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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (May 18, 2021)

Rising rent prices could contribute to stronger long-term inflation trends, according to the Business Insider. Commercial Observer looks at how proptech boomed during the pandemic. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Rent’s Big Comeback Could Be the Thing That Makes Stronger Inflation Permanent “Rent prices tumbled at the start of the pandemic and are only just now on the rise. But where inflation in other pockets of the economy is expected to cool off, rent might just keep climbing. The Federal Reserve, Biden administration officials, and much of Wall Street see elevated overall inflation eventually moderating as the economy settles into a new normal.” (Business Insider)
  2. Homebuilder Confidence Is High, But Rising Costs of Materials Present Major Risks “Strong buyer demand is keeping homebuilders confident, but rising costs of construction materials are weighing on housing affordability. Builder sentiment in the single-family housing market was unchanged at 83 in May, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment.” (CNBC)
  3. Unmuted: Why Proptech Boomed During the Pandemic “One day last May, about two months into quarantine, my nieces and nephews were playing with Magna-Tiles, the newest iteration of building blocks, in the living room of their Brooklyn apartment. But, instead of building houses, or trucks, or rocket ships, they had formed the colorful tiles into makeshift laptops.” (Commercial Observer)
  4. Developers’ Attempts to Change Opportunity Zone Boundaries Fail “The Internal Revenue Services announced last week that the boundaries of about 8,700 Opportunity Zones will not change.” (The Real Deal)
  5. Your New Office Mates: All Those Pandemic Puppies “Nestlé U.K. is one of those pet-friendly employers that allow workers to bring their furry friends with them, and it is the job of Ms. Gillingham and other members of the Pets at Work initiative, or PAW, to walk the floors, dish out advice and generally prevent canine chaos. Now, pandemic concerns about social distancing and virus transmission have required her to add some new bark to her routine: No petting other people’s dogs.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  6. Airbnb Stock Drops More Than 6% as Post-IPO Lockup Ends “Airbnb shares were down more than 6% in Monday trading, hovering around $132.10. That’s about 8.7% lower than the closing price of $144.71 on IPO day. The company’s stock is off 9% year to date and has fallen about 34% in the past three months. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index is seeing a more than 10% increase so far this year.” (MarketWatch)
  7. A $100 Million Bet on Cross-Country Restaurant Delivery “Goldbelly, which was founded in San Francisco in 2013, began by offering foods like deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s in Chicago and Texas-style brisket from the Salt Lick in Austin. What it offers restaurants is largely logistics: providing the boxes and cold packs for shipping orders, and helping restaurants ship directly from their premises. In return, Goldbelly charges a fee, leading to premium prices. Shipping two Classic Neapolitan Pizzas from Di Fara, for example, costs $89.” (The New York Times)
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