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.
Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average picked up 21.57 points, or 0.1%, to 17,623.87. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.02 points, or 0.1%, to 2,051.60. The NASDAQ composite index added 13.23 points, or 0.3%, to 4,808.87.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 47 cents, or 1.2%, to close at $39.91 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, gained 34 cents to close at $41.54 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline added 3 cents, or 2.2%, to close at $1.46 a gallon, while heating oil slipped less than a penny to close at $1.24 a gallon.
It’s Election Day in Arizona – The Presidential Preference Election in Arizona is today, and it’s too late to mail in your ballot if you haven’t done so already. You can still cast that ballot and drop it off at any of the Pima County Recorder’s Early Voting sites – 240 N. Stone Ave., 6920 E. Broadway Blvd. (Suite D), and 6550 S. Country Club Road. You can also drop off your ballot at any polling location during the 6 a.m.-7 p.m. voting hours. Independents can’t vote in this election. Pima County Recorder’s Office polling location search:
Pima County Recorder’s Office: http://1.usa.gov/1MgGTGx
Marriott Wins Starwood Hotels Support With Improved Takeover Offer “Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. accepted an improved bid from Marriott International Inc. valued at $13.6 billion, topping an offer from a group of investors led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. Under the terms of the new offer, Starwood shareholders will receive $21 in cash and 0.80 shares of Marriott common stock for each Starwood share, according to a statement on Monday.” (Bloomberg)
MGM, Dubai World sell Las Vegas mall for $1.1 billion “MGM Resorts International and Dubai World’s Infinity World Development Corp. will sell a Las Vegas luxury shopping center to mall operator Simon Property Group Inc. and Invesco Ltd. for about $1.1 billion, the latest payoff on a bet to remake the Las Vegas Strip. The 324,000 -square-foot luxury shopping center, called The Shops at Crystals, is part of the giant CityCenter project which opened on the Las Vegas Strip in 2009, with hotels, condominium towers and the mall.” (MarketWatch)
Multifamily Starts Above Pre-Recession Levels “Housing starts as a whole were up more than expected in February, according to a report this week from the Census Bureau. Within total residential starts, multifamily was up too, coming in at 341,000 units started on an annualized basis. That’s about 19 percent higher than the same month last year. Multifamily construction is notoriously volatile, so one month isn’t particularly indicative. Yet multifamily starts (year-over-year) have been on an upward growth trend for some time now, in concert with increasing demand.” (Commercial Property Executive)
Lam Group lands $222M loan from Shanghai bank for Virgin Hotel “The Lam Group can move ahead with plans to build its 465-key Virgin Hotel in NoMad after scoring a $222 million construction loan from the Shanghai Commercial Bank. The development firm, headed by Hong Kong native John Lam, secured financing in late February for the 400,000-square-foot project at 1205-1227 Broadway, located between 29th and 30th streets, property records filed with the city Friday show.” (The Real Deal)
Airbnb Driving Down Hotel Prices in LA “The number of Airbnb listings in Los Angeles skyrocketed in 2015, according to a study from the LA Times that measured the number of listings on the short-term rental website between May and January of last year (not prices, as previously written). In that relatively short time frame, the number of rentals jumped 42 percent, with much larger increases in many areas (including several of the nine responsible for raking in most of Airbnb’s money in LA). The good news for visitors to LA is that competition from short-term rental sites like Airbnb may be keeping hotel prices down in some of the most popular areas to stay. A separate study by CBRE Hotels found that hotel rates in areas with a large number of Airbnb rooms—like Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Marina Del Rey—increased at a much slower rate than prices in the area around LAX, where there are far fewer short-term rental rooms available.” (LA Curbed)
Could More Student Housing Relax All Bay Area Rents? “If the timing is right, real estate experts say a Stanford on-campus housing project could have a domino effect – easing rental prices across the Peninsula for students and non-students alike. ‘It also could have an effect on the overall housing market because if rents are dropping, the people who own those properties could consider selling them. Which could create a ripple effect on the Peninsula, Santa Clara County and San Mateo County,’ said Dale Warfel, a Keller Williams real estate consultant.” (NBC)
The problem with department stores’ comeback plan “After opening six pilot locations for its Backstage offshoot in the fall, Macy’s will open just one more of these shops in 2016. Kohl’s, which introduced its first discount Off/Aisle location in June, will likewise cut the ribbon on just two more of these stores this year. And Nordstrom, long considered a front-runner among department stores in this space, reported negative same-store sales at its Rack brand three of the last four quarters. Nordstrom’s results, paired with tepid rollout plans at the two other retailers, come as off-price natives TJX and Ross continue to extend their lead in the space.” (CNBC)
Aeropostale: Teenage Wasteland “Aeropostale has almost completely unraveled. Any takers? The teen apparel retailer’s shares tanked as much as 50 percent in pre-market trading Friday, sending its stock to as low as 24 cents on the dollar and its market value below $20 million, after it reported a fourth-quarter loss and said it would consider strategic alternatives including a sale or restructuring.” (Bloomberg Gadfly)
Atlanta Real Estate Market Attracts New Foreign “Interest Atlanta is catching the attention of investors in the Middle East. Two investment firms in Bahrain announced this week they’re buying apartment complexes in the metro area. Jim Costello tracks real estate trends with Real Capital Analytics, and he said in the past cities like Atlanta haven’t been on the radar of real estate buyers abroad.” (WABE)
Think you have too many roommates? People with 16 are paying extra for the privilege “It’s called co-living, and it’s a lifestyle choice emerging among young people who favor Airbnb over hotels and Lyft rides over car ownership. Rather than seeking out housemates on Craigslist, city-dwellers in high-cost markets such as the Bay Area and New York City are now paying companies—some small and others, like WeWork, backed by millions in venture capital—a premium to live in a building with a curated roster of housemates, stocked kitchens and planned get-togethers.” (Los Angeles Times)
Recruitment underway for Summer pool employees – The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department is looking for water safety instructors (WSI) and lifeguards this summer. More than 150 lifeguards and swimming instructors are needed for seasonal work at City of Tucson pools, beginning the week of May 23. Applicants must be at least 16 years old at time of hire and have knowledge of water hazards, lifesaving techniques, and first aid. Learn more about the qualifications by following the links below. The application deadline is May 31.
City Manager to provide budget update to Tucson City Council – Tucson City Manager Michael Ortega will update the Mayor and Tucson City Council Tuesday on his latest plan to help balance the budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. Ortega and City staff continue to come up with ways to reduce a projected $25.6 million deficit heading into the budget year. A hiring freeze, an early retirement incentive, and other cost cutting measures helped whittle down the estimated shortfall from more than $42 million back in December. The City continues to examine new options for revenue, while making spending cuts across all departments. The recommend budget will be presented to Mayor and Council on April 19. You can follow the budget process at the link below.
Tucson water director invited to White House – Tucson Water Director Tim Thomure and Phoenix Water Director Kathryn Sorensen have been invited to the White House Water Summit tomorrow. In conjunction with World Water Day, the event is intended to raise awareness of U.S. water issues and potential solutions using science and technology to help build a sustainable and secure water future. The summit will be streamed live starting at 6 a.m. Tucson time at the link below.
Charter Review Committee meeting continue – The next meeting of the Charter Review Committee (CRC) is scheduled for today at 4:30 in City Hall, 1st Floor Conference Room, 255 W. Alameda St. The CRC is seeking comments regarding revisions to Tucson’s sales tax and the method and manner of our elections system. More information, including meeting agendas and minutes, is available at the CRC website linked below. To submit a comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, attend the CRC meeting and speak during Call to the Audience, or send mail to the City Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 27210, Tucson, AZ, 85726.