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  1. Cost of Owning a Home Surges Above the Cost of Renting One “Housing costs, pushed higher by soaring home prices and rising mortgage rates, outpaced rental costs in April, making owning a home more expensive on a monthly basis than renting one, according to a new report. The report, released this month by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, an industry advisory firm based in California, showed that having a mortgage cost $839 more per month than having a lease — a difference nearly $200 higher than at any time in the past two decades. Just a year ago, the difference between owning and renting was virtually flat, according to the firm’s data.” (The New York Times)
  2. Dealmaker Sam Zell Can’t Make a Deal “Two companies led by the billionaire financier have been hunting for big acquisitions, with little to show for their efforts. Is it time to return shareholders’ cash?” (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  3. Interest Rates Crash Commercial Real Estate COVID Recovery “In early December, Andrew Chung’s Innovo Property Group wired a deposit and penned a contract to buy a 30-story, HSBC-anchored office tower overlooking Bryant Park for $855 million. As Chung worked to close the deal at 452 Fifth Avenue, which would elevate him from a scrappy industrial builder to a Midtown office landlord, the Federal Reserve signaled it would raise interest rates to combat inflation. By May, the SOFR rate — a broad estimate of what it costs a bank to borrow — skyrocketed to 0.78 percent from near zero in mid-March.” (The Real Deal)
  4. GSEs Regain Their Sea Legs Amid ‘Adjustment Period’ “Multifamily mortgage loan originations rose 57 percent in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s multifamily volume dipped during the same period. Although Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are still considered the premier capital sources for multifamily borrowers, sources say that the level of competition has increased as debt funds, banks, life insurance companies and lenders of commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) are all active in the multifamily sector.” (REBusiness Online)
  5. Trade Group Slams Report Forecasting NYC Hotel Rebound “The city’s hotel industry didn’t roll out the welcome mat for a sunny forecast from CBRE which claimed that pandemic-battered inns are doing just fine. Hotel Association of New York City president and CEO Vijay Dandapani threw shade on the real estate company’s rosy forecast as his organization lobbies for a big cut in the city’s hotel occupancy tax from 5.875 percent to 2.875 — as well as for reduced property taxes.” (New York Post)
  6. Pleading Return to Office Isn’t Getting Traction—But Mixing Where New Yorkers Live and Work Just Might “Restoring a sense of safety, cleanliness and excitement in battered business districts is one often-discussed way to lure office workers back. The panel could decide many workers will never return and call for a transformation of areas like Midtown Manhattan into a mixed-use community where residential buildings are interspersed with office towers, where people can live, work, learn and play. They can also promote live-work neighborhoods by developing commercial hubs outside Manhattan.” (The City)
  7. Office Depot Parent Company Reaches Decision on Sale, Split “The ODP Corp. has reviewed the alternatives and set a firm course for its consumer business. The parent company of the Office Depot and OfficeMax banners has ended more than a year of speculation by announcing that its board of directors has decided not to divest its consumer business at this time. The board’s decision was unanimous.” (Chain Store Age)
  8. ESG Investment Connects with the Real Estate Market “T30 Capital, a women-led, multi-strategy real estate investment firm, has partnered with Blueprint Capital Advisors, an independent alternative investment firm. The duo will work to scale T30’s commercial real estate lending activities while also enhancing its social impact. The combined firm will look to execute $5-50 million senior bridge and construction loans for a variety of real estate projects while also committing to open door sourcing with a focus on lending to minority- and women-owned enterprises.” (Mergers & Acquisitions)
  9. Louisiana Nursing Home Owner Faces Cruelty Charges in Deadly Hurricane Evacuation “The owner of seven nursing homes in Louisiana who sent more than 800 residents to a squalid warehouse lacking restrooms and proper medicine last year when Hurricane Ida battered the region was arrested on Wednesday on state fraud and cruelty charges, the authorities said. The man, Bob Glynn Dean Jr., 68, was out of state when he ordered the evacuation of the nursing home residents in Baton Rouge, La., on Aug. 26, 2021, telling staff members to move everyone to a warehouse in Independence referred to as the Waterbury Facility, where they braced for severe weather, according to an arrest affidavit.” (The New York Times)

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