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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 6, 2022)

Many real estate funds delivered above-inflation returns in 2022, reports FT Adviser. The Real Deal looks at the developers competing to build a casino in New York City. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Real Estate Funds Have Beaten Inflation Over 2022 “Real estate investment funds investing in the residential property sector have helped deliver above-inflation returns this year, data has found. According to the Association of Real Estate Funds index, many funds have outpaced inflation - which in November reached a 41-year high of 11.1 per cent. Topping the table (see below) in terms of returns was the Nuveen Real Estate UK Retail Warehouse Fund, which saw a 32.3 per cent rise over the past 12 months (percentage change), and a 24.6 per cent rise in the net asset value (Nav).” (FT Adviser)
  2. Life Insurers Suffer Worst Returns on Real Estate Loans in Years “Life insurance companies may be feeling a bit sickly about real estate. They are enduring the worst returns in two decades on property mortgages, according to Trepp, a data provider that tracks securitized mortgages. Trepp’s index for life insurance returns is down 11.8 percent year-to-date. This will be the worst year for life insurers since Trepp started collecting the data in 2008. It’s not a crypto-like crash, but insurers count on such investments to deliver steady, if unspectacular, returns.” (The Real Deal)
  3. Blackstone’s Property Bets Are Getting Shakier “Blackstone’s $70 billion property fund may have performed too well for its own good. Sky-high rents for the nonmainstream real estate it favors look like another pandemic trend that is about to reverse. Clients learned last week that they will have to wait to get their money out of the private-equity firm’s semiliquid, nontraded real-estate investment trust known as BREIT. Redemption requests in October—mostly from Asian clients, the fund said—pushed BREIT over its withdrawal limit of 2% of net asset value a month.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Bankruptcy May Look for WeWork, Fitch Says “Time may be running short for WeWork. The heavily indebted office-sharing outfit faces up to 18 more months of losses but has only 12 months of cash on hand, Fitch Ratings said in a report Friday. The firm endeavors to more closely align costs with revenue and recently relinquished two of six floors at a new tower in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as it sheds space far and wide. But Fitch warned the triage might not be enough to avoid a trip to Bankruptcy Court.” (Crain’s New York Business)
  5. Going for the Jackpot: A Look at the High Rollers Competing to Build NYC Casinos “Developers, place your bets. Next month, state officials will start accepting proposals for new casinos in and around New York City. Six bigwigs have already unveiled visions for casinos in the five boroughs, pledging to parlay their winnings into the city’s economic recovery. Firms proposing venues in Times Square and Hudson Yards — tourist attractions near transit hubs — have an edge, though opposition from local elected officials could cost them what is sure to be a lucrative pot. Other bidders are hoping to create entertainment ecosystems in Queens and Brooklyn.” (The Real Deal)
  6. Smaller Retail Centers in Demand as Market Realigns “Demand for smaller shopping centers surged in the last quarter, with absorption jumping 20% to 8.1 million square feet in Q3. According to research from JLL, absorption for smaller centers totaled 35.6 million over the last 12 months, with sporting goods brands, off-price retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, and home improvement retailers responsible for several large move-ins.” (
  7. Technology Cost Cuts Will Continue to Affect Office Real Estate in Key Markets “Beyond job cuts, many tech companies are taking a hard look at their real estate to find savings, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that enabled more widespread remote work.” (Kansas City Business Journal)
  8. An Insider’s Perspective on Financing Affordable Development in NYC “For minority developers, obtaining financing for affordable housing projects has always been a major challenge. Black and Brown developers involved in low-income housing in the nation’s largest market, New York City, have experienced firsthand all the difficulties that one needs to overcome to gain access to critically needed capital and resources. Carthage Real Estate Advisors CEO Ed Poteat is a Harlem native who grew up in an affordable housing community.” (Multi-Housing News)
  9. Restaurant Groups Push to Overturn California Fast-Food Wage Law “Restaurant and trade groups said they have submitted enough voter signatures for a ballot measure to try to halt the implementation of a new California law that would set minimum hourly wages for fast-food workers in the state starting next year. A coalition of restaurant owners and business groups called Save Local Restaurants said Monday it had filed more than 1 million petition signatures to put the law on hold and place an initiative before California voters on the 2024 ballot. They had until Dec. 5 to submit roughly 623,000 valid voter signatures to place a question on the 2024 ballot asking whether the law should take effect.” (The Wall Street Journal)
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