Coronavirus outbreak threatens industrial real estate returns

Pensions & Investments | March 17, 2020

Industrial properties have been a top-performing real estate sector but, though still early, COVID-19 could cut into returns, according to a recent presentation to CalSTRS officials. Warehouses in the U.S. earned 13.4% in 2019, the only sector to produce double-digit returns in the NCREIF Property index, according to data from the NCREIF data. The second highest-performing sector of NCREIF Property index was office with 6.6%. While hotels have been the hard hit by the coronavirus, the industry recently is beginning to see "chinks in the armor" in industrial properties, especially those in the port market, Taylor Mammen, a Los Angeles-based senior managing director based in at consulting firm RCLCO, told the CalSTRS' investment committee on March 4. California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, has a 13% target real estate allocation, with $34.2 billion invested in real estate as of Sept. 30, according to its latest semi-annual real estate report. A combination of factors, including new warehouse construction and "drastically increasing rents" added to problems warehouse tenants have had with reduced cargo from China — are causing warehouse users to question whether they need more warehouse space, Mr. Mammen said. The coronavirus is starting to impact the price buyers are willing to pay for warehouses, he said.

Spotlight

Looking to buy a home in Seattle or Las Vegas? You might want to hurry, as prices are rising fast—and showing no signs of slowing down. The just-released Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows home prices in most major markets are increasing steadily, with the west coast being especially hot. Seattle has been a fast-growing market for months. In the past year, the price of the average single-family home has gone up 12.7%. That’s more than twice the national average of 6.21%.

Spotlight

Looking to buy a home in Seattle or Las Vegas? You might want to hurry, as prices are rising fast—and showing no signs of slowing down. The just-released Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index shows home prices in most major markets are increasing steadily, with the west coast being especially hot. Seattle has been a fast-growing market for months. In the past year, the price of the average single-family home has gone up 12.7%. That’s more than twice the national average of 6.21%.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Built Expands Commercial Real Estate Product Suite for Lenders With Acquisition of Nativ

Built Technologies | August 01, 2022

Built Technologies, a leading software provider for real estate lenders and the construction industry, announced that it has acquired Nativ, a leading deal management platform for commercial real estate (CRE) lenders. The acquisition will enhance Built’s existing product suite for commercial lenders and enable improved underwriting and asset management capabilities across construction, transitional, and stabilized assets. Built Co-Founder and CEO Chase Gilbert said, “After years working with top real estate lenders in the US and Canada, our customers began voicing their desire for us to help them solve new problems beyond just managing their construction loans. Our customers were experiencing difficulties with the underwriting and asset-management of loans as well as with aggregate portfolio management and reporting. When we were introduced to Nativ, the powerful tools to streamline these very processes were an obvious fit. This acquisition will also give Built access to a rich data set for how various real estate assets are performing, allowing us to provide innovative risk intelligence products to our customers over time.” “Built’s construction lending solution offers our real estate clients an enhanced banking experience and aligns with Regions’ goal of innovating through technology. The recently announced collaboration between Built and Nativ is exciting, as the combined platform specializes in both construction and stabilized commercial real estate transaction management and allows lenders to work in their native workflows–all while benefiting from a centralized, audited, and enriched data model in the cloud.” – Tan Phillips, Regions Real Estate Banking CRE lenders often silo information required to make intelligent lending decisions. Managing this information manually is expensive and exposes lenders to unnecessary risk. This approach prevents lenders from making strategic decisions in a timely manner, constraining growth and hurting portfolio profitability. Nativ’s platform solves this by: Providing a centralized, collaborative system of record that synchronizes deal data across each loan stage Enabling lenders to integrate portfolio management while preserving familiar or “native” workflows including spreadsheets, and complementing common loan origination and servicing systems Layering on alerts and monitoring to validate loan covenant compliance Delivering flexible portfolio analytics, reporting and monitoring to manage risks and automate common tasks “Joining forces with Built will fundamentally change how lenders and owners work together, Lenders have long been underserved by a lack of modern, industry-specific tools to speed the process of closing and managing loans. Together, we will change the way lenders and owners transact in the entire ‘built’ world.” Jeff Saul, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Nativ Saul and co-founder Adam Kerr join Built’s leadership team. The deal brings Built’s headcount to over 430 and expands the company’s presence in New York City. Built now serves over 220 lenders, including some of the largest non-bank lenders such as AllianceBernstein, Prime Finance and Benefit Street Partners. About Built Built is the leading provider of construction and real estate finance technology. By providing a centralized platform for all stakeholders, Built enables increased efficiency, collaboration, transparency, and business agility—with decreased risk—allowing customers to improve the way that the communities around them are built and managed. The Built platform is used by more than 220 leading North American lenders and asset managers, and thousands of developers, home builders and contractors. About Nativ Nativ is a leading enterprise software provider to the Commercial Real Estate investment industry. Nativ has helped clients across the country invest in and manage billions of CRE assets. Products focus on workflow automation and the use of proprietary technology to optimize the underwriting and investment decision process through improved harnessing and utilization of deal data. Clients include funds, REITs, banks and insurance companies across the U.S.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Capital Square Launches $300 Million Multifamily Institutional Development Fund

Capital Square | May 25, 2022

Capital Square, a national real estate investor and an active developer of multifamily communities, announced the launch of Capital Square Multifamily Development Fund I, L.P. The fund seeks to raise up to $300 million in equity from institutional investors who will participate in the development of a portfolio of ground-up, multifamily real estate communities located in emerging secondary markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States. There is a shortage of quality housing that traces its origin to the Great Real Estate Recession. The shortage was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that delayed or halted many new developments. To accelerate the development of new Class A institutional-quality multifamily communities, the fund will focus on shovel-ready, ground-up sites. Capital Square is bullish on Class A multifamily investments that generate an unrivaled combination of stable cash flow, appreciation potential and inflation protection. Investors are flocking to the multifamily asset class." Louis Rogers, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Square Capital Square Multifamily Development Fund I continues Capital Square's focus on investing in quality multifamily assets that have an opportunity to provide outsized returns to investors. The fund will invest in the limited partner equity portion of the capital stack and will focus on emerging secondary growth markets (e.g., Richmond, Charleston, and Knoxville) that lack institutional capital investment, including Richmond, Virginian, Charleston, South Carolina, and Knoxville, Tennessee. "The housing crisis in this country has created strengthening fundamentals in our target markets, and multifamily investment continues to provide strong opportunities for compelling risk-adjusted returns for investors and will do so for the foreseeable future," said Whitson Huffman, chief strategy and investment officer. Capital Square Multifamily Development Fund I seeks to invest in more than $850 million of development projects. The portfolio is expected to be comprised primarily of multifamily developments sponsored by one of Capital Square's vetted joint venture development partners. Under its current growth strategy, Capital Square plans to launch additional multifamily development fund offerings approximately every two years. Over the past 10 years, Capital Square has completed more than $5.6 billion in real estate transactions in emerging secondary markets, including the acquisition of 13,100 multifamily units. Additionally, Capital Square is currently developing eight multifamily projects totaling 1,954 units. The company has cultivated an extensive network of owners, developers, and commercial real estate brokers that provide comprehensive sourcing ability and market intelligence. About Capital Square Capital Square is a national real estate firm specializing in tax-advantaged real estate investments, including Delaware statutory trusts for Section 1031 exchanges, qualified opportunity zone funds for tax deferral and exclusion and a real estate investment trust (REIT). In recent years the company has become an active developer of multifamily properties in the southeastern US, with eight current projects totaling approximately 2,000 apartment units with a total development cost in excess of $600 million. Since 2012, Capital Square has completed more than $5.6 billion in transaction volume. Capital Square's executive team has decades of experience in real estate investments. Capital Square's related entities provide a range of services, including due diligence, acquisition, loan sourcing, property/asset management, and disposition, for a growing number of high-net-worth investors, private equity firms, family offices and institutional investors. Since 2017, Capital Square has been recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation for four consecutive years. In 2017, 2018 and 2020, the company was also ranked on Richmond BizSense's list of fastest growing companies. Additionally, Capital Square was listed by Virginia Business on their "Best Places to Work in Virginia" report in 2019 and their "Fantastic 50" reports in 2019 and 2020.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Doma’s Technology-First Title Solution Enables Financial Freedom for Point Home Equity Customers

Doma Holdings | July 28, 2022

Doma Holdings, Inc. a leading force for disruptive change in the real estate industry, today announced that Point, a home equity financial platform, is leveraging the Doma Intelligence platform to quickly scale its operations and provide more financial freedom to its customers. Through Doma’s machine learning-driven Intelligence Platform, Point is experiencing some of the fastest title commitments and customer service responses in the industry, further matching Point’s goal for growth and customer satisfaction. Prior to working with Doma, title clear-to-close was a source of delays for Point and its customers. As a company focused on scaling its Home Equity Investment (HEI) offering, Point needed a like-minded, tech-forward partner to enable its growth without sacrificing the quality of customer service. Since onboarding with Doma, Point has increased its order volume by approximately 200 percent across 17 states in only four months. Further, Point has received title clearance in under a minute in over 70 percent of its orders. “Previously, getting title clear-to-close was a common source of delays for us, which ultimately jeopardized the closing dates, causing angst for our affected customers,” said Eddie Lim, CEO and co-founder at Point. “Since partnering with Doma, we have seen both a reduction in delays related to title and an increase in positive feedback from homeowners about the smooth process—a win-win for everyone involved.” Using Doma’s proprietary, machine learning technology backed by a first-class operations team, Point was able to improve many of its key operational metrics, including processing times for title commitments, time to receive clear to close for investments and customer service responses. As a result, Point is able to provide its customers with a different way to access to their home equity, putting thousands of homeowners on a path towards financial independence. “It’s inspiring to see how Point has implemented Doma’s technology to enable homeowners to access their home equity, We look forward to continuing to support Point’s rapid growth and our shared commitment to providing homeowners with an instant and frictionless closing experience.” Max Simkoff, Doma CEO About Doma Doma is a real estate technology company that is disrupting a century-old industry by building an instant and frictionless home closing experience for buyers and sellers. Doma uses proprietary machine intelligence technology and deep human expertise to create a vastly more simple and affordable experience for everyone involved in a residential real estate transaction, including current and prospective homeowners, mortgage lenders, title agents, and real estate professionals. With Doma, what used to take days can now be done in minutes, replacing an arcane and cumbersome process with a digital experience designed for today's world. About Point Point is a home equity platform that makes home wealth more valuable for everyone. With a Home Equity Investment (HEI) from Point, homeowners can unlock their home equity, enabling them to eliminate debt, get through periods of financial hardship, and diversify their wealth. For investors, Point provides access to a previously untapped asset class in the residential real estate space. Founded in 2015 by Eddie Lim, Eoin Matthews and Alex Rampell, Point is backed by top investors including Westcap, Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, Greylock Partners, Bloomberg Beta, Redwood Trust, Atalaya Capital Management, Kingsbridge Wealth Management, Deer Park Road Management, The Palisades Group, Alpaca VC, and Prudential. To date, Point has raised over $170 million in equity capital. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA.

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