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.
Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 125.18 points, or 0.8%, to 16,069.64. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.41 points, or 0.6%, to 1,893.36. The NASDAQ composite index added 38.51 points, or 0.9%, to 4,506.68.
U.S. crude rose 92 cents, or 2.8%, to $33.22 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained 79 cents, or 2.4%, to $33.89. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline rose 3.3 cents to $1.079 a gallon. Heating oil rose 0.6 cents to $1.031 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.5 cents to $2.182 per 1,000 cubic feet.
US stocks rise as oil prices jump again; tech climbs — U.S. stocks rose Thursday as the price of oil climbed for the third day in a row while key oil-producing nations discussed cuts in production. Tech and consumer stocks traded higher, led by Amazon and PayPal, while drugmakers fell. Facebook made its biggest leap in two and a half years after it said its profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter. The social network finished 2015 with almost 1.6 billion users. Sports apparel maker Under Armour also surged. Energy prices and companies rose as Russia, Saudi Arabia and OPEC discussed production cuts.
University of Phoenix Parent Company Prepares for new round of layoffs -Apollo Education Group Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) is planning another round of layoffs. About 70 positions in various departments and divisions throughout Apollo’s 13,000-employee base will be let go, but do not include any from its flagship University of Phoenix, according to a spokesman. The layoffs will be nationwide, but mostly at the company’s Phoenix headquarters. The spokesman said they will not impact employees at University of Phoenix, which last year had more than 1,500 layoffs.
Blackstone Fourth Quarter Profit Falls 70% on Volatility “Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest manager of alternative assets, said fourth-quarter profit fell 70 percent as asset sales slowed and stakes in some companies it’s taken public declined. A 22 percent decline since September has stripped nearly $2.3 billion in value from Blackstone’s Hilton shares. Other big stock holdings, including in drug products maker Catalent Inc., retailer Michaels Cos. and oil explorer Kosmos Energy Ltd., also tumbled.” (Bloomberg)
Miami’s Coconut Grove Grows from Birkenstocks to Billionaires “With tight inventory and a spate of ambitious condo projects, the Grove has attracted a number of high profile residents in recent years, including actor Christian Slater, mega-developer Jorge Pérez, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and health care tycoon Mike Fernandez, according to public records and real-estate agents. Prices for some units in Park Grove’s under-construction towers are expected to top $1,900 a square foot—a city of Miami record.” (Wall Street Journal)
Danger Signs at the Mall? More Empty Storefronts “The death of the mall has been greatly exaggerated. Yet as online shopping and a wave of store closings continue to erode sales at these shopping centers, a new report has found that softness is starting to creep into their economics. According to research by Green Street Advisors, for the first time since the recession, occupancy at malls is declining, and market rents appear to be slowing.” (CNBC)
Manhattan Developer Ices Plans for Central Park Luxury Condos “Developer Steven Witkoff is holding off on converting Manhattan’s Park Lane Hotel into luxury condominiums — for now. The owners are contemplating a renovation of the 46-story hotel at the foot of Central Park, Witkoff said in an interview. He led a group that acquired the property from the estate of Leona Helmsley for $660 million in 2013. Since then, the allure of building high-end homes has dimmed as new towers aimed at multimillionaire buyers crowd the market.” (Bloomberg)
Cap Rates Fall in Secondary and Tertiary Markets “In 2015, apartment cap rates, at least in the six major metros, finally found a floor, according to a recent report from Real Capital Analytics (RCA). Despite a drop in December that RCA said could just be “monthly noise,” cap rates continue to hover at the 5% floor they hit in mid-2014. That could be a function of investors looking at other locations and product types.” (Multifamily Executive)
Helping Landlords, Brokers Hack the City’s Rental Market “Nestio is an online business-to-business conduit for apartment listings. When landlords record vacancies or occupancies in their buildings on one end of the portal, brokerages and apartment-hunting websites like StreetEasy and Trulia instantly register it on the other. To understand why this concept is so novel, it is important to note just how vast, fractured and unreliable the listings data landscape is in New York City.” (Crain’s New York Business)
Citigroup Will Buy Back Tribeca HQ from SL Green for $2B “Citigroup is exercising its option to purchase its Tribeca headquarters at 388-390 Greenwich Street from SL Green Realty for $2 billion, the real estate investment trust announced Wednesday. The banking giant will buy back the 2.7 million-square-foot office complex it sold to a partnership between SL Green and Ivanhoe Cambridge for nearly $1.6 billion in 2007. The bank signed a $1 billion lease renewal for its 2.7 million square feet at the properties in 2013 – a deal that came with the $2 billion buyback option.” (The Real Deal)
Record Investment Poured into Prime Logistics Real Estate Worldwide in 2015 “According to a new JLL logistics survey report released this week, industrial and supply chain real estate occupiers and investors alike experienced a record-breaking year in 2015 and should expect this trend to continue well into 2016. JLL reports strong demand for logistics facilities is expected to remain consistent globally during 2016. Rental growth is projected to continue across all markets of the world in 2016 and through 2017.” (World Property Journal)
4 Powerful Ways Real Estate Can Make You a Millionaire “I’m a real estate investor, and I firmly believe that real estate is the best traditional investment on Planet Earth today. However, just because you buy a piece of real estate doesn’t mean you’re going to make money. As I explain in The Book on Rental Property Investing, big wealth is built through real estate investing by capitalizing on something I call ‘the four wealth generators of real estate.’ Alone, each of these benefits can help you make more money, but together they’ll make you rich.” (Entrepreneur)
How an L Train Closure Might Hurt Brooklyn Real Estate “Though it’s not clear yet what will happen with the subway service, brokers agree that any type of closure will have an impact. Karla Saladino, managing partner at Mirador real estate, said many foreign buyers looking for new development outside of Manhattan as investments to rent out will likely avoid buildings along the L train corridor. Many are already opting for Long Island City instead, she said.” (DNAinfo)
Average US rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.79 per cent — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a fourth straight week amid persisting turmoil in stock markets and global economic worries. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.79 per cent from 3.81 per cent a week earlier. That means it stays below the symbolically significant 4 per cent level. The rate has increased from its 3.66% average a year ago but remains well below its historic average of 6%. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 3.07% from 3.10%.