Retail Real Estate Floats New Business Models

pymnts | August 06, 2020

Real estate trends for retailers are back in the news this week, as the pandemic-driven brick-and-mortar market starts to produce new business models and a fair amount of stability. The new business model involves leasing options for the retail sector. Example: One of the U.K.’s biggest retail landlords is moving away from a traditional lease structure to give tenants leasing options based on in-store revenue. Says New York real estate trade publication The Real Deal: “It’s one of the most significant reevaluations of the relationship between landlord and tenant and is likely to be watched closely by property owners across the pond.”

Spotlight

After a difficult 2015, the bond market was, at a minimum, due for a bounce by the beginning of 2016. And bounce it did, with most sectors posting respectable returns as indicated in the following table. Although the multi-year searing bull market in the U.S. dollar initially carried over into 2016, here too, the tide appeared to turn mid-quarter. From there, currencies rallied smartly versus the dollar, allowing many to post positive returns after a long drought.

Spotlight

After a difficult 2015, the bond market was, at a minimum, due for a bounce by the beginning of 2016. And bounce it did, with most sectors posting respectable returns as indicated in the following table. Although the multi-year searing bull market in the U.S. dollar initially carried over into 2016, here too, the tide appeared to turn mid-quarter. From there, currencies rallied smartly versus the dollar, allowing many to post positive returns after a long drought.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Fairstead announces acquisition of historic aurora apartments in san antonio

FAIRSTEAD | July 26, 2022

Fairstead, a purpose-driven, vertically integrated real estate company committed to sustainable development and the creation and preservation of high-quality housing, today announced the acquisition of the historic Aurora Apartments (Aurora) tower in the Tobin Hill neighborhood of San Antonio. Located at 509 Howard Street, the 11-story building comprises 105 apartments that are home to low-income senior residents. Fairstead will invest $15 million to rehabilitate Aurora Apartments while preserving Aurora's affordability and historic character long-term. The renovations will modernize the interior homes of the 92-year-old property and preserve its historic façade as well as original mosaic tile flooring and walls, historical interior doors, and hardware. Renovations will upgrade the infrastructure of the building including a new emergency generator, electrical panels and main switchgear, installing a sprinkler system, two new elevators, and new roofing. The apartments will also be upgraded with new Energy Star appliances, kitchens and bathrooms, and HVAC units. Construction is expected to begin this summer. "Fairstead is proud to be stewards of historic properties across the country, and we are bringing our approach to preserving both history and affordability to the Aurora Apartments, By expanding our footprint in Texas, we can ensure that its critical affordable housing stock is not only protected but improved and modernized. Our plan to overhaul the homes at Aurora will ensure our senior residents can age in place with dignity – something we are committed to doing nationwide." Allan Izzo, Director, Development at Fairstead Fairstead is financing the rehabilitation in partnership with the Las Varas Public Facility Corporation, a nonprofit managed by the San Antonio Housing Authority, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Capital One, N.A., and Boston Financial. "About half of the residents receiving housing assistance from SAHA are elderly on a fixed income," said Tim Alcott, the San Antonio Housing Authority Chief Legal and Real Estate Officer. "We celebrate partnerships that help maintain affordable housing options for the families we serve and provide a place of security." "Boston Financial is proud to have partnered with Fairstead on the preservation of Aurora Apartments in San Antonio, Texas. Our investment has helped Fairstead to modernize 105 units of housing for the residents of this historic community, especially seniors, and preserved much-needed affordable homes for the region," said Stephen Napolitano, Senior Vice President, Boston Financial. "We believe in Fairstead's commitment to building vibrant communities across the US, and our work together reinforces our own vision to create a future where everyone has a home, one investment at a time." "This renovation will help bring transformative change to Aurora Apartments with fully renovated unit interiors and common areas, as well as accessibility and energy efficiency improvements" said Evan Williams, senior vice president of Agency Finance at Capital One. "By leveraging our relationships with Fairstead and Freddie Mac, as well as the rest of the development team, Capital One was able to arrange an index lock, which mitigated the risk of interest volatility and ensured the project benefited from a 2.92% treasury rate." Fairstead is partnering with the non-profit Rainbow Housing Assistance to provide much-needed social services to residents through the company's commitment to Community Impact. "Rainbow is grateful for the opportunity to partner with Fairstead at Aurora Apartments. We are excited to bring valuable programs and services to the residents of the community and promote social and economic advancements while ensuring tenant stabilization," said Flynann Janisse, President and Executive Director of Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation. "Rainbow will offer a variety of programs targeting financial literacy, credit enhancements, education, ESL, career development and immediate employment. We will establish tailored programing to meet the unique needs of each individual and family that calls Aurora Apartments home. We look forward to lifting lives in partnership with Fairstead." Built in 1930 as a luxury hotel in the Neo-Gothic architectural style, Aurora is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Known for its hand-carved fireplaces and grand common spaces, the vintage 11-story apartment building will remain a pet-friendly place to call home. Half of the building's units are reserved for residents making up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) and the other half are for households making up to 60 percent AMI. This news follows Fairstead's recent acquisition of the 160-unit affordable housing complex Gateway Apartments at Lake Jackson in the Greater Houston metropolitan area. Fairstead is renovating and expanding Gateway's amenity offerings, including a fitness room and playground, and is transforming the property's outdoor recreation spaces to create a more connected community for residents. About Fairstead Fairstead is a purpose-driven vertically integrated real estate developer specializing in creating sustainable, high-quality housing. The firm's national footprint includes more than $6 billion in assets and identified pipeline. With offices in New York, Maryland, and South Carolina, Fairstead's team manages 90+ communities across the country and runs its comprehensive real estate platform, which includes acquisitions and development, venture capital investments in prop tech, design and construction, energy and sustainability, property management, marketing, and leasing. The firm also administers one of the industry's most proactive community impact programs to provide on-site support services to residents.

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MARKET OUTLOOK,REAL ESTATE ADVICE

Ventas’s Outlook Revised by Fitch Ratings to Stable

Ventas | July 19, 2022

Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR) today announced that Fitch Ratings (“Fitch”) has revised its rating outlook for Ventas to Stable from Negative and affirmed Ventas’s issuer credit rating of ‘BBB+’. In revising Ventas’s outlook, Fitch highlights that operating performance in Ventas’s senior housing operating portfolio is expected to continue to gain momentum as evidenced by steady gains in rent growth and occupancy. Fitch believes that the senior housing portfolio is positioned for a strong recovery driven by attractive 80+ population growth leading to higher move-ins and a favorable supply backdrop. Fitch notes the benefits of Ventas’s diversified portfolio, approximately 30% of which consists of high-quality, principally on-campus medical office buildings and life science properties anchored by over 17 top-tier, high credit research universities. Fitch also cites Ventas’s strong liquidity position with minimal debt maturing through 2023 and management’s commitment to a strong financial policy. About Ventas- Ventas Inc., an S&P 500 company, operates at the intersection of two large and dynamic industries – healthcare and real estate. Fueled by powerful demographic demand from growth in the aging population, Ventas owns a diversified portfolio of over 1,200 properties in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Ventas uses the power of its capital to unlock the value of senior living communities; life science, research & innovation properties; medical office & outpatient facilities, hospitals and other healthcare real estate. A globally recognized real estate investment trust, Ventas follows a successful long-term strategy, proven over more than 20 years, built on diversification of property types, capital sources and industry leading partners, financial strength and flexibility, consistent and reliable growth and industry leading ESG achievements, managed by a collaborative and experienced team dedicated to its stakeholders.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY,MORTGAGE AND LENDING

Amrock Unveils Technology to Close Mortgages on Mobile Devices, Giving Consumers the Power to Complete a Home Loan from Anywhere

Amrock | September 14, 2022

Amrock, the nation's largest title insurance, property valuations and settlement services provider – and a part of Rocket Companies – today announced the introduction of proprietary technology to electronically close (eClose) mortgage transactions entirely from a mobile device. This new product represents the final step in Rocket Companies' creation of a seamless, end-to-end real estate experience clients can use to go from application to closing on the iPhone or Android phone they use every day. Rocket Companies, through its Rocket Mortgage brand, offers a completely digital home loan experience for consumers, including the ability to apply, receive approval and lock their rate for a mortgage – all from their smart phone. Now, through Amrock's first-of-its-kind technology, clients can close on a mortgage by connecting with the closing agent or notary from a mobile device no matter where they may be in the world – a revolutionary and convenient new feature. This transformational innovation helps consumers complete the historically cumbersome final step in a home loan process from anywhere at any time. "Our company has always been focused on meeting our clients wherever they may be, but we were limited by the industry's standards for closing mortgages. That was the driving force behind Amrock creating this technology, providing the ability to close mortgages for a spouse traveling for work, a military member serving away from home or countless other real-world scenarios, Rocket Mortgage pioneered getting a mortgage online from a smart phone – now, Amrock is providing the final piece of the puzzle for a complete mobile mortgage experience." -Nicole Beattie, CEO of Amrock Henry Winfield, an Amrock client based in Virginia, used the mobile technology earlier this year to close on a refinance while in North Carolina for work. The new feature enabled both he and his wife to video chat with the notary and digitally sign all necessary documents quickly and safely. When my wife and I found out closing virtually from our smartphones was a possibility, we were delighted – it was perfect for our circumstance and we didn't have to delay the closing, The experience was quick, intuitive and secure – and we had access to knowledgeable experts who helped us every step of the way,said Winfield. Amrock's mobile closing capability is part of the Rocket Platform through which clients can search for a home with Rocket Homes, get a home loan from Rocket Mortgage, eClose on their mortgage through Amrock via Remote Online Notarization (RON), In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) or a Hybrid eClosing, and now, can close on their mortgage completely from a smart phone. Clients that prefer to keep some elements of their home loan journey non-electronic can still choose to do so. Our mission at Rocket Companies is to simplify life's most complex moments so our clients can live their dream, and we've delivered yet again on our vision to create a seamless real estate experience by being the first-ever to revolutionize the closing process, In addition to new mobile capabilities, clients can now move from mortgage processing with Rocket Mortgage to closing with Amrock through a single sign-on feature – a seemingly small, yet significant example of how the Rocket Platform removes friction every step of the way for consumers,said Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Companies. Based on the volume of registered notes on the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), Amrock is currently responsible for the majority of eClosings throughout the country. Its clients can complete a mobile RON when refinancing a mortgage in nearly 60% of the U.S. – each state where RON eClosings are allowed by law. Amrock plans to roll out mobile RON capabilities for all mortgage transactions, including home purchases, by the end of 2022. About Amrock Amrock is the leading national provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services. The company delivers FinTech solutions to streamline the real estate and mortgage experience for lenders, consumers and real estate professionals. Amrock is a preferred provider to top retail mortgage lenders, with a wide range of clients throughout the residential and commercial real estate finance industries. Driven by thousands of professional partners and team members nationwide, Amrock is headquartered in the heart of downtown Detroit, Michigan with regional service centers in California, Pennsylvania and Texas and additional locations in several other states. For more information, please visit Amrock.com. About Rocket Companies Founded in 1985, Rocket Companies is a Detroit-based FinTech platform company consisting of personal finance and consumer technology brands including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes, Amrock, Rocket Auto, Rocket Loans, Rocket Money (formerly known as Truebill), Rocket Solar, Rocket Mortgage Canada (formerly known as Edison Financial), Lendesk, Core Digital Media, Rocket Central and Rock Connections. Rocket Companies' mission is to be the best at creating certainty in life's most complex moments so that its clients can live their dreams. The Company helps clients achieve the dream of home ownership and financial freedom through industry-leading client experiences powered by its simple, fast and trusted digital solutions. Rocket Companies ranked #7 on Fortune's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2022 and has placed in the top third of the list for 19 consecutive years.

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