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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Aug. 16, 2022)

Homebuilders are saying the single-family housing sector in the U.S. is falling into a “recession,” reports CNBC. Downtown restaurants are finding ways to succeed even amidst hybrid work schedules, according to The Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Homebuilders Say U.S. Is in a “Housing Recession” as Sentiment Turns Negative “Builder sentiment in the market for single-family homes fell into negative territory in August, as builders and buyers struggle with higher costs. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped 6 points to 49 this month, its eighth straight monthly decline. Anything above 50 is considered positive. The index has not been in negative territory since a very brief plunge at the start of the Covid pandemic. Before that, it hadn’t been negative since June 2014.” (CNBC)
  2. Most CRE Pros Believe Office Sector Has More Distress Ahead “A whopping 70% of CRE professionals recently surveyed by Trepp say they think the office sector will see the biggest uptick in distress for the remainder of the year, and 83% said CRE/CMBS delinquencies will worsen over the next six months. Overall, ‘the prevailing sentiment is that a variety of adverse conditions will impact business, but commercial real estate and the broader financial markets will avoid worst-case scenarios,’ Trepp analysts write in an analysis of their 2022 CRE sentiment survey.” (
  3. A New York City Restaurant Chain Cashes in on Shrunken Office Crowd “Most of Naya’s dozen locations are located near office towers and cater to the workplace crowd, a challenging place to be with New York City office occupancy stuck at about 40% of prepandemic levels, according to Kastle Systems, which collects data on how many workers swipe into office buildings. But the chain is generating more weekday sales this year than it did in 2019, powered mostly by the Tuesday-through-Thursday lunch crowd, according to Naya founder Hady Kfoury. The growing demand for Naya’s bowls, salads and wraps shows that even if office-occupancy rates remain well below their prepandemic levels, certain types of businesses can still prosper.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. The Pandemic Wasn’t Supposed to Hurt New York Transit This Much “At its most recent board meeting, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed that it will face a $2.5 billion deficit in 2025. An infusion of federal aid that has propped up the system during the pandemic will have dried up by then with no more relief expected from Washington. The shortfall, which amounts to 12 percent of the operating budget, arrives a year sooner than predicted largely because ridership has struggled to rebound in the face of a quickly evolving coronavirus and the continued popularity of remote work. Some transit riders could also be staying away after several high-profile violent incidents have amplified the perception athat the system has become more dangerous.” (The New York Times)
  5. Dollar Stores, Big Box Retailers, Movie Theaters Benefit from Inflation: Report “Inflation and consumer costs continue to remain high, so Americans are spending more time at supermarkets, dollar stores and, somewhat surprisingly, movie theaters. A new foot traffic report from retail analytics firm found that dollar stores benefited much more from inflation than supermarkets or grocery stores. Discount retailers and dollar stores, like Dollar General, experienced a 10 percent increase in visits from March to May, when gas and food prices were rising rapidly, before foot traffic declined roughly 7 percent in June and July.” (Commercial Observer)
  6. Restaurant Meals Become a Relative Bargain as Grocery Prices Soar “Restaurants are taking on grocery stores over value, contending that eating out can be a better deal than cooking at home. They have some recent data on their side. Consumer prices at grocery stores and restaurants increased 13.1% and 7.6%, respectively, year-over-year in July, according to the Labor Department—the biggest inflationary gap between grocery stores and restaurants since the 1970s.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. Peloton to Close All Warehouses, Shutter ‘Significant’ Number of Stores “Peloton is axing stores, warehouses and jobs amid a rush to inject the company with cash.” (Bisnow)
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