The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Crisis in Real Estate

Law.com | March 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a crisis in real estate of unknown dimensions and with few clear answers. Following the many networks of real estate lawyers nationwide, the issues that have surfaced thus far are many. As with other calamities, there is often a cascading series of events and conditions, as with the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, and the “perfect storm” of 1991 that led to the loss of the Andrea Gale. The people least able to pay their rent and their mortgages are likely to be the ones let go and left without incomes as businesses shut down. Evictions and foreclosures will increase. Will landlords and lenders extend the time to cure and avoid having to take action? The mayor of San Jose has called for a moratorium for 30 days on evictions of residents who can demonstrate that they cannot pay their rent because of a substantial loss of income related to the virus. The council vote is expected in the next week or two. Italy is suspending mortgage payments throughout the country. As businesses slow down, close and fail, rents will evaporate, and the properties will become less valuable, altering the loan-to-value ratios, triggering default clauses, and making refinancings impossible.

Spotlight

Changes to the Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate and other Commission forms for 2016 furthered the Commission’s direction to provide more clarity, simplification and to address the comments, suggestions and recommendations submitted by attorneys, brokers,
Division of Real Estate staff and various associations.


Other News
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Capital Square 1031 Acquires Recently Constructed 200-Unit Multifamily Community Near Richmond

Capital Square | December 24, 2021

Capital Square 1031, a leading sponsor of Delaware statutory trust (DST) offerings for Section 1031 exchange and other accredited investors, announced today the acquisition of a recently constructed, Class A, 200-unit multifamily community in Midlothian, a suburb of Richmond, Virginia. The community was acquired on behalf of CS1031 Artistry at Winterfield Apartments, DST. Artistry at Winterfield is another superb addition to Capital Square's growing portfolio of Class A apartment communities in the Southeast to Texas, Located in Midlothian, Virginia, a short drive on Highway 288 from Capital Square's headquarters, Artistry is located in a well-to-do neighborhood with a median household income of $172,916 within a one-mile radius, according to Yardi Matrix. And the icing on the cake – 19.6% rent growth in the submarket, the highest year-over-year rent growth in the region, as of August 2021.* Artistry should provide investors with stable income during the holding period and exceptional appreciation potential." Louis Rogers, founder and chief executive officer of Capital Square. Located at 1000 Artistry Drive, the community is located 15 miles from downtown Richmond. Proximate to Highway 288, Artistry at Winterfield offers residents convenient access to multiple retail and dining options within Midlothian, including Target, Kroger, Wegman's, Sam's Club and more. Artistry at Winterfield offers one- and two-bedroom units with spacious floorplans that feature top-of-the-line finishes, including stainless steel appliances, in-unit washer and dryers, walk-in closets as well as private patios and balconies. Amenities at the community include a clubhouse, resort-style swimming pool and fitness center. Additional amenities include a resident lounge with a pool table as well as a business center. CS1031 Artistry at Winterfield Apartments, DST seeks to raise $35.2 million in equity from accredited investors and has a minimum investment requirement of $50,000. Artistry at Winterfield is located in Midlothian, a thriving suburb of Richmond, The population within a five-mile radius of Artistry at Winterfield is projected to increase 4.09% in five years.* Capital Square is bullish on the Richmond MSA, not only for its proximity to our firm's headquarters, but also due to its exceptional market fundamentals and notable growth." Whitson Huffman, chief strategy and investment officer. Since its founding in 2012, Capital Square has acquired 144 real estate assets for over 3,800 investors seeking quality replacement properties that qualify for tax deferral under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code and other investors seeking stable cash flow and capital appreciation. About Capital Square Capital Square is a national real estate firm specializing in tax-advantaged real estate investments, including Delaware statutory trusts for Section 1031 exchanges and qualified opportunity zone funds for tax deferral and exclusion. Since 2012, Capital Square has completed approximately $4 billion in transaction volume. Capital Square's executive team has decades of experience in real estate investments. Its founder, Louis Rogers, has structured hundreds of investment offerings totaling in excess of $5 billion. Capital Square's related entities provide a range of services, including due diligence, acquisition, loan sourcing, property/asset management, and disposition, for a growing number of high net worth investors, private equity firms, family offices and institutional investors. Since 2017, Capital Square has been recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation for five consecutive years. Additionally, in 2021, the company was ranked 101st on the list of Inc. 5000 Washington D.C. Metro's Fastest-Growing Private Companies. In 2017, 2018 and 2020, the company was also ranked on Richmond BizSense's list of fastest growing companies. Capital Square was listed by Virginia Business on their "Best Places to Work in Virginia" report in 2019 and 2021 as well as on their "Fantastic 50" reports in 2019 and 2020.

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INVESTMENTS

Brennan Acquires In-Fill Industrial Sites along I-90 in Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Brennan Investment Group | February 01, 2022

Brennan Investment Group, a private real estate investment firm that acquires, develops, and operates industrial facilities throughout the United States, has announced its acquisition of two land parcels totaling approximately 21 acres along I-90 in Hoffman Estates, IL. The plan is to develop a state-of-the-art, speculative industrial building totaling 201,600 square feet on the larger, 17-acre site and simultaneously pursue build-to-suits on the smaller, 4-acre site. The properties are situated 10 miles northwest of O'Hare International Airport and provide excellent access to the Chicago MSA via key highway systems and transportation infrastructure. The properties will have I-90 visibility and benefit from convenient access to I-90 at the Barrington Road interchange, and subsequently, to interstates I-290, I-294, and I-355, providing superior transportation routes for the end user, their customers, and their employees, As of Q4 2021, the overall Chicago industrial market contained approximately 1.2 billion square feet of industrial inventory, which equates to a vacancy rate of 3.3%." Kevin Brennan, Managing Principal for the Midwest Region. This transaction is illustrative of Brennan's preferred method of land acquisition: in-fill parcels in major markets whose submarkets have compelling fundamentals, Brennan's overall development pipeline will exceed $1 billion in 2022." Scott McKibben, Brennan's Chief Investment Officer. About Brennan Investment Group Brennan Investment Group, a Chicago-based private real estate investment firm, acquires, develops, and operates industrial properties in select major metropolitan markets throughout the United States. Since 2010, Brennan Investment Group has acquired or developed $5 billion in industrial real estate in 30 states. The company's current portfolio spans 27 states and encompasses approximately 46 million square feet. Brennan Investment Group co-invests with private and institutional capital to achieve outstanding risk-adjusted returns. The company has 11 regional offices throughout the United States, and the firm's management team is among the most accomplished in its industry, having invested in over 5,000 properties covering more than 60 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

HomeServices of America Acquires Ownership Stake in Title Resources Group

Title Resources Group | May 04, 2022

Title Resources Group, one of the nation's leading title insurance underwriters, announced that HomeServices of America is acquiring a minority stake in TRG. Financial terms were not disclosed. HomeServices, an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, is the nation's largest residential real estate company, based on closed transactions. HomeServices is joining TRG's other major shareholders, Centerbridge Partners, L.P. and Realogy Holdings Corp., in participating in the JV. The expanded roster of joint venture partners will be instrumental in accelerating TRG's mission and growth as the title underwriter built for the real estate industry. HomeServices of America is a long-time, valued customer of TRG, and we're thrilled to welcome them as a significant shareholder to our joint venture. We look forward to working with their team to expand our collaboration in the months and years ahead, further accelerating our growth." Scott McCall, president and CEO, Title Resources Group "Our strengthened partnership with Title Resources Group further enhances the ability of HomeServices' sales associates to provide clients with a one-stop shopping approach to delivering the American dream of homeownership," said Gino Blefari, CEO, HomeServices. "We're excited to be a part of this joint venture with Scott McCall and his team, as well as our other partners at Centerbridge and Realogy." "We are pleased to partner with HomeServices of America on this compelling JV," said Kevin Mahony, managing director at Centerbridge. "The investment in TRG by its long-time customer validates the bright prospects for the business, and we are excited about the strategic benefits of expanding the relationship. HomeServices' perspective and track record of success will be invaluable as we shape and execute TRG's growth and value creation plan together." "The continued investment in TRG's future is a powerful endorsement of Realogy's strategy to unleash the underwriter's growth potential and reinforces our confidence in the exciting opportunity of this business," said Ryan Schneider, CEO and President, Realogy. About Title Resources Group (TRG) Title Resources Group – the underwriter built for the real estate industry – is one of the nation's largest title insurance underwriters, according to the American Land Title Association's 2021 market share data. A joint venture with Centerbridge Partners, L.P. and Realogy Holdings Corp., TRG serves title insurance agents in 37 states and the District of Columbia. With $163 million in liquid assets at year-end 2021, its financial strength and stability are rated A' (Unsurpassed) by Demotech, Inc., and B++ (Good) by AM Best Rating Services, and since its inception, the company has consistently operated profitably without a net operating loss in any fiscal year. With a mission to provide knowledgeable and responsive underwriting solutions, TRG is dedicated to growing lifelong relationships and maintaining quality through integrity and financial stability. About HomeServices of America HomeServices of America, Inc., through its operating companies, is the nation's largest residential real estate company based on closed transactions and is a premier provider of homeownership services, including brokerage, mortgage, franchising, settlement, property and casualty insurance, relocation services and more. HomeServices of America is the owner of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and Real Living Real Estate residential real estate franchise networks. HomeServices is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a consolidated subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

EVERNEST ACQUIRES TULSA PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

EVERNEST | December 22, 2021

Evernest, a full-service real estate and property management company, headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, that specializes in the brokerage and management of single-family homes and small multifamily properties, announced today that they have acquired the property management assets of Tulsa Property Management, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We could not be more excited than to be in Oklahoma – particularly in the amazing community of Tulsa. We've wanted to be here ever since we began our expansion into new markets. The founder of Tulsa Property Management, Luke Westerfield, built a great company and we will, by virtue of this acquisition, be managing some of the best homes in the Tulsa metro area. We plan to use the acquisition as a platform to offer investment opportunities in Tulsa to current clients and future clients with a desire to invest in a solid market." Evernest Founder and CEO, Matthew Whitaker Evernest has grown from a small Birmingham-based property manager into a full-service real estate company and one of the nation's largest single-family and small multifamily investment property management service providers. They currently have offices in Atlanta, Birmingham, Boulder, Chattanooga, Colorado Springs, Columbus (OH), Denver, Detroit, Fort Collins, Jackson (MS), Little Rock, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Toledo, and now, Tulsa. Evernest manages about 6,000 homes with its almost 150 team members and has been on the Inc5000 list 5 out of the last 6 years. Evernest was a great fit for my clients. They are obviously doing something right with the amount of growth they've had over the last 5 years. For me, it provides an opportunity to focus on the large multifamily and development side of the real estate business." Westerfield We've acquired 16 companies over the past several years and will continue to focus our efforts on growth through acquisitions in thriving markets like Tulsa. We're most successful when we acquire a great company like Tulsa Property Management and infuse it with our distinctive culture and what we call our 'Three Uniques' - 1. Our national brand with local team. 2. Being an investor's real estate partner, and 3. Running all application underwriting in-house." Whitaker

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Spotlight

Changes to the Contract to Buy and Sell Real Estate and other Commission forms for 2016 furthered the Commission’s direction to provide more clarity, simplification and to address the comments, suggestions and recommendations submitted by attorneys, brokers,
Division of Real Estate staff and various associations.

Resources