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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Jan. 19, 2022)

Inflation is adding pressures to the U.S.’ already tight housing market, according to CNBC and MarketWatch. The New York Times looks at what subway ridership says about which areas of New York City have recovered and which haven’t. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Homebuilder Confidence Drops for the First Time in Four Months, as Inflation Hits Materials “Builders in the single-family housing market are facing growing expenses, which is causing a turnaround in sentiment to start the year. Builder confidence fell one point to 83 in January, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Anything above 50 is considered positive, but that is the first drop in four months. The index also stood at 83 in January 2021.” (CNBC)
  2. Family Office Investment in Proptech Is Growing Under the Radar “In the last couple of years, proptech startups have become increasingly attractive investments for many investors in and out of the real estate industry. As part of that interest, a number of family office investors focused on early-stage proptech companies have become increasingly prominent on capitalization tables, according to venture capitalists and founders in the sector. However, tracking family office proptech investment remains mostly opaque and anecdotal, as such companies generally prefer to keep a low profile, said Steven Jaffe, CEO and founder of Propdocs.” (Commercial Observer)
  3. America’s Housing Market Is in the Grip of an Inflation Storm “Housing is the largest expense for many Americans. And it’s taking a bigger bite out of people’s wallets, as far as the Consumer Price Index is concerned. The shelter component of the inflation barometer increased 0.4% between November and December, down slightly from a 0.5% uptick the prior month. Nevertheless, annual growth set records. In particular, the component that measures the equivalent rent that homeowners would pay for their houses rose 3.8% between December 2020 and December 2021, the highest rate since 2007.” (MarketWatch)
  4. As College Enrollments Drop, Pressure Grows on Student Housing “It looked like student housing would see a good year in 2022. Student housing vacancies dropped to a seven-year low. International real estate firm Hines, for example, launched a closed-end fund to target tactical opportunities in the 30 top U.S. metro markets across various niche asset classes, like student housing. However, overall enrollment numbers suggest that not all is rosy. The change between before the pandemic and now is one million fewer students in college, as NPR reported.” (
  5. Blackstone’s Home Partners Launches $1B Affordable Housing Program “Blackstone’s Home Partners of America is rolling out a $1 billion program in which it will buy rental homes, rent them at a discount to people at a certain income level and then allow them to buy the homes at below market prices. The program, called Choice Lease, is designed to prevent crowding out of potential home buyers during this competitive home buying market, the company says.” (
  6. Here’s Where Subway Riders Have Returned. And Where They Haven’t. “Nearly two years after the coronavirus engulfed New York, causing a virtual abandonment of the country’s largest transportation network, riders have slowly returned to the subway in an uneven pattern that underscores the economic divide at the heart of the city’s fitful recovery. Stations in lower-income areas in Brooklyn, Queens and Upper Manhattan, where residents are less likely to be able to work from home and typically depend more on public transit, have rebounded far faster than stations in office-heavy sections of Manhattan, including some that were once the busiest in the system, where many workers are still able to work remotely.” (The New York Times)
  7. First-Time Real Estate Fundraisers Must Consider Key Factors “When developers set out to raise funds from other people’s money for the first time, there are a few basic considerations to keep in mind. These five simple questions for first-time real estate fundraisers will make your efforts as effective as possible and provide for a successful ongoing relationship with the investors entrusting you with their money.” (REBusiness Online)
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