Reserve-White-house-domeReal 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 fell 222.77 points, to 1.4%, to close at 15,944.46. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index sank 20.68 points, or 1.1%, to 1,882.95. The NASDAQ composite index lost 99.51 points, or 2.2%, to 4,468.17.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose 85 cents, or 2.7%, to close at $32.30 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, rose $1.30, or 4.1%, to $31.10 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline slipped to $1.0457 a gallon. Heating oil rose 5.8 cents, or 5.9%, to $1.025 a gallon. Natural gas added 0.9 cents to $2.189 per 1,000 cubic feet.

US new-home sales soar in December — Americans rushed to buy new homes in December at the strongest pace in 10 months, with 2015 marking the strongest year for this segment of the housing market since 2007. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales surged 10.8 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000. It was the third consecutive monthly gain since sales collapsed in September. Sales of new homes accelerated sharply in 2015, rising 14.5% on the entire year to 501,000.

Oro Valley asking for community input on the FY 2016-17 budget – The Town of Oro Valley has begun its budget process for fiscal year 2016-17 and is asking for community input. For the second consecutive year, the Town will utilize an online budget questionnaire, 5 Questions in 5 Minutes. This online opportunity resulted in much greater public participation last year than the traditional public forums held in previous years. The online questionnaire—which goes live today—includes the same questions as last year in order to gauge any changes in the community’s goals, priorities and opinions. It will be available on the Town’s website for a two-week period, January 25 through February 8. Participants will have an opportunity to rank potential capital improvement project categories and indicate priority levels on Town programs and services. To answer the five questions, click here.

CEO of Warehouse REIT Said He Isn’t Afraid of China “The fundamentals of real estate still hold up, even when there is an elephant in your warehouse. Supply and demand are favoring the U.S. industrial space, despite fears of China’s slowing economy sucking the wind out of the sector’s sails. Prologis, the largest warehouse REIT in the nation, reported strong fourth-quarter funds from operations on Tuesday, beating expectations by 2 cents per share. Revenue of $643.2 million was considerably higher than expected, up 43 percent from one year ago.” (CNBC)

Daniel Doctoroff Takes His Business to Hudson Yards “Daniel L. Doctoroff, the powerful former deputy mayor who pushed to add glittering offices and apartments to industrial areas in New York, giving much of the skyline its current look, is moving to a neighborhood of his making.” (The New York Times)

How to Appeal Your Real Estate Tax Assessment “Real estate taxes are a reality. They are tools used to finance school systems, state and local governments and other key aspects that keep our daily lives humming along. But how are they calculated? What is the assessment process? The answer is it varies by state and the ins and outs of the methodology may result in some surprising, little-known facts that can help you understand the appeals process, ensure your tax bill is accurate and save you money in the long run.” (The Washington Post)

Real Estate Secondary Market Heats Up in 2015, Led by CalPERS—Report “There were $8.2 billion in global real estate transactions on the secondary market in 2015, up 71% from $4.8 billion the year before, said a report by Landmark Partners, an alternative investments manager that invests on the secondary market. The growth is mostly from sales of real estate limited partnership interests by domestic public pension funds, which accounted for 63% of the transactions in 2015, compared to 7% of sales by non-U.S. pension funds.” (Pensions & Investments)

Barclays Predicts “Turbulence” for Office, Retail REITs in 2016 “Barclays has predicted “turbulence ahead” for U.S. real estate investment trusts in 2016, downgrading the likes of Vornado Realty Trust, General Growth Properties and Rouse Properties and citing headwinds like ‘rising interest rates’ and ‘geopolitical uncertainty.’ The London-based banking giant downgraded Vornado to ‘equal weight’ from a previous rating of ‘overweight,’ citing ‘softer rental growth in its core markets’ despite still viewing the Steven Roth-led firm as ‘a high-quality, well-run company that is one of the bellwethers of the REIT universe.’” (The Real Deal)

Investor Wants to Dissolve Crowdfunding Pioneer iFunding “Crowdfunding startup iFunding got hit with its second lawsuit since December, after investor Michael J. Turner filed a complaint seeking to liquidate the company. According to the complaint, filed in a Delaware state court, Michael J. Turner Enterprises, a Connecticut-based contractor, invested a total of $100,000 in the company in 2012 and 2013 in return for a 20-percent ownership stake. iFunding, which allows small-time savers to invest in real estate projects through an online platform, was then in its infant stages.” (The Real Deal)

Lack of Large Block Space Constraining Some U.S. Office Markets in 2016 “According to a new report from CBRE Group, the improving U.S. economy and corresponding increase in office demand – along with new construction activity that has been slow to commence compared with previous cycles – has resulted in a diminishing number of available large blocks of office space in many markets across the U.S., creating challenges for occupiers seeking large footprints. While construction activity has begun to increase recently new supply will not necessarily spell relief in all markets.” (World Property Journal)

Blackstone still keen to invest in Australian commercial property “The world’s biggest real estate investor, Blackstone, does not see the Australian commercial property market as overheated and expects increasing global volatility to create new investment opportunities, according to Ken Caplan, its New York-based global chief investment officer for real estate.” (The Australian)

Hyatt Centric Goes Global, Adds More U.S. Sites “Nearly a year after adding the Hyatt Centric lifestyle brand to its hospitality offerings, Hyatt Hotels Corp. is expanding its reach with two international hotels. The first will open in mid-2016 in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the second will be developed in Tokyo.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Dov Charney’s bid to buy American Apparel nixed by judge “A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Monday approved a reorganization plan for American Apparel that shuts out the company’s founder — setting aside a last ditch effort by the controversial businessman to return to the helm of the company he founded 26 years ago.” (New York Post)

Fed voices concern about global economic pressures — The Federal Reserve sounded a note of concern Wednesday about how global pressures could affect the U.S. economy, while keeping a key interest rate unchanged. The statement it issued after its latest policy meeting signaled that it might consider slowing future rate hikes if market losses and global weakness don’t abate. But the Fed did not commit to slowing its pace of rate increases, and stock investors appeared disappointed. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down about 223 points, or 1.4%. The Dow had been up slightly before the Fed issued its statement.

Facebook posts strong 4Q as company closes gap with Google — Facebook is growing at an exceptional pace as it enters adolescence, propelling it into a better position to challenge Google as the Internet’s most powerful company. Facebook’s fourth-quarter report Wednesday provided the latest gauge of the company’s impressive strides. It marked the first time that Facebook’s quarterly revenue has surpassed $5 billion. Its earnings also more than doubled to $1.56 billion, even as the Menlo Park, California, company invests heavily in virtual reality, Internet access in remote parts of the world and a mobile ad network for services other than its own.