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US property could benefit from China’s volatility

Blackstone Group acquired $9.6 billion of real estate in the New York area last year, the most of any company, according to Real Capital Analytics. It sold $4.2 billion worth of local assets. Altogether, Blackstone was involved in 21% of all commercial property transactions in Manhattan. Read full story Read more

Sales slump prompts Macy’s to cut jobs, rethink real estate

Macy's reported a 4.7% decline in existing-store sales for November and December. The retailer said it would cut as many as 4,800 jobs and hire more advisers to consider joint ventures for its real estate holdings. Macy's and other traditional retailers are struggling as shoppers seek off-price chains and do more shopping online. Read full story Read more

Apartment rent increases rising at fastest pace in years

Average effective apartment rents nationwide rose 4.6% last year to nearly $1,180, Reis reports. This was the fastest pace since 2007. According to Axiometrics, multifamily rents rose 4.7% in the fourth quarter year over year, the strongest performance since 2005 for that quarter. Read full story Read more

Foreign JV buys US student-housing portfolio for $1.4B

A joint venture consisting of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Singapore's GIC Pte. and the Scion Group LLC is making a $1.4 billion acquisition in the US student-housing market. It has acquired University House Communities Group from InvenTrust Properties Corp. The JV, in which CPPIB and GIC own 47.5% each and Scion owns 5%, says it wants to make other student-housing acquisitions. Read full story Read more

Fed’s large reverse repo award to help push up interest rates

Moving to drain liquidity from the US financial system, the Federal Reserve made the third-largest reverse repurchase agreement award ever Wednesday. The auction awarded $277.45 billion of one-day fixed-rate reverse repos carrying a 0.25% interest rate to 82 bidders. Read full story Read more

2016 will test US bull market, analysts say

Analysts expect 2016 to be marked by a continued conflict between the Federal Reserve's efforts to raise interest rates in a strengthening job market and attempts to lower rates around the world amid China's economic slump. Investors expect another difficult year of tumultuous markets and narrow profit margins. Read full story Read more

Investor demand for real estate could rise with new category

Some analysts expect demand for real estate securities to increase after August, when MSCI and S&P Dow Jones Indices create a new category for real estate instead of including it in the broader group of financial companies. Investment firms are developing new real estate funds in response to the change, and portfolio managers are expected to pay more attention to real estate. Read full story Read more

FIRPTA changes could bring billions in new investment

Congress' approval of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 last week included new provisions for the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act that could bring an additional $20 billion to $30 billion of foreign investment, according to Kenneth Rosen, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Read full story Read more

New Crowdfunding Ruling/Apartment Rent Trends/Seniors Housing Prices Too Frothy?

New ruling gives crowdfunding firms access to non-accredited investors. Apartment rents rising faster than incomes. Are prices for seniors housing too frothy? Read full story Read more

How Per-Bed and Per-Unit Student Housing Properties Differ

Fundamentals in the student housing sector advanced at a healthy pace during the 2014-2015 school year, mirroring the performance of the greater multifamily sector. Student housing is categorized by buildings leased on a per-unit basis and those leased on a per-bed basis. Facilities that lease by the unit exhibited rent growth of 3.4 percent between the third quarter of 2014 and the third quarter of 2015. Read full story Read more

Transaction Trends: Velocity, Capital, and Cap Rate Compression

John Sebree, a national director with Marcus & Millichap, looks at the dynamics at play in today’s transaction market as capital flows and investors increasingly chase yield into secondary and tertiary markets, pushing cap rates down a little more each day. Read full story Read more

Fed holds rates, signals potential increase in Dec.

The Federal Reserve has left interest rates unchanged but says it will consider an increase at December's meeting. The Federal Open Market Committee has dropped a warning that global financial and economic developments might "restrain economic activity somewhat." Read full story Read more

Axio: Strongest Apartment Market in 9 Years

Rent growth hits 2006 levels, while occupancy reaches 2001 milestones. MFE's Les Shaver looks at the highlights. Read full story Read more

MPF: Effective Rent for New Residents Hits 5.9% in 3Q

Occupancy tightens to 96.1% as the strong 2015 growth continues. Les Shaver looks at the MPF report. Read full story Read more

2015 Poised to Be Busiest Year Ever for Multifamily Sales

With apartment transactions continuing to keep a torrid pace, industry analysts predict 2015 will go down as the most-active multifamily investment year ever. Read full story Read more

Student housing strong despite huge new supply

Student-housing properties are fully occupied and delivering solid rent growth for this school year after a surge of development over the last two years that delivered 110,800 new beds, according to Axiometrics statistics. It was unclear whether all of these beds would be filled, but Axiometrics expects occupancy to end up around 96% for September -- an improvement from 94.4% in August 2014, according to Taylor Gunn, student-housing analytics lead. Read full story Read more

Real estate will deliver long-term returns, expert says

The decision not to raise interest rates this month doesn’t come as a surprise and they will inevitably go up, according to a podcast interview with Mark Roberts, head of strategy and research with Deutsche Asset Management. Real estate fundamentals are sound and should continue to deliver "at least average long-term returns," he says. Read full story Read more

Apartment Rents Grow Faster Than Incomes

The average employee isn’t getting a big raise this year—but apartment rents are growing more quickly than ever. Find out how this trend is affecting both market-rate and lower-income renters. Read full story Read more

Q2 GDP revised upward to 3.7%

The US economy expanded at the rate of 3.7% in the second quarter, according to a revised estimate by the Commerce Department. The original estimate of 2.3% was boosted by business investment, inventories, government spending and consumer spending. Imports were revised downward. Read full story Read more

Yuan devaluation puts expectations of Fed rate hike in doubt

Growing belief in U.S. markets that the Federal Reserve is getting closer to raising interest rates, possibly as soon as September, dissipated Tuesday when China devalued the yuan. If global equity markets keep falling, the Fed could decide to delay raising rates. CME Group's FedWatch, which tracks futures pricing, says investors see a 39% chance of a rate increase in September, down from last week's 56%. Read full story Read more

Rising Interest Rates and Seniors Housing: How Big a Threat?

For seniors housing, higher interest rates will change the economics of a transaction and will cause some investors and lenders to reconsider deals and opportunities Read full story Read more

2015’s Apartment Sales on Pace to Beat 2006

Despite a slowing second quarter for mid- and high-rise deals, transactions increased in the first half. MFE's Les Shaver reports. Read full story Read more

Fed requires major banks to hold more capital

The eight biggest banks in the U.S. have to hold significantly more capital to protect themselves from collapse under rules finalized by the Federal Reserve. Janet Yellen, head of the central bank, said the rules mean the firms must "either hold substantially more capital, reducing the likelihood that they will fail, or else they must shrink their systemic footprint, reducing the harm that their failure would do to our financial system." Read full story Read more

Class B Offers Choice Investments

They may not be the prettiest of properties, but B and C developments can yield attractive returns. Read full story. Read more

Eurozone leaders back Greek rescue plan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have hammered out a rescue agreement for Greece that is unanimously supported by other eurozone leaders. European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that a rescue program is ready and includes "serious reforms [and] financial support." Read full story   Read more

IMF reiterates call for Fed to delay interest-rate hike

The International Monetary Fund called on the Federal Reserve to delay raising interest rates until next year, warning that premature action could undermine the U.S. economy. The Fed has been signaling an increase this year, with strong June employment numbers strengthening its hand. Read full story   Read more

Greek Debt Crisis: Bad News for Greece, Good New for U.S. Real Estate?

U.S. real estate economists say the possibility of a “Grexit” will not have any substantial impact on commercial real estate investment in the U.S., and if it will, the impact is likely to be positive. Read full story Read more

Fed cuts economic-growth forecast but plans rate increase

Federal Reserve officials said they expect slower growth in the economy than previously anticipated but indicated they still plan to raise interest rates in coming months. Policymakers predicted the U.S. will have its lowest annual growth since 2011. The central bank left its key interest rate close to zero. Read full story Read more

Q1 GDP contracts 0.7%

The U.S. economy contracted an annualized 0.7% in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department, which had estimated 0.2% growth. Reasons for the decline include a bigger trade gap, slower consumer spending and harsh winter weather. Economists expect 2% expansion this quarter. Read full story Read more

Yellen, Cleveland Fed chief see rate hike in the offing

The Federal Reserve will begin raising rates this year if unemployment continues to fall and inflation moves up, Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Friday. It will be several years before the federal funds rate would return to a normal, longer-run level, she said. Loretta Mester, president of the Cleveland Fed, said Monday that rising inflation and strong employment growth are creating the conditions for the U.S. economy to support higher interest rates. Read full story Read more

Multifamily Developers Favor Downtown, But Suburbia Holds Its Own

In the midst of the Great Recession, vacancy in the multifamily sector hit a cyclical high of 8.0 percent. Over the next several years, the vacancy rate nearly halved, reaching 4.1 percent in early 2014. Vacancy now stands at 4.2 percent as of the end of the first quarter, where it has plateaued for 12 straight months. Read full story Read more

Investment managers urge REIT investors to stay the course

REITs have been one of the best-performing asset classes for the last several years, with the S&P Global REIT posting nearly 140% in returns since March 2009. However, there are fears that the expected rise in interest rates will slow momentum and cause investors to flee. Investment managers such as Wells Fargo and State Street are advising shareholders to stay put as REIT fundamentals will remain strong. Read full story Read more

Report: U.S. wages fall short of rent costs

Workers earning the state or federal minimum wage cannot afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment in any state in the U.S. unless they work 86 hours per week, finds a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The average U.S. hourly wage falls $4 short of the amount needed to work full time and afford a two-bedroom apartment. Read full story Read more

Fed officials say June is too soon to raise rates

Most Federal Reserve policymakers said at last month's meeting that June would likely be too soon to start raising interest rates, minutes show. Officials predict a rebound after the slow start to the year, and most are ready to raise rates once data confirm that the economy is on solid ground. Read full story Read more

Commercial real estate sales jump 45% in first quarter

Commercial real estate transactions rose 45% in the first quarter by dollar volume, reaching $129 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics. Deals in the pipeline for the second quarter suggest it will wind up being one of the largest on record, the firm said. The competition for properties is making it difficult to acquire single assets, insiders say. Read full story Read more

3 Things That Have Changed the Industry Over the Past 20 Years

Multifamily experts weigh in on what they believe has changed the apartment rental industry for both better and worse. Read full story Read more

10-year Treasury yield rises amid global selloff

Yield on 10-year Treasurys hit a six-month high today as the rout in global debt markets continues. Goldman Sachs attributes the trend to overblown expectations for the European Central Bank's quantitative-easing program. Read full story Read more

Cap Rate Variations

Everyone in real estate knows how to calculate a cap rate — or do they? Read full story Read more

U.S. office deliveries outpaced demand in Q1

Delivery of new office space, totaling 15 million square feet nationwide, exceeded quarterly office demand in the first quarter of 2015, according to CoStar office market data. Total net absorption registered just over 12 million square feet. Read full story Read more

CoStar Group Buying Apartment Finder to Pair With Apartments.com

CoStar Group announced an agreement to acquire Apartment Finder and pair the apartment listing website with its Apartments.com service, operating the online brands as separate, complementary services with both sites powered by CoStar's multifamily information. Read full story Read more
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