There are so many real estate articles out there — and so little time! For busy investors looking to take a quick reading break, look no further than our list of recommended reading for the week. From advice and investment tips to market reviews, we’re highlighting the stuff that’s really worth your time.
So sit back, and take a break. These were the 5 Must-Read Real Estate Articles of The Past Week:
By Gretchen Morgenson via The New York Times
Seven years after their dubious lending practices helped push the United States economy to the brink of disaster, the nation’s largest banks are closing in on a long-sought goal: to unseat Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants, and capture their share of the profits in the country’s $5.7 trillion home loan market. Taking place largely behind the scenes, the movement to take over the mortgage market has been propelled in part by a revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, an investigation by The New York Times has found. While the big banks’ effort to enshrine their vision into law has failed so far, plans to replace Fannie and Freddie — which have long supported the housing market by playing a unique role as so-called government-sponsored enterprises, or G.S.E.s — are still very much alive. The Obama administration has largely embraced the idea, and government regulators are being pushed to put crucial elements into effect.
By Steve Brown via The Dallas Morning News
Developers who are redoing downtown Dallas’ landmark Statler Hotel have spent time in China courting investors. “I’ve already made three trips to China,” said Frank Zaccanelli, a partner with Centurion American Development Group. “They are very interested in what’s going on in Dallas.” Centurion American, which also has suburban home and commercial projects in the works in North Texas, isn’t the only local real estate firm with an appetite for Chinese investment. Chinese money has funded recent downtown Dallas tower sales. And capital from China is finding its way into everything from local apartments to single-family homes. Last year Chinese investors pumped more than $3 billion into U.S. commercial real estate investment, according to data from the commercial property firm JLL. And they bought more than $28 billion in American residential properties — more than twice what any other foreign buyer acquired, according to the National Association of Realtors.
By Jason Douglas via The Wall Street Journal
Bank of England officials signaled fresh concern Wednesday about some sections of the U.K. real-estate market, saying they’re prepared to step in to curb lending if financial stability is threatened by the risky behavior of banks and borrowers. A record of the November meeting of the BOE’s Financial Policy Committee, published Wednesday, showed that officials discussed at length the risks building up in British commercial real estate and the “buy-to-let” market, where private landlords borrow large sums to purchase homes for rental. The FPC said it “stands ready” to step in if buy-to-let or commercial real-estate markets overheat. The BOE has since the crisis acquired broad powers to strengthen financial-system resilience if risky lending poses a threat to the economy. These so-called “macroprudential” tools are designed to give central banks coping with weak growth and low inflation the flexibility to deal with financial-sector excesses without raising interest rates.
By Tony Manfred via Business Insider
Nearly three years after winning a competition to design a residential building with units smaller than 400 square feet, Carmel Place is on the verge of completion. Located in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood, the building is the first micro-apartment development in New York City. Its 55 units range between 265 and 360 square feet, and market-rate units cost between $2,650 and $3,150 a month. Since 1987, New York has required units to be 400 square feet or larger, but the city made an exception for this project — which was pitched as a solution to the lack of affordable living options for singles who want to live in Manhattan by themselves. Tobias Oriwol, project developer for Monadnock Development, told INSIDER that the units are specifically designed to make the most out of their limited square footage. “People really don’t care too much about the size as long as the apartment does what they want it to do,” he said.
By Konrad Putzier via The Real Deal
WeWork is looking to become WeWorld — if not in name, in practice. To date, the office-sharing firm has 51 locations in the U.S. — 22 of them in New York — and only 12 abroad. But that U.S. focus is about to change. The company — which has four locations in Israel, where co-founder Adam Neumann grew up, six in London and two in Amsterdam — is planning to open in Berlin and then Shanghai, sources told The Real Deal last month. And that is just the beginning. “They want to become like LinkedIn, and having a global map of locations elevates the scale of its value proposition,” said Patrick McGrath, a senior managing director at Savills Studley who follows WeWork closely. In other words, the more cities and countries WeWork is in and the bigger its global network of members gets, the more appealing its model becomes to potential customers, McGrath argued. This is because members looking to network have a larger pool of potential clients and customers.
Did you like these articles? What were your favorite articles this week?