DAILY READS: Dec. 18. 2019

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Hall Structured Finance Lends $80M on Austin Luxe Hotel Project

“The first lien construction loan will help finance the development of the 108-key boutique as well as an adjacent condominium tower with 26 two- and four-bedroom residences. It’s on track to open in the first three months of 2022, according to Dallas-based HSF.”
—Commercial Observer

Tenant Groups Demand Freeze on Rent Increases Through Apartment Improvement Program

“Tenant advocate groups are now demanding that the state agency stop processing MCIs citywide until it issues the new guidelines, which will include a schedule for “reasonable costs.” The Metropolitan Council on Housing, Housing Justice for All, CASA, NorthWest Bronx Clergy and Community Coalition and Woodside on the Move said that they have had several meetings with HCR, including an Oct. 25 sit-down with Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas, to request the moratorium. That request has so far been denied, according to Andrea Shapiro, program manager at Met Council.”
—The Real Deal

Arlington Approves Funding for New $550 Million Hotel Near Live! by Loews

“Loews Hotels will break ground on a new Arlington (Texas) hotel in the city’s entertainment district, near Live! by Loews. The hotel developer will pay all costs up front, but Arlington will dish out $1 million to $1.5 million a year in performance-based tax rebates up to $25 million.”
—Star Telegram

The Hottest Housing Market of 2019

“’Phoenix has come back from the ashes, that is to say 10 years ago it was ground zero for the housing market crash,’” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, adding that since the low point of 2012, “’home prices have doubled and are still going strong. It’s quite a fast recovery after a harsh downfall.’”
—Yahoo Finance

Another Big Fulton Market Office Project? Why Not?

“A venture led by Ryan Cos. wants to build more than 600,000 square feet of office space in two buildings, one rising 300 feet, on the 1200 block of West Fulton Street, according to a statement from the company. Called Axis West at Fulton Market, the project would also include about 100,000 square feet of retail space and more than 300 parking spaces.”
—Crain’s Chicago Business

Fannie Mae Boosts 2020 Housing Forecast ‘significantly’

“After increasing just over 1 percent annually this year, growth in single-family housing starts will accelerate to 10 percent during 2020 and top 1 million new homes in 2021, the group predicts. That would mark a post-recession high but is still far below the annual peak of about 1.7 million single-family starts in 2005 and the 1.2 million annual pace experienced in the late ’90s.”

Chinese Developer Greenland USA Completes Metropolis Megaproject In Downtown Los Angeles

“The company broke ground on the billion-dollar, 3.5M SF development, which sits a few blocks from LA Live and the Staples Center, in 2014, and completed two other residential towers and a boutique hotel at the site within the past five years.”

The Top Countries Investing in U.S. Real Estate in 2019

“In terms of who is buying, Canadian investors remain the most active cross-border buyers in the U.S. Canadian entities accounted for more than 40 percent of total foreign investment in the U.S. in the quarter. In contrast, capital from China has decreased compared to 2017, when such investores “‘represented an outsized presence in the U.S.,'” according to RCA. “‘Among Asian sources, capital from Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea is coming into the U.S. at higher levels than from mainland China.'”
—National Real Estate Investor

New-Home Construction Activity Continues to Rise, as Builders Seek Even More Building Permits

“Housing starts increased for both single-family (up 2.3 percent) and multifamily structures (up 2.4 percent). Regionally though, housing starts varied significantly. Only the West saw an uptick in single-family starts, and the West and the South were the only two regions to experience overall increases in new-home construction. Housing starts fell in both the Northeast and the West.”

Opinion: USMCA Will Have a Surprising Effect on Commercial Real Estate

“Lately, concerns about a trade war had been slowing the rate of growth. According to NAIOP’s Industrial Space Demand Forecast, absorption is now expected to average 37 million square feet per quarter for the next two years, down from the 60 million square feet of quarterly net absorption experienced during 2017 and 2018. The report’s authors explained, “’Industrial is uniquely exposed to trade activity and manufacturing activity, which are very much impacted by the tariffs.’”
—Washington Examiner

Trump’s Plan to Criminalize Homelessness Is Taking Shape

“Advocates say that they expect an executive order on homelessness to assign new resources to police departments to remove homeless encampments and even strip housing funds from cities that choose to tolerate these encampments. It’s one of several efforts being steered by the White House’s Domestic Policy Council in concert with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”