DAILY READS: Dec. 19, 2019

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Mortgage Rates Below 1% Put Europe on Alert for Housing Bubble

“Money is so cheap—a 20-year mortgage can be had in Paris or Frankfurt at a rate of less than 1 percent—that borrowers are flocking to buy apartments and houses. And institutional investors, seeing a chance for lucrative returns, are acquiring swaths of residential real estate in cities across Europe.”
—New York Times

Atlanta Malls Shop for a Plan B as Times Get Tougher

“Consumers are bumping up their spending. The National Retail Federation forecasts total holiday sales this year will grow faster than the five-year average. But where they want to spend is the rub. Online purchases represent only about 11% of retail sales but are growing quickly, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Traditional malls also are being bruised by mixed-use projects like Ponce City Market that are springing up around metro Atlanta.”
—Atlanta Journal Constitution

West Philly’s Historic Main Street Seeks a 21st-Century Identity

“‘While there is discussion and concern about gentrification and what that means, that’s not a reason to not do good things,’” said Jonas Maciunas, principal of JVM Studio, a Philadelphia urban-design consulting firm that is seeking public input on pedestrian-friendly improvements for the thoroughfare.”
—Philadelphia Enquirer

Will Real Estate Prices Continue to Climb? Experts Offer Predictions for 2020

“Will 2020 bring a buyer’s market to Miami residential real estate? What is the next hot office market? Will online shopping grow, bringing more demand for warehouses needed to store those goods?”
—Miami Herald

Life Companies Aim to Maintain Their Lending Levels in 2020

“The majority of life companies are planning to do at least the same level of lending in 2020 as they did in 2019, and they will take more if they can get it, notes Pat Minea, executive vice president and regional managing director in the Minneapolis office of NorthMarq, a capital markets firm that assists clients with debt, equity, investment sales and loan servicing. Commercial real estate loans continue to look very attractive on a risk-adjusted return basis compared to alternatives such as corporate bonds. Interest rate volatility earlier this summer also gave life companies an edge over some competitors.”
—National Real Estate Investor

After Fatality, Analysis Shows Façade Rules Widely Ignored Across City

“’Following this tragic incident, we have been sweeping façades around the city that have already been identified as needing immediate repairs, going building by building to order additional protections for the public if needed,’” a Department of Buildings spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “Owners must be held accountable for the safety of their buildings to keep New Yorkers safe.”
—The Real Deal

Deutsche Bank Provides $130M Refi on Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Property

“The floating-rate loan retires previous financing on the four-building resort, which sits on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean on Fort Lauderdale Beach.”
—Commercial Observer

Appearances Can Be Deceiving in Opportunity Zones

“’They based it [Opportunity Zone tracts] off census tracts and invariably there were politics involved,’” Lebensohn says. “’I believe that there may be some legitimacy to that [criticism of Opportunity Zone tracts being in non-low-income areas]. However, nothing is perfect.’”
—Globe Street

Houston-based real estate firm buys 214-acre parcel for industrial park on Beltway 8

“One of the largest undeveloped tracts fronting Beltway 8 was sold to a Houston-based real estate investment and development firm, which plans to break ground on a massive industrial park.”
—Houston Business Journal

Senior Housing Investment Returns Beat Every Property Type Except Industrial

“The total annual return for senior housing through Q3 2019 was 7.8%, the NCREIF data show. That compares to 6.24% for the NCREIF property index as a whole and 5.39% for apartments. Senior housing also produced higher returns than hotels, office and retail real estate.”

-Senior Housing News

Political Earthquakes Shaped Commercial Real Estate In 2019, And Aftershocks Will Continue In 2020

“What stood out most for Chicago’s commercial real estate industry in 2019 was not downtown’s robust office market, the continuing strength of multifamily properties or the seemingly unstoppable rise of the distribution and logistics sector — all long-term trends — but the political earthquakes that struck the region.”
—Bisnow Chicago

Here’s What Will Happen in Multifamily Real Estate in 2020

“’Increasing completions point to a competitive leasing environment for luxury product in 2020. About 550,000 market-rate apartments are under construction right now. Approximately 366,000 of them are scheduled to finish in 2020,’” (RealPage Chief Economist Greg) Willett said. “’That targeted delivery volume jumps sharply from 2019 completions of around 279,000 units.’”
—HousingWire

Starwood Real Estate Income Trust Acquires 265-Unit Multifamily Community in Durham

“The property benefits from its prime location directly across the street from Duke University, which is the largest employer in the Raleigh-Durham market, with nearly 40,000 employees.This provides its tenants with exceptional access to the University Health System buildings, including its world-renowned hospital. A substantial portion of the multifamily units are leased to Duke University graduate students and the medical office space is 100 percent leased to various Duke University medical tenants. The Exchange on Erwin multifamily units were 99 percent occupied and the commercial space was 95 percent leased as of the acquisition date, resulting in overall occupancy of 98 percent.”
—Multifamily Biz