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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 18, 2022)

Vox looks at how it might be possible to tackle the affordable housing shortage and the climate crisis at once. Homeowner groups are trying to prevent institutional investors from buying houses to convert to single-family rentals, reports The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. How to Fight the Affordable Housing and Climate Crisis at Once “The nation’s affordable housing crisis has gotten some semblance of attention — with journalists writing stories on the rising cost of rent, the scarce supply of new housing, the looming threat of eviction — but one aspect of the crisis has gone consistently overlooked. On top of the severe housing shortage that currently exists, nearly 6 million homes nationwide have moderate to serious home health hazards. They require repairs that, if left ignored, will make them uninhabitable, and eventually they’ll disappear from the market altogether.” (Vox)
  2. Homeowner Groups Seek to Stop Investors from Buying Houses to Rent “These groups, called homeowner associations, spend much of their time enforcing rules related to things such as lawn care and parking. But they often have broad powers to regulate how homes are used. Some of these associations now believe that the rise in home purchases by rental investors has led to a decline in property maintenance and made their neighborhoods less desirable. Investors are also making it more difficult for local families to buy houses, these groups say. Homeowner tactics include placing a cap on the number of homes that can be rented in a particular neighborhood, or requiring that rental tenants be approved by the association board. In most cases, associations need at least a two-thirds majority to pass these measures.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  3. How Likely Is a Real Estate Market Crash? “The housing market in the United States is a hot topic right now. I've seen videos showing lines of people waiting to get into an open house showing. Relatives of mine just went through the home-buying process and lost out on homes despite offering tens of thousands over the asking price. It begs the obvious question: Is this a housing bubble, and if/when it will likely pop? It's a tough question to answer because nobody knows for sure. However, you can look at the data and history of the housing market to get a sense of how things might play out in the months and years ahead.” (The Motley Fool)
  4. Nearly Two Dozen Injured in South Carolina Mall and Club Shooting “Police have arrested a suspect in connection with a shooting Saturday at a Columbia, S.C., shopping mall that left 14 people injured, and are still looking for at least two other suspects who were seen with firearms. Twenty-two-year-old Jewayne M. Price, originally one of three people detained Saturday as a person of interest, is expected to be charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, said Columbia Police Chief W.H. ‘Skip’ Holbrook. Nine people were shot and five others injured when gunfire erupted at the Columbiana Centre mall just after 2 p.m. Saturday, prompting a building-wide lockdown and panicked calls to 911, police said.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. How Corporate Real Estate Makes an Impact on Cities, Work, Life “Perhaps even more interesting is that over the years those who are engaged in the practice of CRE, by steadfastly identifying future trends for the profession, have been remarkably accurate in extrapolating those ideas to other areas of business and common life experiences. Workplaces have been redesigned from cubicle farms to open environments where people share natural light and access to each other. Those once considered “environmentalists” now practice a shared goal of sustainability. The pandemic is only the most recent example.” (Commercial Property Executive)
  6. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon Concedes Partial Defeat on Return-to-Office Mandate “Jamie Dimon, like his fellow bank CEO David Solomon, has been a staunch proponent of a full return to office, stressing its role in fostering innovation and lamenting remote work's purported erosion of company culture. Working from home ‘doesn’t work for people who want to hustle, doesn’t work for culture, doesn’t work for idea generation,’ JPMorgan's CEO said at a Wall Street Journal event last year. ‘We are getting blowback about coming back internally. But that’s life.’” (Fortune)
  7. Even Before SoftBank’s Big Play, Miami’s Tech Scene Showed Growth “In January 2021, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Japanese giant SoftBank Group turned heads in the tech industry with a blockbuster announcement: SoftBank would pump $100 million into Miami startups. The venture fund more than followed through on its promise, delivering more than $300 million to a dozen Miami companies as of early 2022, a SoftBank spokeswoman told Commercial Observer. Recipients of SoftBank funding include FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that bought the naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena; insurance platform Betterfly; and Picsart, a photo-editing startup that in February announced it had moved its headquarters to Miami Beach from San Francisco.” (Commercial Observer)
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