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Only 43,000 properties at high risk of flooding have been sold to the government since 1989, but data released Oct. 9 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency showed that millions more may need to be purchased due to climate change, Bloomberg reported. The data also revealed that FEMA is unprepared for a massive, government-subsidized real estate buyout.
CoStar Group announced Oct. 1 that it will acquire global hospitality and benchmarking firm STR for $450 million in cash, allowing CoStar to provide data and analytics on the $3 trillion hotel asset class. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter.
Cap rates for retail, industrial and office properties in the single-tenant net lease investment sector fell for the second consecutive quarter, according to the Net Lease Market Report released Oct. 8 by investment services firm The Boulder Group, GlobeSt.com reported. The Federal Reserve’s interest rate reduction was cited as a key factor for the second-quarter drop.
Investor interest in medical office buildings remains strong, with roughly $4.7 billion in sales during the first half of the year, according to healthcare property analytics firm Revista, National Real Estate Investor reported Oct. 8. Pricing remains tight for MOBs, with cap rates averaging 6.6% during the second quarter, and 6.4% during the past 12 months.
The retail sector is growing, with vacancy rates during the third quarter showing slight improvement and asking rents posting slight increases, according to the Retail Sector Preliminary Trends report from analytics firm Reis, MBA NewsLink reported Oct. 10. The sector is expected to continue growing at its current slow but steady rate due to healthy consumer spending.
Smaller investors interested in real estate deals in the hospitality sector should look to the casino space, according to real estate services firm CBRE, National Real Estate Investor reported Oct. 8. Several major casino operators have merged and are spinning off assets that could become winning acquisitions for investors looking for smart bets.
Freddie Mac on Oct. 10 introduced its Duty to Serve Mapping Plan, a tool designed to help lenders identify investment opportunities in underserved markets. The mapping tool synchronizes data from multiple sources to identify rural, high-need and residential economic diversity census tracts and whether those tracts have major public subsidies or Duty to Serve designations.
Greater wealth and low mortgage rates have increased both demand and prices for vacation homes, the National Association of Realtors reported Oct. 10 in its U.S. Vacation Home Counties Report. The median price for homes in counties popular with second-home buyers increased 36% between 2013 and 2018, compared to a 31% increase for all existing and new homes sold.
Steady real estate returns are expected through 2021, the Urban Land Institute reported Oct. 2 in its Real Estate Economic Forecast. On the commercial side, relatively high but moderating transaction volumes are expected, with continued but moderating price appreciation and rent growth. On the residential side, strong single-family housing starts are expected, but at levels below long-term averages.
Housing affordability has been trending below historic averages for several years, but in September it reached its second most affordable level in the past 20 months — trailing only August, according to a report from analytics firm Black Knight, HousingWire reported Oct. 7. Monthly payments on an average-price home require just 20.7% of the national median income.
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