Office Space Vacancies Monitored Closely As Numbers Begin To Fall

By CHUCK GREEN Office vacancy rates are being monitored closely as the commercial space industry continues to grapple with COVID’s effects on the workplace. In Los Angeles, office activity stagnated in the first quarter of 2022. One-fifth of total inventory remained vacant and rents remained unchanged, according to Greg Cornfield at Commercial Observer. Other major metro areas, including New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Chicago, also continue to experience double-digit vacancy rates. Stemming from remote work due to the variant, San Francisco and DC reportedly kicked off the year with vacancies approaching 20%. In major U.S. markets vacancies of around 60% were recently shown by Kastle Systems, which measures occupancy by looking at foot traffic into offices.…

Will The Housing Market Boom Or Bust In 2022?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As the spring selling season begins, people in the mortgage and real estate industries are speculating on whether 2022 will be a year of growth or the start of the end for a red-hot market that has favored sellers and forced up the price of housing in many parts of the country. Numbers from the start of the year look promising for growth. On Tuesday, S&P Dow Jones Indices released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. A 19.2% annual gain was reported in January, up from 18.9% in December. The 10-City Composite annual increase was 17.5%, up from 17.1% in December. The 20-City Composite posted a 19.1% year-over-year gain, up from 18.6% in the previous…

Home Prices Are Up But Remain Far Below April 2006 Peak

Homes are less affordable than they were a year ago, but they largely remain more affordable than at the peak of the 2006 housing boom, according to First American Financial Corporation’s Real House Price Index. In January, the RHPI rose 27% from the year prior, making it the fastest-growing RHPI – and fastest YOY decline in affordability – since 2004. This was driven by a 21.7% increase in home prices and a 0.7% rise in rates. The RHPI measures price changes for single-family properties adjusted for the impact of income and interest rate changes on consumer house-buying power. As such, it also serves as a measure of affordability. Household income was up 5% from January 2021, but that gain was…

Despite Changes, Office Spaces Are Not A Thing Of The Past

By DOUG OHLEMEIER Despite many employees working from home and companies adopting hybrid work models, investors are still attracted to the land of cubicles. While office suites aren’t as packed with workers as before the pandemic, the commercial market remains strong. “There is investor interest in office properties,” said Stephen Newbold, National Director in the U.S. office of research for Colliers International, a Toronto, Ontario-based global real estate services and investment management company. “We are at a stage where we can fairly confidently say that we’re not going back to those (2020) levels. It may fluctuate a little, but my overarching view is we are stabilizing on vacancies and space on the market.” Observers aren’t sure how the new work…

$53 Million Agreement With Fannie Mae To Help Rebuild Communities Of Color In Metro Areas

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The National Fair Housing Alliance and 20 fair housing organizations throughout the country have reached a landmark $53 million agreement to resolve claims that Fannie Mae treated homes it owned in majority-Black and Latino communities unfavorably. Lisa Rice, President and CEO of NFHA in Washington, D.C., said in a statement that Monday’s settlement brings hope to underserved neighborhoods in 39 metropolitan areas. “Black and Latino consumers were actively targeted by predatory subprime mortgage lenders in the run-up to the 2008 Financial Crisis and, as a result, homes in Black and Latino neighborhoods were respectively 2 and 2.5 times more likely to be foreclosed than homes in White communities. Millions of homeowners in Black and Latino communities lost their homes,…

Austin Home Values Equivalent To Ecuador’s Total GDP

December 2021 saw a record annual surge in US home value, the largest gain seen in any December since at least 2001, according to a new analysis of Redfin’s Housing Value Index. U.S. home value rose 18.6% year-over-year (YOY) to $38.6 trillion. Austin, TX, saw home values double that, jumping 39.2% YOY. That shakes out to $365.9 billion, roughly the 2020 GDP of Ecuador and the biggest gain of any metro tracked by Redfin. December marked the 17th consecutive month of double-digit price gains as inventory shrank to a record low. Cape Coral, FL, saw the second-highest gains (36.9%), followed by Grand Rapids, MI (33.1%), Phoenix (32.8%), and Boise, ID (32.8%). Cape Coral and Phoenix have consistently made the list…

Guaranteed Rate No. 8 Chevrolet To Debut In NASCAR Race

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Race car driver Tyler Reddick will debut the new Guaranteed Rate No. 8 Chevrolet at the first-ever Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum this Sunday. Reddick said Sunday’s event is an exhibition race, so points do not matter and all the drivers will be going all-out to try and win. “It’s going to be a wild race for drivers and fans alike, so I couldn’t think of a better place to officially debut Guaranteed Rate’s amazing new look,” Reddick said in an article for Guaranteed Rate. Guaranteed Rate Vice President of Marketing and Sports Partnerships Steve McNelley says they are thrilled about the partnership. The company specializes in mortgage lending and digital financial services. “Our focus on…

CoreLogic: Double-Digit Rent Growth In September

Strong demand and the labor market are fueling single-family rent price increases which remain at record highs. September data from CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index shows rents increased 10.2% year-over-year (YOY), compared to a 2.6% YOY increase in September 2020. Rents increased across all four tiers of rental prices used by CoreLogic. Lower-priced rentals (less than 75% of the regional median) saw an increase of 8.3% YOY, while rents in the lower-middle price range (75%-100% of the regional median) rose 9.3% YOY, both more than doubling their growth from the same time in 2020. Rents for higher-priced properties broke 10%, with higher-middle priced (100%-125%) rents climbing 10.5%, compared to 2.4% in September 2020. Higher-priced rentals (125% or more of the regional…