhattan from across the East River you have probably noticed a large development that looks out of place.” (Propmodo)
  7. California Panel Backs Solar Mandate for New Buildings “California regulators voted Wednesday to require builders to include solar power and battery storage in many new commercial structures as well as high-rise residential projects. It is the latest initiative in the state’s vigorous efforts to hasten a transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources.” (The New York Post)
  8. San Bernardino County to Fine Property Owners for Illegal Cannabis Farms “San Bernardino County is hiking up the penalties for illegal commercial cannabis farms in the unincorporated areas of the nation’s largest county, including fining property owners for illegal farming taking place on their land. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Aug. 10, unanimously approved an ordinance to impose steep fines for illegal cannabis cultivation. ‘This is not the end of this,’ 1st District Supervisor Paul Cook said. ‘This is just the start of dealing with a huge problem.’” (San Bernardino County Sun)
  9. Who Atlanta Real Estate Is Backing in the Wide Open Mayor’s Race “Sharon Gay and Felicia Moore both are commanding the most commercial real estate financial supporters.” (Bisnow)
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