U.S. Homeowner Vacancy Rate: It’s back to the 90s

Freddie Mac | April 25, 2019

Remember when O.J. Simpson fled police in his white Ford Bronco? Or, when figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee in the “whack heard round the world?” Or when Major League Baseball was cancelled for a season because of a strike? If you go by home vacancy data released today by the Census Bureau, we’re all the way back to 1994 when those events happened. The rate of vacant homes dropped to 1.4%, the lowest level in almost a quarter of a century. The rate measures privately owned homes standing vacant, typically because they’re for sale or because new owners haven’t moved in yet. In 2008, during the foreclosure crisis, it reached a record 2.9%.

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INVESTMENTS

Greystar Announces Pre-Leasing Underway for 525 Olive in Bankers Hill

Greystar | February 07, 2022

Pre-leasing is underway at 525 Olive,­ a nearly 300,000-square-foot luxury apartment community in Bankers Hill being developed by global real estate leader Greystar ­in conjunction with St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Offering panoramic views of San Diego's famed Balboa Park, the more than $100.2 million project is slated for completion in April 2022, with move-ins to begin in April. According to Raul Tamez, director of development for Greystar, the 20-story luxury community is San Diego's answer to New York's Central Park living – providing easy access to the city's urban playground, Balboa Park, which features over 1,200 acres of natural outdoor space. With its elevated Bankers Hill location, 525 Olive is now the highest residential address in San Diego, offering sweeping city, bay and park views. This is an extraordinary opportunity to live in one of San Diego's most walkable and bikeable neighborhoods, offering close proximity to not only Balboa Park, but also dozens of nearby shops and restaurants, and other vibrant areas such as Downtown, Little Italy, Hillcrest and Mission Hills." Tamez. Greystar – a leading residential real estate manager and developer – acquired the .59-acre parcel of land from St. Paul's in 2019 and construction commenced shortly thereafter. As part of the transaction, the church will occupy 10,000 square feet on 525 Olive's first floor and 8,500 square feet on the bottom level as well as use of the underground parking garage. The 204 total residences will include studio, one-, two-, three-bedroom floor plans, plus penthouse suites, with homes spanning 533 to 1,625 square feet. Designed to condominium standards, 525 Olive homes are outfitted with modern wide wood plank style flooring, private patios or balconies and state of the art touches, such as auto shades, WiFi enabled LG thermostats, keyless entry doors and much more. Kitchens are equipped with top-of-the-line Fisher & Paykel appliances, sturdy quartz countertops and stylish herringbone tile backsplash. Twelve penthouse residences span the top two floors and range from 1,280 to 1,625 square feet with upgraded finishes, more expansive floor plans and unobstructed city views. Furthering the homes' sophisticated motif, all interiors were artfully designed to reflect the building's lush setting, with clean lines and a neutral color palette connecting to the surrounding trees, sky and water, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows to maximize city and park panoramas. While 525 Olive is contemporary in style, elements of the building have been carefully designed to complement the neighboring church – a neo-gothic style structure built in 1951 – as well as the nearby park and the surrounding neighborhood. The striking ground floor lobby area – with bold modern accents, organic fine touches and an understated color palette – also encompasses a soon-to-be named retail venue, plus the community's leasing office, mail area, multiple courtyards and the outdoor dog run. Dramatic amenity spaces include the Level 20 SkyClub, a rooftop retreat that spans the entire top floor and includes a clubroom with kitchen and TVs, the Park Lounge social area with a food bar, and the Sun Club with a sparkling rooftop swimming pool and lounge. Rounding out the amenity line up: an expansive indoor/outdoor fitness studio, courtyards with plenty of outdoor seating, a dog run and pet spa with grooming services and work lounge with Zoom conference rooms. Residents also have access to concierge services, 24-hour package reception, reservable bikes as well as a 15,000 square foot community park. About Greystar Greystar is a leading, fully integrated real estate company offering expertise in investment management, development, and management of rental housing properties globally. Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Greystar manages and operates approximately $230 billion of real estate in 215 markets globally including offices throughout North America, Europe, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Greystar is the largest operator of apartments in the United States, manages more than 754,000 units/beds, and has a robust institutional investment management platform with more than $49.9 billion of assets under management, including $22.6 billion of development assets. Greystar was founded by Bob Faith in 1993 with the intent to become a provider of world-class service in the rental residential real estate business.

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REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT

Taconic Capital Advisors Closes $500M Distressed and Opportunistic Real Estate Fund

Taconic Capital Advisors | May 23, 2022

Taconic Capital Advisors, a global institutional investment firm, announced that it has closed its third real estate fund, Taconic CRE Dislocation Onshore Fund lll (TCREDF III), with $500 million in capital commitments. The fund comprises investments from a diverse group of existing and new investors with flexibility to tap into an overflow vehicle for more concentrated transactions. One year into its investment period, TCREDF III has already committed or closed on $300 million of investments across 15 distinct transactions. Taconic believes the COVID pandemic accelerated pre-existing trends and distress in the CRE market. A combination of aggressive pre-COVID financing and transaction assumptions, oversupply in specific markets and COVID-related societal and demographic shifts should continue to apply significant pressure on the CRE market providing ample investment opportunities. Taconic anticipates that hotel and office assets will comprise the majority of the fund’s investments. We are pleased to build on the performance of Funds l and ll with the close of our third real estate fund, TCREDF III. Our team has a proven ability to identify inefficiencies and dislocated investment opportunities across a host of market sectors, positioning our funds to maximize value for new and existing investors." James Jordan, principal and portfolio manager of Taconic Capital Advisors’ CRE investments About Taconic Capital Advisors Taconic Capital Advisors is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The company has roughly $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London, and Hong Kong, and more than 100 employees worldwide. Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s broad mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which including local operating partners, investor partners and a broad network of lenders, CMBS special servicers, trading desks and brokerage houses. Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across roughly 165 distinct transactions.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

BioMed Realty Acquires Premier Site in Seattle Innovation Cluster

BioMed Realty | April 18, 2022

BioMed Realty, a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries, announced the acquisition of Denny Park South in Seattle, Washington. Located in the highly amenitized and talent-rich South Lake Union/Denny Triangle district, the 1.6-acre property consists of two adjacent parcels in close proximity to industry-leading life science and technology companies and research institutions. The proposed 616,000-square-foot development will provide additional optionality for prospective and existing BioMed tenants as they seek purpose-built buildings to accommodate research. BioMed continues to be focused on growth and expansion in our established core markets, like Seattle, where market fundamentals remain strong and innovation ecosystems are thriving. We now have the ability to double our footprint in the Seattle market and continue investing in mission-critical lab infrastructure needed to meet strong tenant demand as life science and technology companies grow and scale in the region.” Tim Schoen, CEO of BioMed Realty The Denny Park South acquisition will allow BioMed Realty to grow its existing 1.2 million-square-foot portfolio in Seattle which includes the recently completed flagship Dexter Yard project in South Lake Union. This acquisition of Denny Park South, along with the T6 Innovation Center at 200 Taylor Avenue North, represent an additional 1.2 million square feet of development potential. The Company anticipates investing an additional $700 million to develop these new facilities over time and expects to create nearly 850 new local construction jobs. BioMed’s local network of best-in-class life science and technology properties, along with its development pipeline now represent 2.4 million square feet in the region to provide companies with the flexibility to grow or establish a presence in the Seattle community. The Company’s local tenants include blue chip companies seeking to be connected to the region’s talent, capital and research institutions. Notable tenants include the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Novo Nordisk, Omeros Corporation, InBios International, Inc., Lyell Immunopharma, Inc., Shape Therapeutics and Tableau. “The South Lake Union/Denny Triangle cluster where Denny Park South is situated is flush with renowned research institutes like UW School of Medicine, Gates Foundation, Fred Hutch, and the Allen Institute, as well as large tech users such as Amazon, Meta and Apple,” said Jon Bergschneider, President of West Coast markets at BioMed Realty. “As demand from life science and technology companies in this neighborhood remain strong, BioMed is well-positioned to provide much-needed sustainable facilities that enable our tenants to continue their critical, and life-saving, work.” BioMed Realty will continue to prioritize its local community engagement initiatives, expanding on its ongoing efforts to create a more equitable, inclusive and climate-resilient Seattle, with organizations such as the Downtown Seattle Association, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce and the University of Washington. About BioMed Realty BioMed Realty, a Blackstone portfolio company, is a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries. BioMed owns and operates high quality life science real estate comprising 14.5 million square feet concentrated in leading innovation markets throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, including Boston/Cambridge, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boulder and Cambridge, U.K. In addition, BioMed maintains a premier development platform with 3.7 million square feet of Class A properties in active construction in these core innovation markets to meet the growing demand of the life science and technology industries.

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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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Can you buy on your own? Should you? This single woman’s guide to buying a new home will help you determine if you are ready. Here is how smart girls do it.

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