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Seven Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Nov. 4, 2021)

EQT Exeter is selling its U.S. industrial real estate portfolio for $6.8 billion, reports Bisnow. The New York Times profiled the struggles of Nelson Partners Student Housing. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. EQT Exeter To Sell U.S. Industrial Portfolio For $6.8B “Exeter built up the portfolio over the past three years through a combination of development and acquisition. It developed 15M SF of the portfolio itself, with another 7M SF still under construction, and acquired the rest across more than 100 transactions, Exeter announced. The standing properties it acquired were 55% occupied upon acquisition and stand at 95% occupancy at the time of the sale.” (Bisnow)
  2. A Sinking Student Housing Empire “Three years ago, Mr. Nelson’s firm, Nelson Partners Student Housing, began rapidly collecting upscale apartment buildings to grab a share of a market worth an estimated $100 billion, according to CoStar, a real estate data firm. But legal fights are playing out in courtrooms in Texas and California that threaten to unravel the business.” (The New York Times)
  3. Zillow Went Too Big—Now It Has to Downsize “In a shareholder letter Tuesday, Zillow described the so-called iBuying business as too risky, too volatile, too narrow and, ultimately, too low on potential returns to continue. Proof is an unprofitable third quarter in which it took a $304 million write-down on inventory—the result of ‘unintentionally purchasing homes at higher prices than our current estimates of future selling prices.’” (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Empire State Realty’s multifamily play baffles experts, investors “Although the New York City office landlord had signaled that it would pursue opportunities in other asset classes, its $307 million purchase of Manhattan apartments came as a shock. The company, with just its third acquisition since its 2013 public debut, is venturing into an unfamiliar market facing regulatory headwinds.” (The Real Deal)
  5. S.F.’s Largest Landlord Says Facebook, TikTok Eyeing Expansion In Signal Of Area Office Rebound “These potential expansions would mark a positive sign for the region’s office market, which has struggled to recover in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Boston Properties’ Bay Area properties were about 18% occupied last quarter in terms of actual office usage, the lowest in the company’s portfolio, the company said on the earnings call. New York is leading occupancy at 52% usage.” (Bisnow)
  6. Rental-Home Owner Pretium Buys Home-Flipping Lender for $1.5 Billion “The deal gives Pretium, one of the country’s largest owners and managers of rental houses, a large new revenue stream in the hot business of turning homes into investment properties. Soaring home prices have been compelling more families to turn to rental homes to live in prime suburban neighborhoods. The sellers were a group of investors that included Wafra Capital Partners Inc., an affiliate of a Kuwait government pension fund, which had acquired a controlling stake in the company in 2019.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  7. California changed the country with weed legalization — is it high time for the feds to catch up? “California legalized medical weed 25 years ago, spurring a nationwide shift. But federal government rules stymie research on marijuana's potential.” (Los Angeles Times)
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