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subway crime Frances Roberts / Alamy

Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 25, 2022)

Transit crime is one of the factors preventing U.S. cities from returning to prepandemic normal, reports The New York Times. The Real Deal looks at whether rent control is responsible for the shrinking number of apartment rentals in Portland. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Cities Want to Return to Prepandemic Life. One Obstacle: Subway Crime “Just as a number of major cities are trying to lure people back to formerly bustling downtowns, leaders are confronting transit crime rates that have risen over prepandemic levels in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Earlier this month, a shooting on a subway train in Brooklyn injured 23 people. In other cities, stories of violent assaults, muggings and stabbings on buses and trains dominate the evening news and worried conversations in neighborhood apps.” (The New York Times)
  2. Private Real Estate Funds May Face Speed Bump “Private real estate funds generated strong returns in 2021 but the sector will be hard-pressed to duplicate the feat this year.” (Pensions & Investments)
  3. How to Navigate the Industrial Real Estate Market When Demand Outstrips Supply “E-commerce sales hit $870.8 billion in 2021, up 14.2% since 2020, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. As many manufacturers and distributors do all they can to keep products in stock and stay a step ahead of supply-chain issues, warehouse space is at a premium. Wary of industrial traffic, residents of some communities are fighting the addition of new warehouses. That makes it harder for landlords to address the gaps in the marketplace.’ (Crain’s New York Business)
  4. Tough Sell: Mystery Surrounds the Value of World Trade Center Mall “While it’s too early, and maybe unfair, to speculate on the WTC mall’s value before URW even makes a formal offering, the fact is that it’s struck many real-estate players and New Yorkers as a disappointment since it opened in 2016. Industry insiders are snarking — although not by name — that the serpentine, 365,000 square-foot WTC shopping complex might fetch much less than the $1.4 billion that Westfield paid the land-owning Port Authority for the master lease. Westfield was acquired by Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco in 2017.” (New York Post)
  5. Another Housing Bubble? ‘We’re Skating Close to One,’ Says Economist “This might be the hottest housing market ever recorded. Over the past 12 months, U.S. home prices are up a staggering 19.2%. For comparison, in the years leading into the 2008 housing bust, the biggest 12-month jump was 14.5%. Heading into 2022, real estate research firms forecasted that the ongoing housing boom would lose some steam and home price growth would decelerate. It hasn't come to fruition—yet. Actually, if anything, this year it has gotten a bit hotter, with housing inventory on Zillow down 52% from pre-pandemic levels.” (Fortune)
  6. Chinatown’s Civic Groups Have Held Developers at Bay. Can They Survive? “The Lees, like many traditional Chinese associations based on family, profession or region, need new blood — and the future of Chinatown, one of the few remaining working-class neighborhoods in Manhattan, could hinge on replenishing their aging ranks. The groups’ importance is linked to their coveted real estate portfolio, amassed over decades to serve members of the Chinese diaspora, from restaurant and shop owners to longtime low-income renters.” (The New York Times)
  7. Portland Lost 14% of Rentals. Did Rent Control Cause the Decline? “In 2017, Portland passed rent control. In 2019, the Oregon state legislature added statewide caps on rent hikes and evictions. Now, a study shows Portland lost 14 percent of its single-family rentals between 2015 and 2020 — twice as much as in the surrounding three-county area. The homeowner and landlord groups that commissioned the study blame the web of policies for Portland’s loss of rentals, Inman reported. The city, however, is not convinced.” (The Real Deal)
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