Home Prices Surge in U.S. as Low Mortgage Rates Attract Buyers

BloombergQuint | February 12, 2020

Buyers are rushing into the U.S. housing market to take advantage of falling borrowing costs. Now, they’re facing rising prices. The median price of an existing single-family home gained 6.6% in the fourth quarter, hitting $274,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was the biggest year-over-year gain in nearly three years. By comparison, the annual gain in the third quarter was 5.1%.

Spotlight

While we highly recommend you work with an experienced local Realtor when selling your home, it’s also a good idea to have a solid understanding of the process. This infographic not only outlines a step by step road map for selling a home

Spotlight

While we highly recommend you work with an experienced local Realtor when selling your home, it’s also a good idea to have a solid understanding of the process. This infographic not only outlines a step by step road map for selling a home

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY,REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Berkadia Signs Multiyear Agreement With Esusu

Berkadia and Esusu | September 08, 2022

Berkadia announced today that it signed an agreement with Esusu, the leading financial technology company leveraging rental data for credit building. This partnership unlocks greater equity for renters, improves property performance for multifamily owners and operators and reduces lender risk. With a mission to dismantle barriers to housing for working families, Esusu reports on-time rent payments to the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Transunion, and Experian, to establish and boost credit scores for residents. The collaboration, which launched in the Spring of 2021, has expanded to over 34,000 units, establishing over 5,300 credit scores for residents to date. “We could not be happier to have a multi-year agreement with Esusu, which allows Berkadia to extend a powerful property performance enhancing solution to our clients, This will help owners and operators reach their own ESG goals at an exceptional value and support Esusu’s critical and innovative objective–helping renters build and improve their credit.” -Bryce Nyberg, Director of Berkadia Digital Partnering to Provide Value and Solutions Seeing the value Esusu could bring to the entire residential ecosystem, a partnership was formed when Esusu joined Berkadia’s inaugural BeEngaged program in February 2020. The partnership has proven to be mutually beneficial and has helped Berkadia develop a competitive advantage as an attractive funding source to owners and operators who value Esusu as both an economic and social solution. Through Berkadia’s introduction, Esusu services over 285 properties across more than 10 management companies including Burbank Housing, Comunidad, Eagle Property Capital, Morgan Properties, Odin Properties and more. As a workforce housing provider operating primarily in the inner city, Odin Properties has long been focused on supporting quality of life for our residents, In Esusu, we found a solution and a team that helped further that goal by allowing residents unprecedented access to the financial system, while improving property performance. It has been encouraging to see Esusu grow as their message rightfully resonates with so many different housing stakeholders,said Phil Balderston, Founder & CEO of Odin Properties LLC. Supporting an Equitable Housing Market Throughout the partnership, there has been growing industry awareness around the criticality of equity in multifamily housing. This was further emphasized when Esusu announced a collaboration with Freddie Mac. Through their joint initiative in support of increasing equitability in the housing market, Freddie Mac provides closing cost credits to multifamily borrowers who agree to use Esusu to report on-time rental payments. Esusu also provides discounted pricing for these and other Freddie Mac borrowers who agree to report on-time rental payments through the platform. Our credit building initiative has helped build or establish credit scores for tens of thousands of multifamily renters nationwide, It is an essential component of our effort to build a more equitable multifamily housing system,said Corey Aber, Vice President of Mission, Policy and Strategy for Freddie Mac Multifamily. Utilizing Real-Time Data for Returns Esusu not only improves the quality of life for residents but also helps properties maximize net operating income (NOI). By adding Esusu to Berkadia’s expansive network, borrowers can see scalable social impact results–credit score increases, new established scores, eviction prevention–as well as economic returns through improved rent collections, reduced delinquencies and renter turnover, and thereby healthier cash flows. We are grateful for our long-standing collaboration with Berkadia, The firm took an early bet on Esusu through their BeEngaged program which has paved the way for Esusu’s proliferation throughout the marketplace. Berkadia has shared our vision from day one and their foresight has led to adoption by other lenders and sponsors throughout the industry. Together, we will continue to create a world-class experience for their sponsors while taking tangible steps towards dismantling barriers to housing and bridging the racial wealth gap,said Samir Goel and Wemimo Abbey, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Esusu. About BeEngaged Launched in 2019, the BeEngaged program advises and accelerates startups that are redefining the commercial real estate industry by providing them with resources, strategic counsel, and a collaborative network to test and grow innovative concepts. Since then, the organization has accelerated more than a dozen CRE tech startups, including Esusu. BeEngaged features three stages to foster innovation and collaboration across the commercial real estate industry: BeEngaged Network®, Verified Status, and the BeEngaged Lab®. The BeEngaged Network® develops an ecosystem of founders, industry professionals, and capital providers dedicated to redefining the commercial real estate space. Companies participating in the BeEngaged Network® that have proven potential for long-term growth and industry transformation can be invited to seek Verified Status (VP). This stage provides company founders with focused mentorship for validating strategic alignment to participants of the BeEngaged ecosystem through experiments and pilots. Successful VP companies are invited to join BeEngaged Lab®, which is a catalyst for founders and Berkadia to collaborate on long-term initiatives. About Berkadia® Berkadia, a joint venture of Berkshire Hathaway and Jefferies Financial Group, is a leader in the commercial real estate industry, offering a robust suite of services to our multifamily and commercial property clients. Through our integrated mortgage banking, investment sales and servicing platform, Berkadia delivers comprehensive real estate solutions for the entire life cycle of our clients’ assets. About Esusu Esusu is the leading financial technology platform that leverages data solutions to empower residents and improve property performance. Esusu's rent reporting platform captures rental payment data and reports it to credit bureaus to boost credit scores. This allows renters to build and establish their credit scores while helping property owners mitigate against initiating evictions, powered by differentiated data and insights. Founded in 2018, Esusu reaches over 2.5 million rental units across all 50 states in the U.S.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

ASCOTT ACQUIRES OAKWOOD WORLDWIDE TO FAST-TRACK GROWTH TO OVER 150,000 UNITS GLOBALLY

The Ascott Limited | July 05, 2022

CapitaLand Investment Limited's (CLI) wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott) announced it is acquiring Oakwood Worldwide (Oakwood), a premier global serviced apartment provider, from Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. The acquisition increases Ascott's global portfolio by 81 properties and about 15,000 units. Oakwood's approximately 8,500 operational units are expected to immediately contribute to Ascott's recurring fee income streams upon completion of the transaction slated in 3Q 2022. Ascott's acquisition of Oakwood will leapfrog Ascott's global presence to more than 150,000 units in about 900 properties across over 200 cities in 39 countries. It will add new markets which include Cheongju in South Korea; Zhangjiakou and Qingdao in China; Dhaka in Bangladesh as well as Washington D.C. in the United States of America (USA). Recently named the 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' in DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2022, Oakwood's award-winning portfolio includes flagship properties Oakwood Premier Tokyo and Oakwood Premier Coex Center Seoul which were ranked top 10 properties in their respective countries in the DestinAsian awards. New properties such as Oakwood Premier Melbourne and Oakwood Hotel Oike Kyoto, will also add to the group's destination highlights. "This acquisition of Oakwood is part of Ascott's roadmap to playing a bigger role in the lodging market. There are significant synergies between Ascott and Oakwood, given our complementary footprint and product offerings. We intend to build on the strong reputation and heritage of the Oakwood brand, especially in markets across Southeast Asia, North Asia and North America. Oakwood will continue to grow alongside Ascott's current portfolio of global brands as we continue to build growth momentum for our lodging business. We will be able to leverage Ascott's extensive expertise as a global lodging player to deliver greater value to our expanded network of loyal customers and property owners. Besides strategic alignment, this acquisition is also notable to Ascott commercially. Ascott's acquisition of Oakwood brings about an immediate boost to our units under management and franchise contracts. The Oakwood portfolio will accelerate the growth of our asset-light business, with added recurring fee income streams, expanded lodging offerings and increased customer base. The strategic moves we have made in the last few years, such as our investments in Quest, Synergy and TAUZIA have charted an unprecedented growth path for Ascott." -Mr Kevin Goh, CLI's Chief Executive Officer for Lodging. Ascott's strategic investments in the past years include its acquisition of Quest Apartment Hotels (Quest), one of the largest serviced apartment operators in Australasia, in 2017 to grow its business franchise arm. In the same year, Ascott invested in Synergy Global Housing (Synergy), a leading corporate housing provider in the USA. In 2018, Ascott acquired TAUZIA Hotel Management (TAUZIA), one of the top hotel operators in Indonesia, to enter the fast-growing mid-scale business hotel segment. With Oakwood coming onboard, Ascott is confident of achieving its target of 160,000 units globally well ahead of 2023. About The Ascott Limited- The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans over 200 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the USA. Ascott has more than 81,000 operating units and over 54,000 units under development, making a total of more than 135,000 units in over 800 properties. The company's serviced apartment, coliving and hotel brands include Ascott The Residence, The Crest Collection, Somerset, Quest, Citadines, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Citadines Connect, Fox, Yello, Fox Lite and POP!. Ascott's loyalty programme, Ascott Star Rewards, offers exclusive benefits to its members when they book directly with Ascott for their stays at its participating properties. Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Investment Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced apartment with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide. About CapitaLand Investment Limited- Headquartered and listed in Singapore, CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) is a leading global real estate investment manager (REIM) with a strong Asia foothold. As at 31 March 2022, CLI had about S$124 billion of real estate assets under management, and about S$86 billion of real estate funds under management (FUM) held via six listed real estate investment trusts and business trusts, and 29 private funds across the Asia-Pacific, Europe and USA. Its diversified real estate asset classes cover integrated developments, retail, office, lodging, business parks, industrial, logistics and data centres. CLI aims to scale its FUM and fee-related earnings through its full stack of investment management and operating capabilities. As the listed investment management business arm of the CapitaLand Group, CLI has access to the development capabilities of and pipeline investment opportunities from CapitaLand's development arm. Being a part of the well-established CapitaLand ecosystem differentiates CLI from other REIMs. As part of the CapitaLand Group, CLI places sustainability at the core of what it does. As a responsible real estate company, CLI contributes to the environmental and social well-being of the communities where it operates, as it delivers long-term economic value to its stakeholders.

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BUYING/SELLING

Own Up and Realtor.com® Join Forces to Streamline the Home Buying Process

Own Up and Realtor.com | September 01, 2022

Own Up, a digital mortgage shopping service, today announced a commercial relationship with Realtor.com, a real estate marketplace operated by News Corp’s subsidiary, Move, Inc. Own Up and Realtor.com are mission-aligned companies, both aiming to improve the home buying process for Americans looking to close on their dream homes. Alongside this new collaboration, Own Up closed a $25M round of funding, led by Brand Foundry Ventures. Realtor.com is among the investors participating in the funding round, which also saw return participation from past investors, Link Ventures and Listen Ventures. The injection of capital will allow Own Up to continue to build out its innovative technology platform, expand its novel shopping experience and product offerings, and invest in the Company’s people and culture. Own Up and Realtor.com’s relationship will give users direct access to Own Up’s mortgage shopping service, including personalized loan offers from its exclusive lender marketplace and real-time advice from the industry’s only mortgage shopping concierge. The integration with Realtor.com will allow homebuyers to gather detailed information about their home financing options as they search listings and find real estate agents. The housing market has been increasingly challenging for buyers over the past 12 months, with low inventory, rising prices, higher mortgage interest rates, and high-stakes bidding wars. That has caused heightened stress and anxiety for hopeful buyers, an issue Own Up and Realtor.com hope to work together to address. “From day one, our singular goal was to be a champion for the consumer and bring greater transparency to the home buying process. As the mortgage industry continues to see changes at a rapid clip, it’s crucial that consumers are armed with the right information to make the best financial decisions, Realtor.com plays an essential role in the home search process for so many Americans and now we’ll be able to provide mortgage education and tools to comparison shop, boosting buyer confidence as they move through the process.” -Patrick Boyaggi, CEO and co-founder of Own Up Own Up’s team brings deep mortgage expertise to the Realtor.com online experience, This relationship is a natural fit; together we’re able to expand upon our shared goal of helping Americans find and close on their dream homes,said Realtor.com CFO Bryan Charap. The housing market is at an inflection point, marked by a lack of inventory and a historic rise in interest rates, and Own Up is uniquely positioned to help consumers navigate one of the most tumultuous components, This next phase of growth will further cement Own Up’s position as the mortgage shopping experts, ensuring no borrower overpays on their mortgage. At this time of inflation and a pending recession, cost-savings has never been more important,said Brian Spaly, General Partner at Brand Foundry Ventures. About Own Up Founded in 2016, Own Up is changing the way Americans shop for and secure mortgages, injecting transparency into an opaque process and empowering consumers to make smart financial decisions with the help of intelligent technology and real human advisors. About Realtor.com® Realtor.com® is an open real estate marketplace built for everyone. Realtor.com® pioneered the world of digital real estate more than 25 years ago. Today, through its website and mobile apps, Realtor.com® is a trusted guide for consumers, empowering more people to find their way home by breaking down barriers, helping them make the right connections, and creating confidence through expert insights and guidance. For professionals, Realtor.com® is a trusted partner for business growth, offering consumer connections and branding solutions that help them succeed in today’s on-demand world. Realtor.com® is operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc.

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