Real Estate Daily News Buzz – August 6, 2015

Reserve & White house Real Estate Daily News
Real Estate Daily News Buzz – business perspectives, real estate, government, the Fed, local news, and the stock markets

Real Estate Daily News Buzz is designed to give news snippets to readers that our (yet to be award winning) editors thought you could use to start your day. They come from various business perspectives, real estate, government, the Fed, local news, and the stock markets to save you time. Here you will find the headlines and what the news buzz of the day will be.

Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 10.22 points, or 0.1%, to 17,540.47. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 6.52 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,099.84. The NASDAQ composite rose 34.40 points, or 0.7%, to 5,139.94.

U.S. crude fell 59 cents to close at $45.15 a barrel in New York, reaching its lowest level since March. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell 40 cents to close at $49.59 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.4 cents to close at $1.671 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.9 cents to close at $1.539 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1.4 cents to close at $2.798 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Survey: US businesses added 185,000 workers in July – The rate of hiring by U.S. businesses slowed in July, according to a private survey. But job gains remained at a solid level, which should help boost overall economic growth. Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that companies added 185,000 jobs last month, down from 229,000 in June. The government will issue its official jobs report for July on Friday, which provides a fuller look at the economy than the ADP survey. Economists forecast the government report will show that employers added 225,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate held at 5.3 per cent for the second straight month. (Yahoo News)

SUN TRAN urges bus riders to plan for possible service disruption – As Tucson Sun Tran officials and representatives of Teamsters Local 104 continue to negotiate a new contract, the current contract extension is set to expire at 11:59 tonight. In the event of a work stoppage, Sun Tran will offer limited weekday service from approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Routes 3, 8, 11, 16, and 18. Service maps and schedules are available at transit centers and the Sun Tran website linked below. You also can call (520) 792-9222 and monitor social media. If a strike is called it would apply only to buses, not the Sun Link streetcar and other services.Sun Tran: Hosts Largest Online Real Estate Sale in History “ just announced the largest transaction in its 8-year history and largest online real estate transaction ever: The $96.075 million sale of Manhattan Towers, a two-building, 309,734-square-foot office property in Manhattan Beach, Calif., a premier coastal community within Los Angeles. Manhattan Towers sold in a custom auction that concluded on July 22.” (Housingwire)

Preqin: Foundations Drag in Real Estate Push “US-based foundations are investing a surprisingly small amount of capital to real estate, according to Preqin. The firm’s data showed foundations made up 28% of US-based real estate investors, but represented just 2% of total invested assets. More than two-thirds of foundations allocated less than 5% of their total assets to real estate, Preqin said.” (Chief Investment Officer)

Investors Check Into Hotel Sector “Hotel sales world-wide are on a scorching pace for 2015 after totaling $42 billion in the first half, boosted by an increasing appetite among Asian and Middle Eastern investors. Lodging transactions in the first half jumped 56% over the same period last year, according to real-estate broker JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group. The pace was short of the record of $62 billion set in the first half of 2007.” (Wall Street Journal)

Real Estate Investment Aided by Ponzi Scheme Could Recoup Victims’ Money “In a Ponzi-meets-‘The Producers’ fraud, two brothers-in-law tricked investors out of $96 million, diverting much of the money, which investors thought was going into managed funds, to prop up the then-faltering Panoramic View. But in a remarkable twist, the men who lost so much of others’ money turned out to have a way with real estate. The Panoramic View was such a good investment that now the investors stand a chance of recouping some of their money.” (The New York Times)

Iron Hound Lends Chetrit a Hand “As the culmination to about three years of complex negotiations, Iron Hound Management Co., L.L.C. has completed the restructuring of a $317 million CMBS loan on a 56-property national multi-family portfolio on behalf of CRE investor and developer The Chetrit Group, Iron Hound announced Monday. The loan is secured by 5,400 apartments in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Office Depot Picking Up Pace of Store Closures “Office Depot is accelerating its previously announced plan to close at least 400 stores as the retailer awaits its acquisition by Staples. After shuttering a greater than expected 99 stores in the second quarter, Office Depot boosted its 2015 store closing target to 175 locations, with another 60 due to close in 2016. The closings are on top of 153 closings throughout 2014, including 108 stores in the fourth quarter of last year.” (Chain Store Age)

Mortgage REITs Remain Great Income Vehicles “Mortgage REITs are interesting vehicles in that regardless of the stellar income they throw off there is constant worry about the stability of it. When interest rates are rising there’s fear that the value of the mortgages owned by the REIT will be negatively affected and cause the shares to decline. When interest rates are falling, the fear is that mortgagors will refinance, causing the fund to experience prepayments that could disrupt dividends.” (The Street)

Situs Hires BlackRock Exec for Commercial Property Risk Analysis “Situs, a rapidly expanding commercial real estate advisory firm, said on Tuesday it hired Warren Friend, a securitization expert who was BlackRock’s point man for its advise to governments on commercial real estate valuations during the financial crisis. Friend will lead product strategy and strategic client development at Situs.” (Reuters)

The Top 10 States with the Most RIAs “The distribution of RIAs across the U.S. is driven by several factors: access to financial markets, population and client net worth, according to the 2015 Evolution Revolution report on the RIA landscape.  With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the top states for registered investment advisors coincide with major financial markets.” (

Why Buying a Condo for Your College Kid Could Be a Smart Move “Prices in many real-estate markets are booming again. So the idea of buying a condo for your college-bound kid to use while in school may have some traction. You could avoid paying through the nose for a dorm room or apartment with no hope of any profit. And if you buy a condo that has some extra space, you can rent it out to your kid’s pal(s) and offset some of the ownership cost.” (MarketWatch)

Automakers trying to prevent hackers from commandeering cars – When researchers at two West Coast universities took control of a General Motors car through cellular and Bluetooth connections in 2010, they startled the auto industry by exposing a glaring security gap. Five years later, two friendly hackers sitting on a living room couch used a laptop computer to commandeer a Jeep from afar over the Internet, demonstrating an even scarier vulnerability. (ABC News)

Economists dump on Trump boast to bring jobs back from China – Donald Trump vows to bring back the millions of American jobs lost to China and other foreign competitors if voters put him in the White House. Economists say he wouldn’t stand a chance: Trump’s boundless self-confidence is no match for the global economic forces that took those jobs away. Since the beginning of 2000, the U.S. economy has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs. A study published last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that between 2 million and 2.4 million jobs were lost to competition from China from 1999 to 2011. (Washington Times)

Who are the stock market heavyweights? At $660 billion, Apple is the stock market’s heavyweight. Like a handful of other “big cap” companies such as Microsoft and Exxon Mobil, the iPhone maker’s market value means that when its shares move, so can the market. And these are the companies that influence your stock portfolio. Lately, Apple’s influence has been a drag.(ABC News)

US trade gap widens 7 per cent in June as imports jump – The U.S. trade deficit increased in June as solid consumer spending pulled in more imports, while the strong dollar restrained exports. The Commerce Department said Wednesday the trade gap jumped 7 per cent to $43.8 billion in June, up from $40.9 billion in May. Imports increased 1.2 per cent to $232.4 billion, while exports edged lower to $188.6 billion from $188.7 billion. U.S. manufacturers have been held back this year by the strong dollar, which makes their products more expensive overseas. (US Dept. of Commerce)

Growth at US services firms surges to record in July – Business at U.S. services companies surged in July, the Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday. The institute said its services index rose to 60.3 last month, highest since the index was created in 2008 and up from 56 in June. Any reading above 50 shows growth in the services sector. Its measure of business activity for services firms rose to 64.9 from 61.5 in June. New orders and employment were also up strongly. Export orders also rose at a faster pace, despite a strong dollar that makes U.S. products and services more expensive in overseas markets. (Reuters)

US carbon pollution from power plants hits 27-year low – Heat-trapping pollution from U.S. power plants hit a 27-year low in April, the Department of Energy announced Wednesday. A big factor was the long-term shift from coal to cleaner and cheaper natural gas, said Energy Department economist Allen McFarland. Outside experts also credit more renewable fuel use and energy efficiency. Carbon dioxide — from the burning of coal, oil and gas — is the chief greenhouse gas responsible for man-made global warming. (ABC News)