U.S. Mortgage Rates Jump in Mid-September

Freddie Mac | September 23, 2019

According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.73 percent. This week's 30-year fixed mortgage rate increase is the largest week-to-week uptick since October 2018. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's Chief Economist says, "Despite the rise in mortgage rates, economic data improved this week - particularly housing activity, which gained momentum with a noticeable rise in purchase demand and new construction. Homebuyers flocked to lenders with purchase applications, which were up fifteen percent from a year ago and residential construction permits increased twelve percent from a year ago to 1.4 million, the highest level in twelve years. While there was initially a slow response to the overall lower mortgage rate environment this year, it is clear that the housing market is finally improving due to the strong labor market and low mortgage rates."

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY,AGENT

OREF to Add SkySlope's Disclosure Solution to Its Member Benefits Package

SkySlope | January 10, 2023

Oregon Real Estate Forms, LLC (OREF) has recently added the SkySlope disclosure solution, Breeze, to its benefits program. Breeze is a simple, guided digital workflow that helps agents and sellers easily complete disclosure forms. OREF, based in Eugene (Oregon), develops and licenses real estate transaction and advisory forms for real estate professionals in Oregon. Almost a year ago, the organization turned to SkySlope to overhaul the experience of digital forms for the agents. "Since its launch, OREF's partnership with SkySlope has been incredibly successful," says OREF CEO Melissa Peterson. She added, "SkySlope's ease of use, award-winning customer service, and time-saving functionality has helped to reinvent the form-filling process for our members. As we looked to 2023, we were interested to see how we could grow our partnership with SkySlope to optimize our member experience and provide additional value." (Source: PR Newswire) SkySlope Breeze, a digital disclosure solution that converts seller disclosures into a guided digital questionnaire, is being incorporated by OREF into their member benefits package to broaden its offerings. "Breeze provides a guided workflow that helps sellers complete complicated disclosure forms with ease," says Peterson. "It's a win for sellers - and that's ultimately a win for agents." (Source: PR Newswire) Breeze transforms fill-in-the-blank disclosure forms like Oregon's SPDS into user-friendly procedures. This simplifies the time-consuming, legal jargon-heavy disclosure procedure. On the back end, sellers' responses populate form fields, resulting in complete disclosure forms. Breeze's convenience increases with in-app messaging that allows sellers to integrate comments or questions for agents in the workflow. About SkySlope SkySlope, a California-based prop-tech company, is trusted and innovative. Over 650,000 U.S. and Canadian real estate agents and 15 prominent U.S. brokerages use its digital transaction management platform. The startup wants to produce the best autonomous transaction platform. SkySlope lets brokers, agents, auditors, and transaction coordinators handle deals from contract to close. Its product package lets real estate professionals spend less time in front of a screen and more time helping customers.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

World’s First and Largest Commercial Property Online Marketplace Launches in the UK

CoStar Group | November 15, 2022

CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), a leading provider of online real estate marketplaces, information and analytics in the commercial and residential property markets, has launched LoopNet, the world’s largest commercial property marketplace, in the UK market. The launch marks the creation of the world’s first international commercial real estate online marketplace, allowing tenants, brokers and investors to access properties available for sale and lease across multiple countries on a single platform. Prior to its launch in the UK, LoopNet marketed exclusively US and Canadian commercial properties to an international community of buyers and tenants. The integration of tens of thousands of UK property listings into the marketplace will unlock global access to the UK commercial real estate market, worth an estimated £1.5 trillion, benefitting brokers, investors, would-be occupiers, and owners of commercial real estate. With over 11m monthly unique visitors, LoopNet will provide UK users with unprecedented exposure to potential investors and tenants, significantly broadening the reach of every listing by successfully capturing relevant local and global audiences. Used by 93% of Fortune 100 companies, LoopNet has made significant investment into Google search engine marketing (SEM) as well as other types of marketing, resulting in superior volumes of traffic to the platform and more efficient outcomes for the end-user. Prior to the launch of LoopNet, the UK market was served by Realla, a CoStar Group company and the UK’s leading dedicated commercial property marketplace, which has now been integrated into LoopNet, unlocking access to additional pools of capital, a greater number of listings and a high-quality international audience. Prior to the integration, Realla had an average of 734,000 unique monthly visitors, which will now be significantly boosted by the additional traffic generated by LoopNet, bringing the total expected LoopNet traffic to nearly 12m unique monthly users from the first day of the launch. With 88% of commercial property searches currently being initiated online as market participants aim to save time and money, LoopNet provides sophisticated technology allowing brokers, tenants and investors to conduct viewings online and benefit from up-to-date pricing and information. The transparency enabled by LoopNet benefits all users, enabling them to get first-hand insights into the market and providing a useful benchmarking tool for market participants – an essential feature for those transacting in today’s volatile market environment. “The UK-wide roll-out of LoopNet, our leading commercial real estate marketplace, is an important element of CoStar Group’s on-going strategic international expansion effort. Having built a strong relationship with our UK customer base through CoStar and Realla, we are excited to be able to offer our UK users access to the international market, which will significantly increase their visibility and reach. With overseas interest in UK commercial property on the rise due to the attractive exchange rate, the launch of LoopNet could not have been timed better, allowing thousands of UK market players to reap the benefits of global exposure. LoopNet quickly became the industry leader for commercial marketplaces in the US, and we are optimistic about its prospects in the UK, where it’s the only marketplace to provide access to such a vast global audience, directly benefitting brokers, tenants, owners, and investors.” -CoStar Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Florance About CoStar Group CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP) is a leading provider of online real estate marketplaces, information, and analytics in the commercial and residential property markets. Founded in 1987, CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information. Our suite of online services enables clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics, and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Ten-X provides a leading platform for conducting commercial real estate online auctions and negotiated bids. LoopNet is the most heavily trafficked commercial real estate marketplace online. Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder.com, ForRent.com, ApartmentHomeLiving.com, Westside Rentals, AFTER55.com, CorporateHousing.com, ForRentUniversity.com and Apartamentos.com form the premier online apartment resource for renters seeking great apartment homes and provide property managers and owners a proven platform for marketing their properties. Homesnap is an industry-leading online and mobile software platform that provides user-friendly applications to optimize residential real estate agent workflow and reinforce the agent-client relationship. Homes.com offers real estate professionals advertising and marketing services for residential properties. Realla is the UK’s most comprehensive commercial property digital marketplace. BureauxLocaux is one of the largest specialized property portals for buying and leasing commercial real estate in France. CoStar Group’s websites attract tens of millions of unique monthly visitors. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CoStar Group maintains offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Asia.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Conning to Acquire Pearlmark, a Specialized Commercial Real Estate Investment Firm

Conning and PEARLMARK | November 11, 2022

Conning, a leading global investment management firm, and Pearlmark Real Estate, L.L.C. (“Pearlmark”), a specialist investment manager of commercial real estate debt and equity strategies, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Conning & Company to acquire a majority stake in Pearlmark. Pearlmark will continue to operate autonomously with its investment team led by Stephen Quazzo and Doug Lyons. “Partnering with Pearlmark is the latest example of our strategy to add best-in-class capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our clients, Pearlmark has extensive real estate knowledge and significant experience successfully working with insurance companies and other institutional clients to help them achieve their real estate investment objectives.” -Woody Bradford, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Conning We are excited to collaborate with Conning while continuing to work with our industry partners and clients in providing real estate capital solutions, Conning’s investment and client-oriented culture is a perfect fit for our business, and they are the ideal strategic partner to help us strengthen and grow our platform,said Stephen Quazzo, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Pearlmark. Founded in 1996, Pearlmark is focused on U.S. mid-cap real estate investments in both equity and debt. This holistic perspective enhances Pearlmark’s approach to sourcing, underwriting, and managing its investments, which drives value for investors. Pearlmark is headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in Denver, Nashville, and New York City. The transaction is expected to close by early 2023, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as a legal advisor to Conning. CenterCap Group, LLC served as financial advisor and Drane & Freyer Limited served as legal advisor to Pearlmark. ABOUT CONNING Conning is a leading investment management firm with more than $180 billion in global assets under management as of September 30, 2022. With a long history of serving the insurance industry, Conning supports institutional investors, including insurers and pension plans, with investment solutions, risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has investment centers in Asia, Europe and North America. As of September 30, 2022, represents the combined global assets under management for the affiliated firms under Conning Holdings Limited (CHL) and Cathay Securities Investment Trust Co., Ltd. (SITE). SITE is a separate entity under Cathay Financial Holdings Co., Ltd which is the ultimate controlling parent of all Conning entities. The CHL CEO sits on the Board of SITE and helps oversee the business. ABOUT PEARLMARK Pearlmark is a Chicago-based investment firm that targets domestic core, value-add, and opportunistic real estate opportunities via commingled funds, separate accounts, and joint venture structures. Since 1996, Pearlmark has sponsored more than a dozen real estate equity and debt investment programs and completed 565 real estate equity and debt transactions on behalf of investors, representing $5.3 billion in equity capital commitments and over $13.8 billion in gross investment value. Pearlmark is dedicated to creating value for its investors and offers a range of investment opportunities nationwide across various property types (office, industrial, multifamily).

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