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Economic Growth to Slow, Housing to Improve: Fannie Mae

By Matthew Classick

The Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group downgraded its projections for full-year 2019 and 2020 U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, due to expected weakness in business fixed investment and softening global economic conditions. The ESR Group had previously forecast growth of 2.3 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020. The ESR Group now projects that the Federal Reserve will cut the federal funds rate by 25 basis points at the September meeting of its Federal Open Market Committee to fend off greater deceleration in domestic growth.

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Housing Market on the Move as 1 in 5 Americans to Relocate within a Year, Fed Says

By Kathleen Howley

About 19% of American households surveyed in May expected to move in the next 12 months, according to the Survey of Consumer Expectations report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York published Monday. That was the highest May reading in two years.

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Properties Located in Opportunity Zones Show Sales Growth: Real Capital Analytics

By Erika Morphy

The general consensus about Opportunity Zones has been that while interest in these areas is intense, there has been little activity. Most of the capital poised to invest in Opportunity Zones, so the theory goes, is waiting on the sidelines until the Treasury Department clarifies more regulations. Indeed, a recent report by Reonomy found that investment levels and prices in Opportunity Zones are actually declining, as investors wait for more clarity.

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U.S. Home Flipping Rate Reaches a Nine-Year High in Q1 2019

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its Q1 2019 U.S. Home Flipping Report, which shows that 49,059 U.S. single family homes and condos were flipped in the first quarter of 2019, down 2 percent from the previous quarter and down 8 percent from a year ago to a three-year low.

The 49,059 homes flipped in the first quarter represented 7.2 percent of all home sales during the quarter, up from 5.9 percent in the previous quarter and up from 6.7 percent a year ago — the highest home flipping rate since Q1 2010.

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Commercial Real Estate Price Growth Led by Industrial Sector: Real Capital Analytics

By Michael Tucker

U.S. commercial real estate prices rose 0.8 percent in April, led by industrial property price growth, reported Real Capital Analytics, New York.

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US Office Sector Steady During First Quarter, Bodes Well for New Construction: JLL

By Patricia Kirk

U.S. office market performance in the first quarter of 2019 showed resilience, with roughly 14 million sq. ft. of absorption and dropping vacancy, despite increasingly cautious economic sentiment, reports real estate services firm JLL.

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Industrial and Office Property Values On the Rise, Retail Headed Down, Survey Reveals

By Barbra Murray

The future still bodes well for the office and industrial sectors, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2019 Q1 U.S. Commercial Property Monitor report. However, survey participants indicate that more downward movement is on tap for the retail sector.

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Food-and-Beverage Real Estate Expected to See an Increase in Occupancy: CBRE

By Erika Morphy

A significant shift is underway for the US restaurants and grocery industries and the real estate these operators occupy, according to a new CBRE analysis. These changes include a greater push for convenient, prepared foods, a growing millennial influence, and the emergence of inner-ring suburbs as the industry’s hottest market. 

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Appraisal Institute Releases Annual Report Highlighting 2018 Accomplishments

The Appraisal Institute on April 17 announced that its 2018 Annual Report is available. The report highlights AI's accomplishments during the previous year in education, professional services, international activities, government relations, meetings, financial performance, professional practice and other areas.

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In-Depth Scrutiny of Published Data Improves Property Market Understanding: The Appraisal Journal

A detailed analysis of population and employment data, along with the use of fair share comparisons, increases the accuracy of assumptions made by appraisers when completing commercial valuation assignments, according to a study published this week in The Appraisal Journal.

The Appraisal Journal is the quarterly technical and academic publication of the Appraisal Institute, the nation’s largest professional association of real estate appraisers. The materials presented in the publication represent the opinions and views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Appraisal Institute.

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Vast Majority Think 2019 First Quarter is Good Time to Buy Home, says Realtor® Survey

New findings from a National Association of Realtors® survey show that more Americans believe that now is a good time to purchase a home. Consumer opinions about home buying bounced back in the first quarter of 2019, with 37 percent stating that they strongly believe now is a good time to buy, up from 34 percent in the last quarter of 2018 but down from 38 percent one year ago. Only 35 percent of respondents said that now is not a good time to buy a home, compared to 37 percent in 2018's fourth quarter.

NAR's first quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey 1also found that a majority of those polled, 53 percent, said that the economy is improving – down slightly from 59 percent at the end of last year. In 2019, optimism is the greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and those who reside in rural areas. Fifty percent of Generation X said the economy is improving, while 42 percent of urban area residents reported the same.

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JLL to Acquire HFF, Become Largest US Commercial Real Estate Debt Practice: Report

By Matt Grossman

A merger between two of the country’s most active debt-advisory shops is set to create the largest commercial real estate debt practice in the country.

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CRE Sector Expected to Stay Strong: Cushman & Wakefield

By Michael Tucker

Three themes anchor the U.S. commercial real estate investment outlook: U.S. economic performance, cycle maturity and the monetary policy outlook, said Cushman & Wakefield, New York.

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Sentiment Wanes for Office Market Affected by Co-working and Telecommuting: Study

By David Bodamer

Although it has not been the star of this extended commercial real estate cycle, the office sector has delivered its fair share of strong performance and solid returns. Occupancy rates and rents rose, cap rates fell and development has been kept in check.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Steady, Suggest Strong Spring Home Sales: Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates held steady after declining for three consecutive weeks.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this week, while mortgage applications rose 5.3 percent from the previous week. The general decline in rates we have seen recently, combined with rebounding pending home sales, hint at a strong spring homebuying season.”

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Mortgage Rates at 12-month Low as Inflation Softens, Economy Slows: Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac(OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that fixed-rate mortgages fell to the lowest levels since early 2018.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The combination of cooling inflation and slower global economic growth led mortgage rates to drift down to the lowest levels in a year. While housing activity has clearly softened over the last nine months and the lingering effects of higher rates from last year are still being felt, lower mortgage rates and a strong job market should rekindle demand for the spring homebuying season.”

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CFPB Releases List of Rural and Underserved Counties

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Feb. 12 released its 2019 list of rural and underserved counties, which those entities can use to determine if they are exempt from certain appraisal and ability-to-pay rules.

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Data Shows Homes Sold Last Year Earned Highest Return on Investment in 12 Years

By Christine Stricker

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its Year-End 2018 U.S. Home Sales Report, which shows that home sellers in 2018 realized an average home price gain since purchase of $61,000, up from $50,000 last year and up from $39,500 two years ago in 2016 to the highest level since 2006 — a 12-year high.

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Office Market Moving Toward Flex Space; New York City to See Biggest Gains: JLL

By Michael Gerrity

According to JLL's latest research, Flexing Their Muscles: Markets to Watch in 2019, the U.S. office market is poised to take on significantly more office flex space in the coming year.

"The world's top companies recognize there is no one-size-fits-all flexible approach, just like there's no one type of worker," said Doug Sharp, President, JLL Corporate Solutions, Americas. "Flexible space options allow workers and teams to select the right space to perform work each day in a location that will help realize their company's mission and their own ambitions. This is one of the reasons we see so much runway for flex space in U.S. office markets - it addresses several core needs for employers and employees alike."

Flexible space inventory (including coworking space, incubators and other short-term space options) has grown at an annual rate of 23 percent since 2010. In 2018, flexible space accounted for nearly two-thirds of the country's office market occupancy gains. JLL predicts it will comprise approximately a third of the market by 2030, compared to less than 5 percent today.

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CRE Sector Ends Year on a High; Similar Conditions Expected This Year: Berkadia

Mortgage banking and investment sales experts at Berkadia are preparing for interest rate hikes and adopting new technologies this year, according to the firm’s 2019 Outlook Powerhouse Poll. The proprietary poll, conducted in December 2018, collected insights from over 150 Berkadia investment sales brokers and mortgage bankers across 60 offices to assess 2018 commercial real estate activity and opportunities for the year ahead.

Despite four interest rate increases throughout 2018, investment sales brokers and mortgage bankers alike agree that the commercial real estate industry ended the year on a high note—82 percent said that deal volume either met or exceeded their expectations for the year. However, Berkadia’s professionals are keeping a close eye on interest rates in 2019. Eighty-one percent of mortgage bankers and 83 percent of investment sales brokers have it on their radar for the year ahead.

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