Real estate is the best major market for investors right now, says Starwood Capital Group Chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht. Real estate offers an opportunity for better yields, and it can provide protection against rising inflation, which Sternlicht says is currently masked by low oil prices.
Taubman Centers' Chinese investment strategy includes targeting the secondary cities of Xian and Zhengzhou because of the potential higher returns they offer, according to Asia President Rene Tremblay. Taubman looked at more than 100 cities in China, bypassing Beijing and Shanghai, before deciding on these two locales.
Weaknesses have emerged in the bond market, with credit-rating firms downgrading companies at the fastest pace since the financial crisis. Debt is rising relative to cash flow, and profits at large companies could sink for the second quarter in a row.
Commercial mortgage-backed securities loan delinquencies dropped six basis points in September from the previous month for all property types, for a 4.46% delinquency rate, according to Fitch Ratings. Year over year, the delinquency rate has fallen 31 basis points. The hotel and industrial sectors have made the most improvement.
Crown Castle sees small-cell technology as a growth driver. It accounts for 8% of the REIT's overall revenue and is growing 30% year over year, according to Mike Kavanagh, president of small cell for Crown Castle. So far, only two carriers are spending on this technology. When all four of the major carriers do, it will put Crown Castle "in a pretty good position," Kavanagh said.
Inland Real Estate Income Trust has acquired two retail centers for a total of $174 million. The properties are Settlers Ridge in Pittsburgh and Milford Marketplace in Milford, Conn.
Shares of REIT self-storage providers have risen to double-digit levels as fundamentals in this "recession resistant" space boom. There is limited supply entering the market, and demographic patterns are pushing demand.
NexPoint Residential Trust -- which publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange on April 1 -- targets garden-style apartments and improves them, realizing a 25% return, says Matt McGraner, an executive vice president. Its largest markets are Dallas and Atlanta. "We see them as having the best job growth and household formation for us and our strategy in the near term," says McGraner.
Wal-Mart Stores has named Wal-Mart International Finance Chief Brett Biggs as its new chief financial officer, effective when current CFO Charles Holley retires at the end of the year after more than 20 years with the company. The retailer also named Steve Bratspies as chief merchandising officer for its more than 4,500 US stores, a post that has been vacant since last November.
Major US retailers including Macy's, Kohl's, Target, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us are in the midst of holiday hiring, anticipating a season that will bring a 3.7% increase in sales, according to NRF data. Retailers beef up their staffs at this crucial time of year to keep service levels up and stay competitive without paying excessive overtime to permanent staffers, retail consultant Bob Phibbs said.
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