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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (March 17, 2022)

The tumult to the global economy stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having a ripple effect on CRE deals, reports The Real Deal. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has stepped down with Howard Schultz returning to the company as interim CEO. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Russia’s war stalls US real estate deals “The biggest immediate threat the crisis poses to U.S. commercial real estate is the ripple effect of a Russian financial crisis. When the country’s central bank defaulted on its debt in 1998, it triggered an international contagion, although on that occasion the effects were short-lived, according to Real Capital Analytics’ Jim Costello.” (The Real Deal)
  2. Warehouses Transform N.Y.C. Neighborhoods as E-Commerce Booms “Fueled by the soaring growth of e-commerce while so many Americans have been working from home, online retailers, manufacturers and delivery companies are racing to secure warehouses in the country’s most competitive real estate market for them.” (The New York Times)
  3. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson to Step Down; Howard Schultz to Return in Interim Role “Starbucks said Wednesday that Mr. Johnson, who has led the Seattle-based company for the past five years, will step down as CEO and board director as of April 4. He will continue in an advisory role to the company and its board through September.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Stagflation Concerns Rise, Real Estate Beware “The background: It is now clear that rising inflation is not just a statistical fluke caused by unusually depressed prices during the pandemic. Energy cost increases are real and the cost of living in the UK is going to get worse before it gets better.” (Bisnow)
  5. The most popular US “golden visa” has had a makeover “When the regional route is back, it’ll come with stringent new requirements around securities compliance, record keeping, ownership, and administration. All regional centers will undergo a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) audit at least once every five years.” (Quartz)
  6. They bought their first homes during Covid – and now they regret it “Real estate grievances are now a mainstay of online forums like r/homeowners on Reddit, where calls for commiseration are often phrased in question form and answered, in turn, by commenters’ consensus. ‘Anyone buy a money pit and regret it like I do?’ reads one post’s header (the answer: yes). ‘How common is buyers remorse?’ asks another (the answer: quite common).” (The Guardian)
  7. Potential Risks of Price Declines in the Real Estate Market “Even when and while home prices are increasing nationally, there are still places where home prices could be falling. Prior to 2006 — a period when home prices grew steadily — an average of 4% of U.S. metro areas saw price declines. More recently, when the pandemic started in 2020, some 15% of the U.S. urban areas saw price declines. That share dropped to near zero during 2021.” (CoreLogic)
  8. Walmart Aims to Hire 50,000 U.S. Workers by End of April “The retail chain is seeking around 50,000 workers in the U.S. in the current quarter, the company said, at a time of year when many retailers pull back on hiring following the holiday shopping season. Many of those workers will fill store roles, but Walmart also aims to add staff in new business areas such as health and wellness and advertising, said Donna Morris, the company’s chief people officer.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  9. Mercedes opens a battery plant in Alabama, part of a Southern wave. “The state this week became the beneficiary of a factory that will build battery packs for a Mercedes-Benz electric sport utility vehicle. The German carmaker has a large factory complex near Tuscaloosa, Ala., where it has built conventional S.U.V.s since the 1990s.” (The New York Times)
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