U.S. Commercial, Multifamily Mortgage Debt Grew in Late 2019

WORLD PROPERTY JOURNAL | March 18, 2020

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Debt Outstanding quarterly report, the level of U.S. commercial and multifamily mortgage debt outstanding at the end of 2019 was $248 billion (7.3 percent) higher than at the end of 2018.  MBA's report found that total mortgage debt outstanding in the final three months of 2019 rose by 2.1 percent ($75.0 billion) compared to last year's third quarter, with all four major investor groups increasing their holdings. Multifamily mortgage debt grew by $30.4 billion (2.0 percent) to $1.53 trillion during the fourth quarter, and by $116.7 billion (8.2 percent) for the entire year. "In 2019, the amount of mortgage debt backed by commercial and multifamily properties grew by the largest annual amount since before the Global Financial Crisis," said Jamie Woodwell, MBA's Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. "Every major capital source increased their holdings, and some by double digits. Continuing the recent trend, the growth in multifamily mortgage debt outpaced that of other property types." Added Woodwell, "Looking ahead, a key question will be how the coronavirus and related economic shocks will affect the market's momentum in 2020. At this point it is still too early to tell."

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Spotlight

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Ascot Corp., an Associate of Ping An Group, has Started a Real Estate Fund Management Business in Japan

Ascot Corp. | May 09, 2022

Ascot Corp. has formed the first private fund through a joint venture with global institutional investors to invest in MF residential, senior living facilities, and student housing in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Main Investment Properties of the Fund "ASTILE" is MF residential brand winning the Good Design Award twice last year, and "FARE" is the brand winning the Award seven times for the five consecutive years. *The Good Design Award is the only comprehensive design evaluation and recommendation system in Japan that covers a wide range of fields from industrial products to business models and event activities. Overview of the Fund and Strategy The investment targets of the Fund are MF residential, senior living facilities, and student housing, and their locations are limited to the Tokyo metropolitan area where are expected to provide stable cash flows with little impact from the Covid-19 pandemic and high liquidity on exit, and consequently stable investment results. Furthermore, the investment risks can be identified within the limited scope and in a quantitative manner due to the predefined properties. The portfolio of the Fund No. 1 comprises of 9 properties, mainly MF residential developed by Ascot (including ASTILE Harajuku, and ASTILE Nishi-Shinjuku II etc.). In the near future, Ascot plans to expand the scope of its fund in collaboration with global institutional investors by acquiring MF residential, senior living facilities, and student housings from external developers and funds, in addition to properties developed by Ascot. Ascot manages these properties as the asset manager of the Fund. The Growth Strategy of Real Estate Fund Business Department The Real Estate Fund Business Department, established in 2021, is a new business unit of Ascot that leverages the company's design and quality property development capabilities cultivated over the past 20 years since Ascot's founding in 1999, as well as its domestic and international network. As one of the key pillars of our mid-term growth strategy, we aim to further expand our business by forming joint venture funds with domestic and foreign investors and new private funds, as well as by entering the REIT and other businesses. In addition to MF residential and offices, which are our strengths, we will target a wide range of asset classes, including logistics, hotels, senior housing, data centers, etc. Furthermore, we are considering entering some asset classes from the development stage. The Fund Business Department will contribute to the growth of the real estate investment market by continuously providing optimal solutions and quality investment opportunities to a wide range of investors while expanding total assets under management. Background Under the circumstances of limited investment opportunities under the low interest rate policy and globalization trend of investment, there has been a shift in allocations from traditional assets such as listed stocks and bonds to alternative investments, with real estate investment in particular gaining prominence worldwide over the past few years. As the global asset allocation strategy, a certain percentage has been shifted to Asia, and, in comparison to other Asian countries, investment in Japanese real estate has been allocated to a significant degree in terms of core investment. The primary factor is that Japan's low interest rate policy has ensured a relatively large yield gap. Secondly, Japan, centered on Tokyo, has a considerable market size which provides high liquidity on exit. In addition, the infrastructure for investment, such as legal, accounting, and taxation is very stable. Therefore, stable returns are expected to be secured. Consequently, the investment needs and flow of funds from global investors, especially institutional investors, to Japanese real estate have continued even with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the recent depreciation of Japanese yen has also attracted investors' attention to Japanese real estate. The asset classes receiving great attention are logistics and MF residential. Since Ascot has advantage in longstanding residential development business, the first fund focused on residential properties. Comments by Takeshi Nakabayashi, President of Ping An Japan Investment Co, Ltd. Ascot Corp. is the first real estate company in Japan invested by Ping An Group. We are fascinated by Ascot's excellent development track record backed by its ability to plan and deliver high value-added residential and office properties. We have high expectations for the growth of Ascot's new global business, including the real estate fund management business just launched, the development of logistics facilities, and integrated services from real estate brokerage to property management for global investors. About Ascot Corp. Ascot is a global comprehensive real estate service provider targeting Tokyo metropolitan area. The business includes the development of the MF residential and logistics, fund management, real estate brokerage for global investors, and property management leveraged by its design and high-quality property development capabilities as well as its domestic and international network. Its design and development capabilities cultivated over the past 20 years are highly recognized, as the track record of winning the Good Design Award 14 times in total shows. Through Digital Transformation, Ascot aims to provide quality real estate services in line with global standards by enhancing customer contact and creating new revenue models.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Gray Capital Purchases 406-Unit Apartment Property, the Second Asset in 100M Multifamily Fund

Gray Capital | June 30, 2022

Multifamily investment firm Gray Capital has closed on their acquisition of Club Meridian Apartments, a 406-unit property located in Okemos, MI just east of Lansing, MI. Gray Capital intends to make strategic upgrades at the property, including siding and asphalt repairs, pool upgrades, re-painted balconies, new signage, and other exterior enhancements to boost the curb appeal of the property. Additionally, interior renovations like modern appliances, new flooring, and upgraded countertops will significantly increase the value of the asset and elevate its position in the rental market. Club Meridian is already a well-maintained property, and this solid foundation will allow us to dedicate our resources to those renovations and improvements that are most important to residents and the quality of the property itself." Spencer Gray, President and CEO of Gray Capital George Tikijian, Hannah Ott, and Cameron Benz of the Indianapolis Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the transaction, with Gray Capital representing itself. Club Meridian is the second property within Gray Capital's $100 million multifamily investment fund, The Gray Fund, and follows the acquisition of Indianapolis apartment property Stonybrook Commons one month prior. The acquisition of Club Meridian and Stonybrook Commons in 2022 adds to Gray Capital's $600+ million in assets under management and more than $1 billion in commercial real estate projects to date since its founding in 2015.

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BROKERAGE,MORTGAGE AND LENDING

Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® partners with SkySlope to provide members access to breakthrough transaction tools

SkySlope and Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS | August 05, 2022

SkySlope, the leader in real estate transaction and brokerage software, is partnering with the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® (GLAR) to offer its premier transaction management solution SkySlope Suite — including SkySlope Forms and DigiSign — as a benefit to GLAR members. SkySlope's suite of products enables real estate professionals to centralize their workflow while remaining compliant. As the transaction management platform that serves over half of the top 20 largest brokerages in the nation, SkySlope is known for its 24/7 award-winning technical support and customized onboarding and training — both benefits that are now available to GLAR agents. "We are ecstatic to offer SkySlope to our members, SkySlope provides a valuable resource for REALTORS® to get the most out of their form libraries and elevate the transaction process across the state. Seeing as SkySlope is dedicated to building innovative, easy-to-adopt solutions, we know our members will thrive using SkySlope." -Aaron Fox, 2022 Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® President SkySlope launched in 2011 with a mission to create technology that makes life better for real estate professionals. In October 2017, after several years of impressive growth, SkySlope became a part of the Fidelity National Financial family. This partnership reinforces SkySlope's commitment to its vision, providing them with greater resources to innovate. Since then, SkySlope has continued to create groundbreaking products for its growing community of over 450,000 real estate professionals. Located in Lansing, Michigan, the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® was founded with a mission to promote the American dream of homeownership through a free enterprise system. They provide support for their REALTORS®, allowing them the ability to take on industry challenges, protect homeowner and private property rights, and build communities. GLAR's partnership with SkySlope will empower its agents with top-tier tools designed to help them succeed. SkySlope Suite for GLAR members will include: SkySlope Suite - Flagship transaction management solution (includes DigiSign and Forms). DigiSign - Send documents for signature quickly and easily with intuitive (and free) features. Forms - Association and MLS forms that are always up-to-date and synced with data from the MLS. The way REALTORS® work today is changing as they take on more clients, adjust to market swings, and adopt more tech, At SkySlope, we are driven to provide tools that make an immediate impact in our customers' lives which is why we designed SkySlope Suite to be simple, flexible, and user-friendly. We are excited to work with GLAR to provide this benefit to all of its members,says Tyler Smith, CEO of SkySlope. About SkySlope Established in 2011, SkySlope is the customer experience platform managing real estate transactions from contract to close. Serving over 450,000 real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada, SkySlope manages nearly 3 million transactions annually. SkySlope is on a mission to build solutions that reshape the real estate industry by creating the most powerful autonomous transaction platform. About Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® Founded in Michigan in 1907, the purpose of the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® is to promote the American dream of homeownership through a free enterprise system by preserving the right to own, use, and sell real property. GLAR members work together to take on industry challenges, maintain the most accurate housing data, protect homeowners and private property rights, and help build communities.

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