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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 18, 2020)

After lockdown, Chinese shoppers upped their spending at luxury boutiques, reports the Wall Street Journal. A white supremacist has tried to blow up a Jewish assisted living facility in Massachusetts, according to The New York Times. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. With Coronavirus Lockdown Lifted, Chinese Splurge on Luxury Brands “Spending in China on some of the biggest high-end brands has surged since the country’s lockdown ended, luxury goods companies said, offering hope to an industry that has been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the industry’s biggest company, Thursday said Chinese shoppers have flocked back to its boutiques in mainland China when most of them reopened in March.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  2. Man Charged with Trying to Blow Up Jewish Assisted-Living Home “A Massachusetts man was charged on Wednesday with trying to blow up a Jewish assisted-living center that had been targeted for attack on a white supremacist website that promoted a ‘Jew killing day,’ federal prosecutors said. The man, John Michael Rathbun, 36, was charged in federal court in Western Massachusetts with two counts of attempted arson after the authorities said he tried to ignite a five-gallon plastic gas canister outside Ruth’s House, an assisted-living home in Longmeadow, Mass., on the morning of April 2.” (The New York Times)
  3. Gold’s Gym Is Closing More Than 30 Locations as the Coronavirus Ravages the Fitness Industry—Here’s the List “Gold's Gym is closing about 30 company-owned locations, it announced in a post on its Facebook page on Wednesday. Like many other fitness chains, it had temporarily closed gyms in March as states across the US announced stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The permanent closures do not include franchised locations.” (Business Insider)
  4. Computers Were Going to Upend Home Buying. They Didn’t See the Coronavirus Coming “Companies invested billions of dollars in algorithms that were built to snap up real estate bargains and put cash offers on the table while homeowners avoided the fuss and expense of repairs, stagings, showings, and often prolonged appraisal and escrow periods. Zillow’s chief executive officer Rich Barton sounded positively evangelical about the prospects last year.” (Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
  5. Arbor Realty Trust Launches Rental Assistance Program “Multifamily lender Arbor Realty Trust and its ecosystem of borrowers and property owners are extending a hand to tenants and families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with the launch of a national $2 million rental assistance program. The Arbor Rental Assistance Program will act as supplemental income to existing government rent relief programs, using private capital to fill the loss of income for impacted families, David Lynd, CEO of multifamily development and management firm LYND, tells LYND is an Arbor borrower.” (
  6. These Are the Cities Where Stimulus Checks Will Help Homeowners and Renters the Most “Paying off debt such as a mortgage is one of the best ways to use your coronavirus stimulus check, according to financial experts. Unfortunately, for some Americans, their stimulus checks will barely make a dent in their housing costs. A new report from real-estate brokerage Redfin examined how much stimulus checks will help offset housing costs for homeowners and renters in the largest metropolitan areas nationwide. The most recent stimulus package, known as the CARES Act, mandated that Americans receive up to $1,200 in a stimulus check for single taxpayers and up to $2,400 for joint filers.” (MarketWatch)
  7. Yardi Releases New Rent Payment Deferral Technology “Real estate tech company Yardi released software this week that aims to streamline that process, allowing residential property management companies to manage and track rent deferral payment plans and recoveries. Yardi Vice President of Residential Consulting Practices Tamara Berndt told HousingWire that any of Yardi’s client bases that are licensed for the Yardi Voyage platforms or RENTCafé platforms are able to use the product. The product sets up a way for landlords to track the monthly payments they are receiving.” (Housing Wire)
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