New US single-family home sales rose 3.1% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units. The August sales pace was revised down to 575,000 from the 609,000 estimate.
Public non-listed REITs such as Inland Residential Properties Trust are making changes to fee structures in an effort to become more attractive to investors. Blackstone Group, which launched its first public non-listed REIT in August, has introduced a new model that has four classes of shares, each with a different fee structure.
Vacant retail space on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue is rising as retailers decline to pay average asking rents of $3,213 per square foot, up from $2,075 a square foot in 2011, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The availability rate reached 15.9% in the third quarter, compared with 10% a year ago.
Micro-unit apartments, a staple in New York City, are popping in Washington, D.C. A handful of such buildings are catering to young professionals willing to trade living space for desirable urban neighborhoods.
In a note issued by Moody's Investors Service, the organization states that only a few specialty retailers, such as Toys R Us and Best Buy Co. Inc., benefit from being open on Thanksgiving and that most should stay closed. "We believe most retailers would be best served shifting dollars spent on Thanksgiving openings by pulling their web specials forward and picking off some additional sales earlier in the week, and offering heavier in-store promotions over the weekend," Moody's writes.
Retailers need to focus on a "less is more" strategy in today's shopping climate by turning stores into a brand experience and creating demand through limited-edition sales rather than oversupplying products on shelves. It's also important that retailers work to break the discount cycle American shoppers are addicted to and instead reward loyal brand fans.
A new public non-listed REIT called Rich Uncles is pitching directly to small investors, suggesting they can earn 7% annual dividends and invest as little as $500. Company officials say they are cutting out the middleman, allowing more of investors' money to go toward real estate.
Commercial real estate transaction volume is expected to decline about 21% from $545 billion in 2015 to $428 billion in 2018, according to a survey of economists by the Urban Land Institute Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. Economists also said vacancy rates are likely to remain low, which will lead to rent and property price appreciation.
Reports from the National Multifamily Housing Council and the Urban Land Institute signal that the apartment market is softening. Rent growth is expected to moderate in the coming years, though it will remain above the 20-year average, the ULI report says.
Senior-housing and care property sales totaled $2 billion in the third quarter, the slowest quarterly pace since mid-2013, according to Real Capital Analytics. Reasons for the slowdown include fewer megadeals and changing pricing.
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