Mortgage Applications in U.S. Increase in Mid-October

Mortgage Bankers Association | October 17, 2019

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 11, 2019, U.S. mortgage applications increased 0.5 percent from one week earlier.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and was 199 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

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The uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery in Europe continues to be reflected in relatively weak levels of occupier activity across many cities. Due to this ambiguity surrounding the economic situation even in


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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Green Courte Partners Hires Managing Director of Development

Green Courte Partners, LLC | March 10, 2022

Green Courte Partners, LLC, a private equity real estate investment firm focused on building industry-leading companies within niche real estate sectors, announced that it has hired C.R. Russell as Managing Director of Development. In this role, Mr. Russell will oversee all development and construction activities for Green Courte's investments in Windward Communities, True Connection Communities, and The Parking Spot, Green Courte's land-lease community, senior housing, and near-airport parking companies, respectively. Mr. Russell is replacing John Lyons, who retired in February after being with Green Courte and The Parking Spot since 2010. Prior to joining Green Courte, Mr. Russell was a Senior Vice President of Development and Construction at A.J. Capital Partners, a vertically integrated developer with $3.6 billion in real estate investments across 45 markets. In that role, Mr. Russell oversaw the planning and development efforts of $1.2 billion of high-profile hospitality and mixed-use developments comprising nearly 2.6 million square feet of space. Earlier in his career, Mr. Russell held several management roles at Vail Resorts Development Company on behalf of Vail Resorts, Inc., the largest owner and operator of mountain resort properties. At Vail, Mr. Russell was responsible for the company's mountain development team as well as expansion efforts across its entire portfolio of properties. Mr. Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from Rollins College and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. We are thrilled to welcome C.R. to our team, and we look forward to leveraging his diverse skillset and expertise to further expand and improve Green Courte's development efforts across our three active platforms." David B. Lentz, Green Courte's Chief Executive Officer About Green Courte Partners, LLC Green Courte Partners, LLC is a Chicago-based private equity real estate investment firm focused on building industry-leading companies within niche real estate sectors, including active adult/independent senior living properties, land-lease communities, and near-airport parking facilities. The firm combines focused investment strategies with a disciplined approach to transaction execution, operations, and asset management. Green Courte's goal is to invest in high-quality real estate assets that will generate attractive risk-adjusted returns over a long-term holding period.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Walker & Dunlop Structures $70 Million in Financing for Manhattan's 21 West Street Apartments

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. | April 12, 2022

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced that it has arranged $70,000,000 in permanent financing for 21 West Street in New York, New York. The 33-story tower includes 293 carefully designed studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. Located in the Financial District of Manhattan, the property is proximate to the offices of major financial firms, including Goldman Sachs and American Express. Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz, Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Michael Ianno, and Triston Stegall led the Walker & Dunlop team in arranging the financing for Rose Associates, a repeat client. Based in New York, Rose Associates is a leading multifamily and mixed-use real estate developer and operator that has overseen the successful residential and retail leasing at the property for nearly 30 years. The 12-year loan, provided by MetLife features an attractive fixed rate and interest-only payments for the entire term, which will ensure continued operating performance for years to come. The Rose Associates team was led by Marc Ehrlich, Chief Investment Officer and Michele Bengelsdorf, Head of Asset Management. Though the New York City rental market experienced headwinds during the COVID-19 pandemic, the market has successfully absorbed more than 60,000 new units that were delivered over the past four years. With vacancies at near record lows, this lending opportunity was very attractive to the capital markets." Walker & Dunlop's Jonathan Schwartz 21 West Street blends modern convenience and a classic landmark style with luxurious residences. The property's amenity offerings include a roof deck, fitness center, resident lounge, and children's playroom. With excellent transit access, residents enjoy convenient access to the rest of Manhattan as well as to Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey. New retail offerings, including West of Broadway, Brookfield Place, and Westfield's World Trade Center mall dramatically increase area residents' shopping and dining options. Walker & Dunlop is the third largest provider of capital to the U.S. multifamily market, originating $49 billion in transactions and lending over $42 billion for multifamily properties in 2021. With one of the strongest networks in the industry, the firm's 2021 brokered loan originations totaled $30 billion, a 170% increase over 2020. About Walker & Dunlop Walker & Dunlop is one of the largest providers of capital to the commercial real estate industry, enabling real estate owners and operators to bring their visions of communities — where Americans live, work, shop and play — to life. The power of our people, premier brand, and industry-leading technology makes us more insightful and valuable to our clients, providing an unmatched experience every step of the way. With over 1,000 employees across every major U.S. market, Walker & Dunlop has consistently been named one of Fortune's Great Places to Work® and is committed to making the commercial real estate industry more inclusive and diverse while creating meaningful social, environmental, and economic change in our communities. About Rose Associates, Inc. Established in 1925, Rose Associates is a premier real estate firm specializing in multifamily rental properties in New York City and the tristate area. Focused on the development, acquisition and management of the highest quality assets, the firm is currently developing six properties in the New York City metropolitan area. Rose's management platform incorporates state-of-the-art services to maximize revenue and enhance asset value, ensuring that Rose properties consistently outperform the market. Under the leadership of CEO and President Amy Rose, the firm is a certified Women's Business Enterprise that is currently pursuing a diverse and aggressive growth strategy.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

National Association of Realtors: Why Industrial Spaces Lead Commercial Real Estate in Bouncing Back From COVID

National Association of Realtors (NAR) | March 28, 2022

Commercial real estate took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, as did many industries. But the market is starting to bounce back this year, largely due to increased investments in industrial properties. According to research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), commercial real estate transactions of less than $2.5 million fell by 1% in the beginning of 2021 and the value of commercial real estate properties fell by 6% compared to 2020. Still, there is hope for the future as certain types of commercial properties are driving sales and seeing positive growth from the year before. Here's a closer look at how industrial spaces are helping commercial real estate bounce back from COVID-19. Spend on industrial properties and land increased Sales for all types of commercial real estate decreased in 2021, with the exception of three categories: land (+3%), industrial warehouses (+2%), and industrial flex spaces (+1%). That means, while businesses were shying away from commercial real estate lending for apartment buildings, offices, retail shops, and hotels, they were still spending money on industrial properties and land on which they could build their own structures. Prices rose for industrial properties, land, and apartments The number of commercial real estate transactions may have dropped, but sales prices increased by 2% on average. Specifically, prices for land increased by 6%, industrial flex spaces and warehouses by 5%, and certain types of apartment buildings by 5%. Meanwhile, sales prices declined for retail shops, offices, and hotels. Industrial and residential construction projects grew Commercial development projects are also on the rise for industrial and residential properties. Construction activity is up 1% from last year with a whopping 12% jump in construction for industrial warehouses, a 6% increase for industrial flex spaces, and a 6% growth for certain types of apartment buildings. Vacant malls, for example, are being converted into new types of commercial spaces, such as mixed-use buildings for residential, retail, and office purposes, as well as industrial buildings for distribution and fulfillment processes. Construction activity for retail spaces, offices, and hotels, on the other hand, dropped. Survey respondents noted certain obstacles to reaching their construction goals, including accessing materials, obtaining permits, and hiring workers. Office real estate activity shrunk due to remote work Office spaces, in particular, saw a decrease in real estate activity, largely due to an increase in remote work during the pandemic. Even though some people are heading back to the office, vacancy in these spaces continued to increase, reaching 16.4% from 13% in 2021. What's more, 70% of survey respondents said their companies are moving into smaller offices. Vacancy in industrial properties, however, declined to 4.9%. 2022 promises more growth This year may continue to be rocky for the commercial real estate market, with industrial and land investments pulling their weight. Specifically, businesses predict a 5% increase in land sales, a 3% increase in industrial warehouse sales, and a 1% increase in sales of certain types of apartments. By 2022, however, commercial real estate activity is expected to recover across all categories as more businesses reopen, travel resumes, and people return to the office. Still, sales for land and industrial properties are expected to lead this recovery process, proving their value as part of the commercial real estate market.

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MORTGAGE AND LENDING

First Street Foundation Finds Over 30.4 Million Properties Have a 1% or Greater Chance of Experiencing a Wildfire During the Course of a Mortgage

First Street Foundation | May 16, 2022

First Street Foundation released the First Street Foundation Wildfire Model, the only nationwide, probabilistic, climate adjusted, peer reviewed, property specific wildfire risk model for properties in the contiguous United States. Detailed in the 5th National Risk Assessment: Fueling the Flames, the model provides a first of its kind analysis of the risk individual properties face from damaging wildfires, and up to 30 years in the future as a result of climate changes. Nationwide, the report finds nearly 20 million properties face "Moderate" risk, (up to a 6% chance of experiencing a wildfire over 30 years); 6 million properties face "Major" risk (up to 14% risk over 30 years); nearly 3 million face "Severe" risk (up to 26% over 30 years); and approximately 1.5 million face "Extreme" risk (greater than 26% risk over 30 years). Over 49 million properties face less than 1% chance of experiencing a wildfire over a 30-year period, or "Minor" risk in the model. Wildfire has become one of the most common and dangerous climate perils, increasingly spreading from heavily forested areas to more populous urban and suburban environments. According to NOAA, damage associated with wildfires has grown substantially, with $81.7 billion, or 66% of all direct losses since 1980, occurring in the last five years. Yet today, neither the public nor private sector have developed a simple methodology or tool to help homeowners, buyers or renters understand a property's wildfire risk, and make informed decisions to protect them. Existing tools like USDA Forest Service's wildfire risk assessment are designed to help fire officials understand how risk varies across a state, region, or county; it is explicitly not meant to help homeowners understand their personal risk. To address this gap, First Street Foundation will make this critical wildfire risk information available to users for free through Risk FactorTM, where Fire FactorTM data will be presented alongside Flood Factor and other future perils, giving users a comprehensive understanding of their homes from physical climate risk today and 30 years into the future. Like Flood Factor, Fire Factor data will be integrated into Realtor.com, providing visitors to the site a property-level wildfire risk assessment in the form of a risk ranking from 1 (Minimal) to 10 (Extreme) for each property on the site. Users interested in commercial real estate can also find this data integrated with Crexi. "The lack of a property specific, climate adjusted wildfire risk for individual properties has severely hindered everyone from the federal government to your average American," said Matthew Eby, Founder and Executive Director of First Street Foundation. "As a changing climate drives more frequent and severe wildfire events, Fire Factor will prove critical in ensuring everyone has the insights they need to understand their personal risk to avoid and protect against the devastating impact of a wildfire." According to a recent Realtor.com survey, seven out of ten recent homebuyers considered the risk of natural disasters when deciding where to live. Realtor.com is adding Fire Factor to maps and properties to help home shoppers and homeowners make informed decisions. Wildfire risk information empowers consumers to protect their homes against the increasing threat of wildfire damage." Sara Brinton, Lead Product Manager, Realtor.com Building the model brought together top climate and data scientists, technologists, and modelers from other leading organizations; the Spatial Informatics Group, Reax Engineering, and Eagle Rock Analytics who are members of the Pyregrence Consortium as well as the USGS, and architectural design & engineering consulting group Arup. This group combined decades of peer reviewed research and expertise in next-generation modeling techniques to create an open source, freely available wildfire model that accounts for current and future climate conditions.

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The uncertainty surrounding the economic recovery in Europe continues to be reflected in relatively weak levels of occupier activity across many cities. Due to this ambiguity surrounding the economic situation even in

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