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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Feb. 14, 2022)

People are resuming more normal activities, but workers returning to offices is lagging, reports The Wall Street Journal. Backlash is growing to the big real estate companies increasing their SFR portfolios, according to GlobeSt. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. People Are Going Out Again, but Not to the Office “An average of 33% of the workforce returned to the office during the first week of February in the 10 major cities monitored by Kastle Systems, which records building-access-card swipes…. Meanwhile, the return rate to movie theaters in the first week of February was 58% of what it was before the pandemic, according to a Kastle analysis of industry statistics. Restaurants were nearly three-quarters as full as they were before Covid-19, and air travel had recovered to about 80%. Attendance at National Basketball Association games was 93% of what it was in February 2020, Kastle said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. Backlash Grows as Real Estate Giants Increase SFR Market Share “A perfect storm of higher home prices, tight inventory and rising mortgage interest rates continues to squeeze home buyers out of the housing market, validating the growth strategies of real estate investors who participated in a “land grab” for single-family houses in recent months, buying up existing single-family rental houses and tracts for construction of more built-to-rent houses.” (
  3. Rick Caruso, Billionaire Developer, Jumps Into Los Angeles Mayor’s Race “His fortune has been viewed as a powerful asset in a market where mounting a credible campaign can be enormously expensive, and his résumé, which includes serving as head of the city’s Police Commission and chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Southern California, evokes an older generation of Los Angeles power brokers.” (The New York Times)
  4. Employees Returning to the Office Are Disappointed “In recent research reported by BambooHR, those work-from-home employees who have been asked to return to the company office are disappointed in what they're finding. In a survey of 1,000 adult workers, 37 percent said ‘they felt worse in the office than even at their lowest point in the pandemic.’ What were returning employees hoping for and what did they get instead?” (Inc.)
  5. They Took a Chance on Collaborative Living. They Lost Everything. “There are about 170 established co-housing communities in the United States, according to the Cohousing Association. There are about 30 co-housing communities in California and five in New York State. In a co-housing model, residents own their own homes, but share common spaces — a structure aimed at fostering connection and community through collaborative living.” (The New York Times)
  6. DoorDash to Bump Up Its Fees on Slow McDonald’s Restaurants “The delivery service, which earns money by charging restaurants a commission on every order and separately charging consumers a service fee, agreed to lower its base commission rate for McDonald’s U.S. restaurants, according to summaries seen by The Wall Street Journal. DoorDash will charge higher commissions to McDonald’s restaurants starting next year for orders that keep a delivery driver waiting, the documents show.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. In Relief for Retailers, Vietnam Won't Close Factories Amid COVID Surge “One of the world's biggest garment makers, Vietnam reported more than 26,000 new infections on Sunday, or about double the peak last year, when factories supplying brands such as Nike, Zara, Apple and Samsung were shut for months. But unlike nine months ago, when the Delta variant was spreading through a mostly unvaccinated population, now millions of factory workers have been fully vaccinated and the Omicron variant is proving less severe, the government said.” (Reuters)
  8. Walmart employees can ditch masks if they’re vaccinated, company says “The change from the retail giant, which has about 1.6 million employees in the United States, comes after a growing number of states announced plans to ease mask rules. Unvaccinated Walmart employees must still wear masks until further notice, the company said in the update, which was sent Friday and noted that the change is in effect at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs locations.” (The Washington Post)
  9. After Biotech’s $43B Year, Growth Starts To Taper As Markets Mature “The life sciences boom has always been connected to the IPO boom and stock market, according to Jay Chok, an associate professor at the Riggs School of Applied Life Science, who wrote his thesis on biotech IPOs. When the market and funding trends down, and the financing window closes for firms to go public, companies start being more frugal with their expenses to extend their burn rate.” (Bisnow)
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