Reduce the Tax On Foreign Investment In U.S. Real Estate

Real Clear Markets | April 22, 2020

The Trump administration is starting to turn its attention toward re-opening and revitalizing the economy, with the President announcing the formation of a new taskforce dedicated to these goals.  While the health of Americans remains the top priority, the administration is right to also focus on kickstarting the once-roaring economy through tax and deregulatory policies that encourage investment and job creation. One policy proposal that should be at the top of this list is rolling back the Foreign Investment in Real Property Act (FIRPTA), an outdated law that restricts foreign dollars in American real estate by imposing higher taxes on foreign investment in real estate and infrastructure than those on other asset classes like stocks and bonds.

Spotlight

Resilience affects investment decisions, risk assessment, and value creation. Kathleen Carey, executive vice president and chief content officer of ULI, moderates a discussion between Lynn Thurber, chairman of ULI and chairman of LaSalle Investment Management, and conference cochairs Hamid Moghadam, CEO of Prologis, and Jonathan Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, about why resilience matters to the real estate industry.

Spotlight

Resilience affects investment decisions, risk assessment, and value creation. Kathleen Carey, executive vice president and chief content officer of ULI, moderates a discussion between Lynn Thurber, chairman of ULI and chairman of LaSalle Investment Management, and conference cochairs Hamid Moghadam, CEO of Prologis, and Jonathan Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, about why resilience matters to the real estate industry.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Arturo Announces Strategic Partnership with Vexcel Imaging

Arturo and Vexcel | September 12, 2022

Arturo, the proptech company that delivers intelligent analytics from individual property to portfolio, announced today that it signed Vexcel Imaging, the leader in aerial imagery data, large-format aerial cameras and photogrammetry software, to be a lead imagery provider for its solutions. As part of the agreement, Vexcel will provide Arturo with true ortho imagery, oblique imagery and digital surface models (DSMs). In addition, 'Gray Sky' imagery or imagery taken after a catastrophic event occurs will be available for use. High-fidelity property insights derived from imagery are an increasingly critical asset for property insurers who are challenged to assess and identify vulnerable property characteristics during the underwriting and quoting process, so they clearly understand their resting risk. Arturo’s partnership with Vexcel offers the unparalleled imaging capabilities modern insurance carriers seek in today’s rapidly evolving property market. It will also allow insurers to create risk and property damage mitigation strategies with their policyholders as well as faster, more accurate responses to claims after a catastrophe. “This is a hard market for insurance. Carriers are caught between gauging their risk correctly up front and contending with the reality of increasingly volatile catastrophic weather events. Property insurers are tasked more than ever to have a thorough understanding of a property’s risk while also keeping costs down, so if an event does occur they can both keep regions insurable and their customer response rapid and efficient, We spent a lot of time collaborating with Vexcel to both ensure a partnership that was beneficial to our mutual customers and provide us greater flexibility in working with our insurance clients across the policy lifecycle. We recognized that not all imagery is created equal nor all machine learning analytics which is why coupling Arturo’s AI property intelligence solutions with Vexcel’s imagery will allow insurers to stay a step ahead of natural catastrophes, so they can accurately underwrite future policies and manage future claims with ease.” -Greg Oslan, chief executive officer for Arturo After much testing and rigorous analysis, we are pleased that Arturo has standardized on our best-in-class imagery to unlock better property insights for insurers, Our focus at Vexcel is to provide consistent, accurate and high-resolution imagery to customers who need a scalable solution in multiple countries. Using its AI and ML, Arturo analyzed properties in a variety of locations and found the results they needed to understand property risk and intelligence,said Rob Agee, chief operating officer at Vexcel Imaging. Vexcel and Arturo’s collaboration will initially provide imagery for the United States and Australian markets. About Arturo Arturo combines AI and machine learning models with property images to help businesses decide with intelligence from the property to portfolio level. Across the insurance, lending, securities and real estate markets, Arturo empowers customers with on-demand, accurate property characteristics and predictive analysis to tackle the biggest property challenges with efficiency, accuracy and confidence. About Vexcel For 30 years, Vexcel’s award-winning technology has led the photogrammetry and remote sensing industry. Using its professional-grade UltraCam sensors and a dedicated fleet of aircraft, Vexcel operates the world’s largest aerial imagery and geospatial data program. Vexcel collects imagery in 25+ countries including rural and urban areas in the contiguous United States. It provides a wide variety of high-resolution products from Oblique to True Ortho, DSM to Multispectral and Property Attributes. Its cloud-based aerial data improves workflows across a variety of industries.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Redfin Launches Down Payment Assistance Feature to Help Make Homeownership More Attainable

Redfin | October 10, 2022

Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage, today added down payment assistance information to home listings on its website. Potential homebuyers can now use Redfin to discover down payment assistance programs they may qualify for in order to help make homeownership more affordable. The feature is powered by a partnership with Down Payment Resource, a company helping the housing industry connect homebuyers with more than 2,200 homebuyer assistance programs nationwide. Each eligible for-sale listing page on Redfin in the U.S. now displays the number of down payment assistance programs available in that area. Interested homebuyers can input basic information and immediately receive a tailored list of programs they may qualify for, the amount of assistance potentially available to them, and links to the program pages for more information. “Nearly half of Americans who have never owned a home say that saving money for a down payment is a barrier to homeownership, and many young people in particular feel like they’ll never be able to own a home, Down payment assistance programs can make homeownership more attainable, but information about them is often fragmented and hard to understand. We saw a big opportunity in partnering with Down Payment Resource to raise awareness about these programs to help more people become homeowners.” -Christian Taubman, Redfin’s chief growth officer This information is especially valuable as the national median home price has soared roughly 40% since the pandemic, making saving for a down payment more challenging. Recent Redfin research found that the typical U.S. homebuyer who took out a mortgage in July made a $62,500 down payment, nearly double the median down payment in July 2019, before the pandemic started. Our research shows that one in three declined mortgage applications are denied for reasons that could be addressed with homebuyer assistance, which underscores the critical need to increase awareness about these life-changing programs, Partnering with Redfin is a great way to get information about financial support into more consumers’ hands. With thousands of assistance programs available across the country, many Americans may be able to afford homeownership sooner than they realized,said Rob Chrane, CEO and founder of Down Payment Resource. This launch is part of Redfin’s broader mission to remove barriers to homeownership and make finding a home clear and achievable. Other efforts include: Ongoing donations to nonprofit community partners through Redfin Rise, the company’s philanthropic initiative. This year, Redfin Rise donations have provided housing counseling sessions for 660 families through Clarifi, supported the development of 12 permanently affordable homes through Homestead Community Land Trust, provided $135,000 in closing grants to 45 homebuyers through NHS Chicago, and helped build 226 homes in El Salvador and Mexico with New Story. Maintaining free homebuyer resources, including first-time homebuyer guides in both English and Spanish and homebuying classes taught by expert Redfin agents. Publishing extensive housing market research about affordability and equality issues. About Redfin Redfin is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, instant home-buying (iBuying), rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can take an instant cash offer from Redfin or have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 6,000 people. About Down Payment Resource Down Payment Resource (DPR) helps its business partners connect homebuyers to the down payment help they need through its award-winning technology. The company tracks funding status, eligibility rules, benefits, and more for over 2,000 down payment assistance and affordable lending programs. DPR was recognized by Inman News as "Most Innovative New Technology" and the HousingWire Tech100™. DPR licenses its products to Multiple Listing Services, REALTOR® Associations, real estate search sites, lenders, and housing counselors across the country. DPR's subscription based service, Down Payment Connect, helps agents and loan officers match buyers to available programs.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Blueground to Acquire Brazilian PropTech Startup Tabas, Accelerating Its Global Expansion in South and Central America

Blueground and Tabas | November 18, 2022

Blueground, a PropTech scaleup offering a turnkey, flexible housing solution for renters globally, announces today it entered into agreement to acquire Brazilian PropTech startup, Tabas. Marking the first acquisition in Blueground’s nearly 10-year history, the company will soon acquire Tabas after leading Tabas’ $14 million Series A funding round earlier this year. Tabas is the largest operator of designer-quality furnished apartments for 30 days or more in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brazilia. The acquisition, which is expected to close in early Q1 2023, enables Blueground to enter the Latin American market, and fuel the increased demand for furnished, flexible rentals in the region. Together Blueground and Tabas will launch Mexico City in early 2023. During the period between now and close, the two companies will continue to operate independently and will gradually integrate over the next year. The combined organization will have a presence in 29 cities across 16 countries, employing over 1,000 people. Based on current financial projections, the joint entity is projected to generate ~650M in 2023. Blueground is the largest turnkey property rental company in the 30+ day sector. It has a network of 9,500 move-in-ready, expertly-designed homes enabling people to flexibly live wherever they choose. The company was co-founded by CEO Alex Chatzieleftheriou in 2013, who, after many years as a business consultant, had experienced first-hand the pain points of living out of hotels for work for months at a time. He aspired to create a seamless way for people to freely move between neighborhoods, cities, and countries around the world. Blueground currently works with over 4,700 landlords globally, guaranteeing them rental income while providing expert property management and maintenance services at scale. The acquisition of Tabas will allow Blueground to grow its network faster, supporting its goals of 40,000 apartments across 50 cities by 2025, and add more location options for its client base. “We’ve had our sights set on Latin America for quite some time, as we see huge market potential for furnished and flexible rentals, Since our first investment in Tabas last year, we’ve developed immense respect for the Tabas team and what they’ve built in Brazil. With our best-in-class technology and our expertise in scaling the business, we'll continue to expand and offer the option for a flexible lifestyle in more markets globally.” -Alex Chatzieleftheriou, CEO and Co-founder, Blueground Founded in May 2020, Tabas was born out of the founders’ frustration with the lack of flexible, fully furnished rentals for mid- to long-term stays. Tabas now has over 1,000 apartments in three cities in Brazil - São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brazilia, raising over $20 million in funding prior to the acquisition. As the first project post-acquisition, Tabas will offer its knowledge and understanding of the market to support the launch of Blueground in Mexico City in early 2023, marking Blueground’s 30th city, and 11th in the last 12 months. Tabas and Blueground’s visions are fully aligned and together we can create even more value for our guests, our landlords and the Tabas team, This acquisition is yet another success story for Brazilian proptech companies. We're proud of the work we’ve done to get us this far; now it’s time to take it to the next level and continue bringing the turn-key, flexible rental living concept across Latin America,said Leonardo Morgatto, Co-founder and CEO, Tabas. The pandemic gave rise to new work environments, enabling people to explore the world and forgo traditional long-term leases for flexible rentals. To keep up with the growing demand, Blueground has doubled its supply of apartments in the last year. The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. About Blueground Blueground is a global PropTech company that operates a curated network of thousands of quality, turnkey homes in sought-after neighborhoods around the globe, making them available for stays of a month or longer. Blueground’s tech-enabled platform provides a fully digitized experience; from viewing and booking available apartments within minutes to managing the entire stay through the Blueground Guest App. Blueground is headquartered in New York City, with a portfolio of thousands of apartments in 26 cities worldwide including in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Denver, Seattle, Austin, Miami, Dubai, Istanbul, Paris, London, Vienna, Zurich, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Basel, Luxembourg, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Athens. Blueground plans to expand to 50 cities by 2025. About Tabas Tabas is a Brazilian real estate technology startup providing beautifully-designed fully-furnished apartments for flexible stay. Founded in early 2020, it already has more than 1,000 apartments in its portfolio, in the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, all located in upscale neighborhoods, equipped and decorated with sophistication. With unprecedented flexibility for the Brazilian market regarding rental contracts, the company works with terms starting from 30 days of rent, guaranteeing the property maintenance to the owners and uncomplicated and well assisted reservations to the tenants.

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