Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/29/2020

Zombies on the run, sales surge dips, new Transamerica tower owner, real estate investing facts, and content houses.

In Today’s News

ATTOM Data Solutions Sees Slide in Zombie Foreclosures

The living dead are on the run this Halloween season; at least those that are vacant houses. ATTOM Data Solutions reported today the number of foreclosed homes sitting empty across the country (known as zombie foreclosures) has fallen 4.4% in the past three months.

Why it matters: The number-cruncher’s quarterly report also says the number of homes in the foreclosure process itself also has fallen, but the expiration of moratoriums and no stimulus help for the unemployed in sight could soon make things downright scary.

NAR Reports Dip in Month-Over-Month Sales

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says house sales, as measured by new contracts signed, fell 2.2% in September from October after four straight months of gains. However, the sales

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/28/2020

Housing affordability vs. the election and wildfires, CubeSmart makes big buy in Big Apple, Swedish experiment in multigenerational living, and the year that was in multifamily housing.

In Today’s News

What Voters are Saying About Housing This Election Season

Because it’s time to do this sort of thing, the National Association of Home Builders surveyed registered voters around the country and reports these two takeaways: A larger portion of respondents feels Democrats are more likely to address housing affordability than the GOP and a large majority of respondents are in favor of an additional financial stimulus.

Why it matters: There’s more to read here, but the results do point to housing affordability, and the pandemic’s effects on the economy has major issues as next Tuesday comes rushing toward us.

Housing Affordability Crisis Deepens in Fire-Prone Parts of California

The Wall Street Journal [subscription required] reports today that insurance companies are

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/26/2020

New home sales cool a bit, Blackstone’s big bet on self-storage, CRE sales down and up, price dips and house flips, implications of another panic-buying wave.

In Today’s News

Monthly New Home Sales Dip from August to September

Sales of newly built homes actually took a breather in September, the federal government says, declining by 3.5% from August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 959,000. But that’s still 32% higher than September 2019.

Why it matters: What goes up must slow down, it seems. Demand for new construction is still being driven by low interest rates and rising demand in lower-density markets, like suburbs and exurbs, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) points out.

Blackstone’s Private REIT to Buy Simply Self Storage for $1.2 Billion

Blackstone (NYSE: BX) Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) today announced it would buy Simply Self Storage from a Brookfield Asset Management real estate fund

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/23/2020

Gap closing hundreds of stores, hotels into apartments, reeling REITs, Party City not investing in Halloween so much, and a look at a millionaire-making REIT.

In Today’s News

Gap Inc. Closing 350 Stores in Transition From Malls to E-Commerce

More bad news for the beleaguered brick-and-mortar crowd as Gap (NYSE: GPS) announces plans to close 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores, including about 225 in the next year.

Why it matters: Wall Street loved the news, driving up the company’s stock, but retail REITs, and those who own them, may not feel the same about the coming gap in those portfolios if these stores are currently their tenants.

Turning Guests Into Tenants, Hotels Into Apartments

The hotel business is in a world of hurt. Could some of these depressed properties get new life as apartments? It’s happening already.

Why it matters: This piece focuses on the Los Angeles market,

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/22/2020

Bracing for unrest by boarding up storefronts, WeWork says ‘We’re well,’ tech tenants still employ huge numbers, residential sales soar but some markets look more vulnerable than others.

In Today’s News

U.S. Retailers Secure Stores as Election Unrest Worries Mount

Reuters reports that as security experts warn that the U.S. presidential election could spark renewed civil unrest, some stores remain clad in plywood from recent troubles and insurers and risk experts report more are boarding up, or should.

Why it matters: Because, well, 2020. Not a happy read here but information that property investors might want to know.

WeWork Says Company’s Balance Sheet As Strong As Any Tenant’s

The co-working space giant has cut its selling, general, and administrative expenses, jettisoned “unnecessary systems,” and rightsized its labor force.

Why it matters: WeWork itself occupies a lot of rented office space around the country. Its recovery could bode well for those

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/21/2020

Rental concessions, some new nonpublic CRE REITs for small investors, Ventas goes big on San Francisco life sciences space, a new cannabis REIT for the picking, and think twice about family pics on the wall.

In Today’s News

Rental Beast Finds Concessions Abound Across the Country

As property owners, managers, and renters continue to grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Rental Beast listing service is finding significant concessions in multiple major markets.

Why it matters: This data not only shares where landlords might have to make do with less but by how much.

Commercial Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) for Small Investors See Increasing Demand

The Wall Street Journal reports today that a new type of nonpublic CRE fund that targets small investors is raking money in again after demand cooled during the early months of the pandemic.

Why it matters: This could be a promising

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/20/2020

Electing affordable housing, student housing “black swan,” Amazon and CRE, housing starts, and an mREIT to consider.

In Today’s News

How the Election Could Impact Affordable Housing

This piece on looks at policy statements and practices and concludes that while either Trump or Biden could choose to make housing affordability a priority in their administration — and either could make a big impact — each candidate would certainly use different methods.

Why it matters: The multiple ways affordable housing can attract, reward, or tax private investment could see some real change, whether the incumbent or challenger wins the White House.

COVID-19 Called ‘Black Swan’ for Student Housing, but Outlook Is Promising

Occupancy rates were notably down for student housing this fall, understandably, but that could well prove to be an aberration. That’s one takeaway from a panel discussion co-hosted by the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Why it matters:

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/19/2020

Major SFR deal, new construction sentiment soars, making moves and movies, the deal with SRO, and San Francisco’s troubles.

In Today’s News

SFR Operator Front Yard (NYSE: RESI) to Be Taken Private in $2.4 Billion Deal says the deal will make Pretium the second-largest owner and operator of single-family rental (SFR) housing in the United States.

Why it matters: As this article points out, there are several other major players diving deep into this housing segment. Individual real estate investors may want to explore their own options, including real estate investment trusts (REITs) that specialize in the SFR space.

NAHB: Builder Confidence Continues Record Climb

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported today that its housing market index has hit a record high for the second month in a row.

Why it matters: Builders are on the ground floor of the housing market, and their confidence is nationwide,

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/16/2020

New house sales surge, cold storage is also hot, a tale of NYC apartment buying, Seritage REIT ruminations, and some vacation rental owner advice.

In Today’s News

New House Sales Outpacing New House Starts by Historic Margin

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says housing demand has increased so rapidly in recent months that there’s now an unprecedented gap between the number of new single-family home sales and the pace of construction starts.

Why it matters: The NAHB says this kind of demand — created by low interest rates, low supply, and demand from people seeking more space — could go on for a while. That’s of investor interest for spec houses and good deals if you can find them.

Growing Demand for Cold Storage Spurs Spec Projects

This piece from National Real Estate Investor lays out how with rising online grocery deliveries, developers and investors see an opportunity

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Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 10/15/2020

Mall repurposing downer, affordable housing war chest, remodeling rally, the Supreme Court and private property, Broadway bummer.

In Today’s News

Barclays: Mall Repurposing Could Sharply Cut Property Values

CNBC says a new Barclays (NYSE: BCS) report predicts turning shuttered malls into fulfillment centers (as Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) is looking to do), apartment complexes, schools, or medical offices could mean massive write-offs in property values.

Why it matters: This isn’t good news for the 15% to 17% of U.S. malls that will need to undergo that transformation to be occupied at all, this analysis says, nor for commercial investors who have money directly in those properties or in real estate investment trusts (REITs) that own them.

Affordable Housing Developers Build War Chests to Buy Properties

National Real Estate Investor says some buyers who want to keep properties affordable are hoping to snap up assets that otherwise might be converted to market-rate

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