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Central business district hotels that cater to business travelers and conference attendees are struggling to refinance loans because their property values have plunged due to the pandemic, GlobeSt.com reported March 9. Approximately $31 billion of CMBS loans backed by hotels are set to mature by 2024, and properties can’t refinance because lenders are demanding more capital.
A construction surge in the multifamily sector over the next two years is expected to add a near-record 716,000 new units and create a short-term oversupply, according to CBRE, MBA NewsLink reported March 9. The surge, while short-lived, could push the sector’s vacancy to a peak of 5.2% (up from 4.6%) by the end of the year.
New Jersey, Illinois and California are home to 31 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to potential declines in the housing market, ATTOM reported March 9. Among the reasons the counties are at risk are unaffordable housing and high rates of underwater mortgages, foreclosures and unemployment.
Forty-four percent of consumers think now is a bad time to sell a home, up from 39% in February, and 24% are concerned about losing their job in the next year, Fannie Mae reported March 7 in its Home Purchase Sentiment Index. However, the percentage of respondents who think it’s a good time to buy a home ticked up over the month, rising from 17% to 20%.
The Washington state House of Representatives passed a bill March 6 that would legalize duplexes and fourplexes in virtually every city in Washington, the Seattle Times reported. If enacted, the legislation, which aims to alleviate housing supply issues, likely would end local zoning rules that only allow single-family properties.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee March 7 that policymakers may have to accelerate the pace of interest rate increases to help keep inflation in check, CNBC reported. Powell noted that getting inflation down to 2% is going to take time and likely will be challenging.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, retains its title as the nation’s most expensive office submarket for the second consecutive year, with space there commanding $1,803 per square foot — up 16% from last year, Property Shark reported March 9. Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Manhattan also top the list.
Some residential markets along the East Coast saw an unexpected uptick in activity over the past month, but most housing markets in the U.S. remained subdued, the Federal Reserve reported March 8 in its latest Beige Book. Commercial activity was mostly stagnant, with a slight uptick in industrial activity but notable declines in the office sector.
Mortgage rates rose again during the past week and slowly are making their way back up to 7%, a direct reversal of what was happening at the beginning of the year, Freddie Mac reported March 9 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates are expected to continue climbing as the Federal Reserve pursues more aggressive monetary policies.
There are more than 70,000 lake homes and lots for sale in the U.S. with a combined value of more than $33 billion, up from the 60,000 or so properties available last spring with a combined value of around $26 billion, according to the Lake Real Estate Market report released March 9. Lake Michigan has the largest available inventory, followed by Puget Sound in Washington and Lake Norman in North Carolina.
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