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Jeff Salladin Revere Capital Investors quote from article

Last fall’s ebullience over the Federal Reserve’s likelihood of cutting the federal funds rate early and frequently in 2024 quickly faded as inflation remained too high for the Fed’s liking. Wall Street traders who make wagers on the Fed’s actions keep pushing their rate cut bets further into the year, according to CME Group, a derivatives marketplace. In early March, for example, nearly 75 percent of traders wagered on a rate cut in June. As of early June, less than 2 percent expected one. The most recent Fed meeting, on June 13, has confirmed this assumption that a rate cut is at least months away, if not longer. If and when the central bank cuts rates this year, the cost of capital is unlikely to approach the historically low levels of the last few years. As a result, the growing interest rate mantra of “higher for longer” may be finally convincing commercial property buyers and sellers to meet on pricing. New York-based research organization MSCI Real Assets recently noted that commercial property sales continued to slow in the first quarter of 2024 — a year-over-year decline of 16 percent to $78.9 billion. But it suggested that investors might be encouraged …

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Eran Dor Pavlov Spaces Multifamily Amenities quote

The multifamily industry faces a major challenge. Final construction costs have grown 33 percent since 2019 interest rates and operational expenses are sky high; and rents may need to increase, where possible, to make deals feasible — an off-putting reality for residents. One developer solution is smaller apartments, which make units cheaper. There is also a push to add more common-space amenities that are both valuable and less costly to include. These features include rooftop spaces, green areas and decks. However, to make these spaces truly usable for today’s multifamily residents, it is important to make them technologically flexible and to offer easy internet connection. “The floor plans of most new-construction multi-dwelling units (MDUs) today are shrinking, and their amenities are expanding,” says Bryan Rader, president of MDU at networking and internet service company Pavlov Media. According to RentCafe, the average size of newly constructed apartment units fell by almost 6 percent in a decade, with half of that change occurring in the last year. Rader likens it to the “resort-style community” approach, where hotel rooms are small, and guests are encouraged to spend time everywhere else on the property. Similarly, multifamily developers create shared amenities such as comprehensive fitness …

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Demand for retail space in the first quarter of 2024 has been driven by food-and-beverage, discount and experiential sector tenants.

Economic headwinds such as elevated interest rates and persistent inflation led to mixed outcomes in the first quarter for industrial, office, retail and multifamily sectors, with market observers anticipating a contracting economy, as outlined by Lee & Associates’ 2024 Q1 North America Market Report. On the industrial front, market pressures — including interest rates and supply chain challenges — led to higher vacancy in the United States in the first quarter of the year. U.S. office space experienced its fifth consecutive year of contraction, as office worker attendance stagnated. Additional challenges, in the form of loans maturing in a high-rate environment, signal further challenges in the near future for the office landscape. Continued merchant demand, reduced closures and bankruptcies and limited supply converged to create a feeding frenzy for retail space, with vacancies at historic lows. And finally, geographically based factors drove multifamily markets, many of which (especially in the Midwest and Northeast) experienced a rebound in apartment demand fueled by rising consumer sentiment and moderating inflation, despite supply outpacing demand. Lee & Associates has made their full, first-quarter report available here (with breakdowns of cap rates by city, vacancy rates, market rents, inventory square footage and more). The summaries from each sector …

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Chad Riddle Multifamily Development Bohler quote

With elevated prices on everything from land to debt financing, insurance, building materials and labor, developers face an uphill climb attempting to pencil out multifamily projects at a profit. That’s why in 2024, developers are opting for practical and convenient amenities over luxury and choosing builder-friendly suburban locations over complex urban sites. And with diminishing room to raise rents on market-rate apartments, many investors and developers are shifting their attention to affordable and workforce housing, where incentives offset some expenses and, ideally, help position projects to deliver positive returns. “Market-rate developers in our region are starting to change their model to embrace more of an affordable product,” confirms Chad Riddle, Atlanta branch manager at Bohler. “Unfortunately, that puts them behind the eight ball because they may not know the tricks of the trade and they are competing with affordable housing developers that already know the business and are thriving.” There is no single strategy to pencil out a profitable multifamily project, but developers are achieving success by sticking to proven, cost-effective design elements and amenities, avoiding costly missteps and cutting down unnecessary spending throughout the development process. Drawing on affordable housing specialists and other in-house experts, Bohler helps clients avoid …

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AI Jeff Salladin Predictive Analytics

The emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) promises to greatly expand the property industry’s reach and abilities. Generative AI can offer suggestions, compile reports and create various types of content, ranging from video to software code. In the commercial real estate world, generative AI has the potential to harness myriad information to help owners, managers, lenders and investors assess portfolio performance, uncover operating risks and identify opportunities, among other activities, says Jeff Salladin, a managing director with Dallas-based private debt fund Revere Capital. But companies need to begin preparing for it now, he adds. “Commercial real estate can be slow to change — it wasn’t that long ago that mortgage brokers were sending us deals via overnight mail,” observes Salladin. “But whether they’re analysts or leadership teams, someone in your shop should be dipping their toe in the water and testing out AI.” Salladin also points out the need to proceed cautiously with this new technology as it evolves. Humans with expertise need to review what AI generates for the commercial real estate field. AI can narrow the focus of many tasks but cannot substitute for human reviewers or the human ability to critically apply information gleaned. AI Benefits Salladin …

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Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Affordability Programs Ian Monk quote

  A trio of social-impact lending programs is enticing enough to convince market-rate multifamily owners and investors to dip their toes into the affordable housing sector. These recently launched initiatives all promote the creation and preservation of workforce housing. Unlike low-income housing tax credits, Section 8 rent vouchers and other longstanding programs centered on helping families with low and very-low incomes to afford housing, the newest offerings primarily aim to assist missing middle renters — or those with modest-to-low incomes. That’s according to Ian Monk, deputy chief production officer for conventional multifamily at Lument — which is educating its borrowers about the competitive pricing, generous proceeds and potential for lengthy amortization periods available from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “By charter, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have a duty to help provide housing that is affordable to all people, including families with only moderately low incomes,” Monk says. “In the multifamily arena, they may serve those families in fully dedicated affordable communities, but they can also serve them in conventional, market-rate properties that adopt some affordability initiatives using one of these social-impact loan structures.” The GSEs are making a strong push in 2024 to expand participation in the three social-impact loan products, …

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Ryan Goeller Data Center Due Diligence

The data center market remains a powerhouse of growth and demand in the commercial real estate world. REBusinessOnline sat down with Ryan Goeller, a principal at NAI KLNB commercial real estate services in Virginia, to discuss the various factors impacting this dynamic asset class. REBusinessOnline: Briefly, a data center is a dedicated building housing computer servers and storage systems, constantly processing and managing data for various applications. What is the current state of the data center market? Goeller: Extremely active, with very high demand. Development pipelines are at full power and are strained in certain markets. Leasing demand is through the roof. REBusinessOnline: What types of tenants use these data centers, and what are their space needs? Goeller: The majority of the time, the need for space is so insatiable that entire buildings are leased to single users, especially when it comes to large hyperscale computing projects. However, there are still colocation providers housing smaller tenants in certain buildings. A lot of the activity happening in Northern Virginia is hyperscale activity. These are large tech companies coming in and building 2-million-square-foot campuses that they’re fully occupying themselves. In these instances, the tenants aren’t likely to move once they occupy a space; …

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Katie Balderrama Walker & Dunlop LIHTC quote

It’s a tough time for much of multifamily development, but the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program offers incentives that make much-needed affordable housing comparatively easier to achieve under the current economic conditions. Building is expensive and financing is tight in the current multifamily market. However, as it has for the last 30 years, the LIHTC program provides solutions that increase the ease of creating and sustaining affordable housing, even when the overall multifamily market faces challenges. The program not only promotes the construction and acquisition of housing but also enforces conditions that help maintain the stability and preservation of affordable properties. The program is also needed to address the demand for affordable housing. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that extremely low-income households represent 25 percent of the nation’s 44.1 million renters and reports a shortage of 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes. Historical Financial Resilience “The LIHTC asset class is resilient, if not countercyclical, under challenging economic times,” says Katie Balderrama, executive vice president of affordable equity at Walker & Dunlop. The firm typically sees a foreclosure rate of under 1 percent on properties supported by LIHTC. “Overall, our affordable housing assets tend to perform fairly …

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Industrial Lee & Associates Q4 2023

High costs, modulating occupancies and a lack of financing options reshaped the industrial, office, retail and multifamily sectors in the fourth quarter of 2023, signaling the determining factors for 2024, according to Lee & Associates’ 2023 Q4 North America Market Report. The industrial sector saw stabilizing tenant demand — the number of new buildings delivered increased in the fourth quarter, while new construction starts slowed. Meanwhile, the office sector’s struggles deepened as more than half of the office leases signed pre-2020 approach their expiration by 2026. With low-rate loans maturing into a high-rate environment, the factors troubling the office sector seem insurmountable in this decade. In the retail market, low vacancies did not lead to booming construction in that sector in the last quarter of 2023 — financing costs plus land and labor costs have hampered new development in spite of high demand. Finally, the health of multifamily markets is tied closely to geography. Sun Belt multifamily properties and their Midwest and Northeastern market counterparts are seeing reversals from the multifamily trends of 2021: formerly fast-growing Sun Belt markets are experiencing slowed rent growth or rent decline, while rent growth for slower-growing, major North and Midwestern metros has grown steadily. Lee & Associates …

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Olshonsky NAI Global 2024 Outlook

If NAI Global president and CEO Jay Olshonsky had to use one word to sum up the 2023 commercial real estate market, it would be “inactive.” The interest rate-fueled bid-ask spread stifled investment sales of all property types, and in the office sector especially, tenants avoided making any space decisions if they didn’t have to. One month into 2024, not much has changed. From an investment sales perspective, Olshonsky still sees properties offered at capitalization rates between 4 and 5 percent while interest rates are 6 percent or higher, which is prolonging the disconnect between buyers and sellers. Meanwhile, robust job creation well beyond today’s levels is needed to create the leasing demand that will reverse the office sector’s troubles in the new era of hybrid work. But that’s not likely to happen in 2024 as the tech sector, in particular, continues to lay off workers.  “I’ve been in the real estate business a long time, and this is a cycle unlike most others,” says Olshonsky. “The biggest problem we have right now is mainly record-high office vacancy just about everywhere — certainly in the large cities — which we’ve never really seen before. On the investment side, lenders cannot …

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