Mortgage Credit Availability Dips in U.S.

WORLD PROPERTY JOURNAL | February 07, 2020

Based on a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, and new data from their Mortgage Credit Availability Index, U.S. mortgage credit availability decreased in January 2020.
The MCAI fell by 0.2 percent to 181.9 in January. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. The Conventional MCAI decreased 0.5 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.4 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI decreased by 0.3 percent, and the Conforming MCAI fell by 0.9 percent. Mortgage credit availability was mostly unchanged to start 2020, decreasing 0.2 percent in January," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Similar to December of 2019, the decline came from the reduction of low credit score, high-LTV programs. Furthermore, there continues to be movement with both adds and drops in the government program space, with the net result last month showing small growth in the government index.

Spotlight

Commercial real estate markets are becoming more and more popular for investors everyday. But many would-be investors may be asking themselves: is commercial real estate investing really something that I’m able to do? Don’t you have to be a commercial real estate expert in order to get involved? And what are the best commercial real estate markets out there for someone getting started? People often assume that commercial real estate investing can only be done by the very best experts; however, there are a number of different options when it comes to financing a commercial real estate deal – including the unconventional route that incorporates utilizing REITS as capital.


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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Bluerock Residential Growth REIT To Be Acquired By Affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate In $3.6 Billion Transaction

Bluerock Residential | December 21, 2021

Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. (NYSE American: BRG) (the "Company") today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate ("Blackstone") under which Blackstone will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of BRG for $24.25 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $3.6 billion (the "Acquisition"). Under the terms of the agreement, Blackstone will acquire 30 multifamily properties comprising approximately 11,000 units as well as a loan book secured by 24 multifamily assets. The properties consist of high-quality garden-style assets with significant green space and resort-style amenities, built, on average, in 2000. The majority of the properties are located in Atlanta, Phoenix, Orlando, Denver and Austin. Prior to the Acquisition, the Company separately intends to spin off its single-family rental business to its shareholders (the "Spin-Off" and together with the Acquisition, the "Transaction") through the taxable distribution to shareholders of all of the outstanding shares of common stock of a newly formed real estate investment trust named Bluerock Homes Trust, Inc. ("BHOM"), which will be externally managed by an affiliate of Bluerock Real Estate. BHOM will own interests in approximately 3,400 homes, including 2,000 through preferred/mezzanine investments, located in fast growing, high quality of life and knowledge economy markets across the United States. The Company's shareholders will receive shares of BHOM, with a current implied Net Asset Value estimated at $5.60 (based on the midpoint of the valuation range provided by Duff & Phelps, independent financial advisor to the Company's board of directors), for each share of Company common stock. There can be no assurance that the trading price upon a listing of BHOM will be equal to or greater than this estimated NAV. The Transaction has been unanimously approved by the Company's board of directors and the Acquisition, excluding the value of BHOM, represents a premium of approximately 124% over the unaffected closing stock price on September 15, 2021, the date prior to a media article reporting that the Company was exploring strategic options including a sale. We are very proud to enter into a transaction that delivers tremendous value to our shareholders. We believe the substantial premium to our historic trading price is a testament to our success in building a best-in-class institutional-quality multifamily apartment portfolio in our attractive knowledge-economy target markets, along with the robust process run by the board of directors and management to secure maximum value for our shareholders," Ramin Kamfar, Company Chairman and CEO. Bluerock's portfolio consists of high-quality multifamily properties in markets across the U.S. experiencing some of the strongest fundamentals. We look forward to bringing our best-in-class management to these properties to ensure they continue to be operated at the highest standards for the benefit of tenants and the surrounding communities." Asim Hamid, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone Real Estate Completion of the Acquisition, which is currently expected to occur in the second quarter of 2022, is contingent upon consummation of the Spin-Off, as well as customary closing conditions, including the approval of the Company's shareholders, who will vote on the transaction at a special meeting on a date to be announced. The Acquisition is not contingent on receipt of financing by Blackstone. Most members of the Company's senior management, along with certain entities related to them, have agreed to retain their interests in the Company's operating partnership, which will hold the assets related to the single-family rental business upon completion of the Spin-Off, rather than receiving cash consideration. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Eastdil Secured LLC are the Company's lead financial advisors with BofA Securities also serving as an advisor. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank, PLC, and Vinson & Elkins, LLP are serving as the Company's legal counsel. Barclays and Wells Fargo Securities LLC are Blackstone's financial advisors and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is Blackstone's legal advisor. About Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. Bluerock Residential Growth REIT, Inc. (NYSE American: BRG) is a real estate investment trust that focuses on developing and acquiring a diversified portfolio of institutional-quality highly amenitized live/work/play apartment communities in demographically attractive knowledge economy growth markets to appeal to the renter by choice. The Company's objective is to generate value through off-market/relationship-based transactions and, at the asset level, through value-add improvements to properties and to operations. BRG has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (REIT) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. About Blackstone Real Estate Blackstone is a global leader in real estate investing. Blackstone's real estate business was founded in 1991 and has $230 billion of investor capital under management. Blackstone is the largest owner of commercial real estate globally, owning and operating assets across every major geography and sector, including logistics, multifamily and single-family housing, office, hospitality and retail. Our opportunistic funds seek to acquire undermanaged, well-located assets across the world. Blackstone's Core+ strategy comprises open-ended funds that invest in substantially stabilized real estate assets globally and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust, Inc. (BREIT), a non-listed REIT that invests in U.S. income-generating assets. Blackstone Real Estate also operates one of the leading global real estate debt businesses, providing comprehensive financing solutions across the capital structure and risk spectrum, including management of Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE: BXMT).

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Whitecrest Real Estate Celebrates the Completion and Official Grand Opening of Brand-New Luxury Condominium Development, The Heritage

The Menkiti Group | May 21, 2022

MG Residential, an arm of Brookland's The Menkiti Group, was joined by Whitecrest Real Estate, to celebrate the launch of The Heritage, a newly developed collection of modern condominiums starting in the mid $300's. The new development offers 1–2-bedroom units that range from 570 – 1050 square feet. The completion of this project marks a major milestone in the new development and momentum in Ward 5. "The project was started late 2018 and took over 3 years to complete. Even through the chaos of COVID-19, we trooped through as we believed in the project," said the company's Director of Design, Maryam Kazmi. "We chose this project as we believed in the neighborhood and wanted to add value to this area and offer new modern living. This is an emerging neighborhood and we wanted to be part of its story." The Heritage lies in the heart of Woodridge, a residential neighborhood located just north of the National Arboretum. The dynamic team of Whitecrest Real Estate always believed in the Woodridge neighborhood, but it was not until they began working in the area, that they realized its true potential. We were one of the first very few developers who started to invest in the neighborhood, about a decade ago in 2013 with a boutique style building. While working in Woodridge, we realized that it is not only a conveniently located and easily accessible neighborhood to various hot spots of Washington DC, but also amongst one of the safest and most affordable areas in the city." Reza Damani, Real Estate Investor and Chief of Operations for Whitecrest The Heritage is conveniently located near a variety of the District's parks and amenities. Barnard Hill Park lies in the northwest corner of the neighborhood, providing 22 acres of open green space for walking or picnics. Also, near the neighborhood, the Dwight A. Mosley Playground and Taft Recreation Center have a large playground, several sports fields, a tennis court, and a basketball court. Although Woodridge lies in a residential area, its proximity to the city's main attractions is what gives this neighborhood its unique flexibility and advantage. Whitecrest and MG Residential were joined by many Ward 5 residents and local businesses, resulting in a successful community event. Joe Dawson of Mission Mortgage and Lawrence Elliot of Prime Title sponsored the event and were also in attendance. "We appreciate everyone who attended the official Grand Opening for The Heritage," says MG Residential's VP of Sales and top 1% of realtors nationwide, Lashika Mason. "We are truly overwhelmed by the constant outpouring of support from the community and look forward to seeing The Heritage's impact in Ward 5." The Heritage is on one of the main arteries of the neighborhood, that runs into Washington, DC. The luxurious finishes combined with the extra effort that was taken to preserve the 100-year-old bank façade makes this beautiful building stand out. The Heritage is a well-built, high-end, and eco-friendly mixed-use condo building in a calm and inviting neighborhood that's a rare find in Washington, DC. The units are well-designed, efficiently built, and are offered at the most competitive prices available in the marketplace for brand-new condominiums. "This is an exciting partnership with MG Residential and Whitecrest Development," says top producing realtor and Managing Director at MG Residential, Anthony Mason. "We are proud to be a part of this project and are looking forward to seeing the impact on the community as we strive to continue to fulfill our mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate." About Whitecrest Real estate Whitecrest is a dynamic team of real estate investors composed of four key players: Farid Khan serves as the President for Whitecrest Real Estate Company. His primary role is developing a vision for White crest real estate. He also Analyzes budgets and financial reports regularly, reviews and advises on contracts, and leads the company towards success. Reza Damani serves as the Chief of Operation for Whitecrest Real Estate, providing executive management and overseeing all areas of a project from acquisition of raw land to design and development of all the company's construction projects. Mr. Damani is a licensed Class A builder in the Washington DC area with 20 plus years and over 150,000 total developed square feet in the Washington DC metro area. From site selection, through acquisition and construction, to occupancy, he offers comprehensive ground-up and build-to-suit development services for the region. Syed Ali serves as the Chief financial Officer for Whitecrest Real estate and is responsible for tracking cash flow, financial planning, analyzing the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing strategic direction. He is also responsible for maintaining relationships with bankers and investors. Maryam Kazmi serves as the Director of Design for Whitecrest Real Estate. She oversees all design decisions and aesthetics of the project from the floor plans to the finishes. Her responsibilities include making all indoor and outdoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials to ensure a well-designed and cohesive look to the whole project. About MG Residential MG Residential is a premier sales team based in Washington, DC, with expertise providing residential and commercial real estate services to buyers, sellers, investors, and developers across Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Over the past 15+ years, MG Residential has had the privilege of serving over 3,000 families in the greater DMV region and has consistently been ranked within the top 100 teams nationally for Keller Williams. Founded with the mission of transforming lives, careers, and communities through real estate, MG Residential is anchored by Bo and Kymber Menkiti and Anthony and Lashika Mason. Their goal is to close the gap on homeownership and create intergenerational wealth in the District of Columbia and throughout the greater DMV region.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

JPAR - Real Estate Enters Lubbock, Texas Market Through Acquisition Of John Walton Realtors

JPAR - Real Estate | March 23, 2022

JPAR Real Estate, America's #1 fastest-growing, full service 100% commission brokerage, announced the acquisition of John Walton Realtors in Lubbock Texas. John Walton Realtors has been serving the Lubbock community for more than 45 years. With nearly 40 sales associates, they have a long standing legacy of serving the West Texas market that is consistent with the values of JPAR - Real Estate - integrity, productivity and service. We are excited to join forces with Wayne and Wendy Walton and all the associates of this amazing firm. Over the last 45 years they have created a market presence and legacy of service that we take very seriously. Both firms are known for exceeding customer expectations and serving the local community. We look forward to continuing that tradition of excellence." Mark Johnson, President of JPAR - Real Estate The firm's Lubbock office will remain at its current location and Wayne Walton will join the JPAR - Real Estate staff as a support broker. Wayne Walton said, "I am excited to join the JPAR - Real Estate family. Mark Johnson is an exceptional leader and visionary who has his pulse on how best to serve today's real estate professionals and the consumer. Our associates will benefit from a world-class technology platform and full service, a capped, transaction-based financial model." Lubbock is a new market for JPAR - Real Estate and is the 11th-most populous city in Texas. With a population of 257,141 in 2020, the city is also the 86th-most populous in the United States. Lubbock's nickname, "Hub City", derives from it being the economic, educational, and health-care hub of the multi-county region, north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas panhandle. "It was important for us to partner with a solid operator like JPAR – Real Estate. Mark Johnson and the JPAR team understand the real estate brokerage business," stated Wayne Walton. We support their mission to develop influential industry leaders and we feel confident its industry-leading marketing, technology and training programs will benefit all of our associates and extend our legacy for years to come." About JPAR - Real Estate JPAR - Real Estate and JPAR Franchising is a full-service real estate brokerage and franchise platform offering a highly competitive transaction fee-based model and agent-centric culture. The JPAR platform provides agents 7 day-per-week broker support, physical office locations, a comprehensive tech stack and open architecture, physical office locations, marketing, lead generation, training, coaching, mentoring and agent health care. The company boasts more than 3,300 agents operating in 65 offices across 25 states and closes more than $8B annually in sales volume.

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INVESTMENTS

Home Warranty of America Joins the Choice Home Warranty Family

Choice Home Warranty | February 08, 2022

Choice Home Warranty ("Choice") announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Home Warranty of America ("HWA") from Home Warranty of America, Inc. to enhance Choice's position as a leading provider of home warranty service contracts and to accelerate Choice's mission to become the US' largest and most respected home warranty provider. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1996 and based in Illinois, HWA is recognized as a top national provider of home warranty service contracts to real estate professionals. Choice will continue to operate HWA as a stand-alone brand; but would complement HWA's strong brand and experienced employees with modern and improved customer service utilizing Choice's advanced technology. HWA's experienced team and strong reputation with real estate professionals combined with Choice's advanced technology, is an excellent fit with Choice's overall growth strategy, The combination of HWA's real estate channel experience with Choice's direct to consumer business and high-tech administration platform will be complimentary and will improve customer service, be great for our partners, and accelerate our path to attaining our goal of become the US' largest and most respected home warranty provider." Victor Hakim, Chairman, and founder of Choice. Home Warranty of America has been a trusted and recognizable brand in the home warranty space for more than 25 years, We welcome the team and are excited to bring new technology to improve and grow HWA and Choice." Hakim.

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Spotlight

Commercial real estate markets are becoming more and more popular for investors everyday. But many would-be investors may be asking themselves: is commercial real estate investing really something that I’m able to do? Don’t you have to be a commercial real estate expert in order to get involved? And what are the best commercial real estate markets out there for someone getting started? People often assume that commercial real estate investing can only be done by the very best experts; however, there are a number of different options when it comes to financing a commercial real estate deal – including the unconventional route that incorporates utilizing REITS as capital.

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