Real Estate Daily News Buzz March 29, 2017

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.

U.S. stock indexes closed sharply higher Tuesday as investors welcomed a survey showing consumer confidence has climbed to the highest level in more than 16 years. Bank stocks led the broad market rally, which snapped an eight-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.

On Tuesday, the Dow gained 150.52 points, or 0.7 percent, to 20,701.50. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16.98 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,358.57. The Nasdaq composite index added 34.77, or 0.6 percent, to 5,875.14. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 9.94 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,367.26.

For the week, the Dow is up 104.78 points, or 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 is up 14.59 points, or 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq is up 46.40 points, or 0.8 percent. The Russell 2000 is up 12.62 points, or 0.9 percent.

For the year, the Dow is up 938.90 points, or 4.8 percent. The S&P 500 is up 119.74 points, or 5.4 percent. The Nasdaq is up 492.02 points, or 9.1 percent. The Russell 2000 is up 10.13 points, or 0.8 percent.

Macy’s Inks Deal On Eve of Store ClosuresLess than three months after announcing it would shutter 68 stores nationwide, Macy’s Inc. struck an agreement with G-III Apparel Group Ltd. to be an exclusive retail distributor of the DKNY brand. To that end, Macy’s and G-III will create a store-within-a-store concept to sell apparel and accessories. Beginning February 2018, Macy’s will offer DKNY women’s clothing, handbags and shoes, as well as women’s and men’s outwear and swimwear. The products will be available at Macy’s retail locations nationwide, and on Meanwhile, G-III will continue operating freestanding global DKNY stores and its e-commerce site. G-III also will maintain DKNY’s agreements with international license partners and distributors outside of the United States. Macy’s indicated it would begin closing retail outlets in spring 2017. (Connect)

Applications now open for 2017 Raytheon No Barriers expedition for wounded veterans May 1, 2017, application deadline for August wilderness trek — Wounded veterans in Arizona, Southern California, New Mexico and Texas can now apply for the 2017 No Barriers Warriors Veteran Wilderness Expedition funded by Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN). In mid-August, the non-profit No Barriers Warriors organization will lead a team of 12 wounded veterans on a nine-day journey full of discoveries and challenges in Wyoming’s Wind River Wilderness area. Wounded veterans from all branches of the military and all eras of service are eligible to apply. To be considered for this year’s expedition, wounded veterans should apply by May 1, 2017, through the No Barriers Warriors website. Once selected, team members must train for the journey and commit to a nine-day trek through the Wind River Wilderness area. Raytheon will track the team’s progress by providing daily updates on the Raytheon website.  Participants pay nothing for the expedition; Raytheon underwrites the entire trip. “These men and women have sacrificed so much for our nation in the name of freedom,” said Raytheon Missile Systems President Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence. “By teaming with No Barriers Warriors, we are giving back to wounded veterans by providing them a life-changing experience.”

U.S. consumer confidence climbed to its highest level in more than 16 years, a strong gain for one of President Donald Trump’s preferred economic indicators. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 125.6 in March from 116.1 in February, the best reading since December 2000. The index measures both consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their expectations for the future. Both improved this month. The “renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the business group. More Americans, according to the survey, said that they expect hiring and incomes to increase over the next six months, while nearly a third described business conditions as “good” in March. Economists closely monitor the mood of consumers because their spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

U.S. home prices jumped in January from a year earlier at the fastest pace in nearly 2 years, as a tight supply of houses for sale spurred bidding wars in many cities. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday , increased 5.7 percent in January, the most since July 2014. Americans stepped up home buying in January, even as mortgage rates rose. Many buyers likely sought to close their deals before rates increased further. The Federal Reserve implemented its third rate hike in two years March 15, but economists at S&P Dow Jones Indices say higher rates won’t slow sales until later this year. The biggest price gains were in Seattle, Portland and Denver, which have topped the other cities in the index for months.There were just 1.75 million homes listed for sale in February, 6.4 percent lower than a year ago, near the lowest level since the National Association of Realtors began tracking the data in 1999.

Sears CEO Lampert Takes Bigger Stake in Ailing Chain, Shares Jump “Shares of Sears Holdings jumped more than 9 percent Monday after Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert bought more of the department store’s shares. Lampert, already Sears’ largest shareholder, bought nearly 526,000 shares last week, according to a Friday regulatory filing. Earlier that week, Fairholme Capital Management bought up nearly 614,000 shares. Fairholme Chief Investment Officer Bruce Berkowitz is also a member of Sears’ board of directors.” (Chicago Tribune)

Q&A With Brian Chesky: Disruption, Leadership and Airbnb’s Future “It’s been a newsy few weeks for Airbnb: the “home-sharing” company announced a plan to grow its business in China under a new name; closed another round of $1 billion in equity funding; and CEO Brian Chesky—who last week joined Fortune’s list of the World’s Greatest Leaders at No. 19—announced he was adding the role of Head of Community to his title. In mid-March, as part of a world tour to promote the company’s new menu of ‘experiences,’ Chesky stopped in on New York City for a sit down interview in front of the Economic Club of New York.” (Fortune)

Ford Motor Co. is investing $1.2 billion in three Michigan facilities, including an engine plant where it plans to add 130 jobs. President Donald Trump, who has pressured automakers to invest more and create jobs in the U.S., applauded the move Tuesday in an early morning tweet. “Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!,” Trump tweeted hours ahead of the announcement. Hinrichs said Tuesday’s announcement was timed to a state meeting where officials approved nearly $31 million in grants and 15-year tax exemptions for Ford. Ford will spend $850 million to upgrade the Michigan Assembly Plant next year to build the Ford Ranger midsize pickup and Ford Bronco SUV. Ford plans to build the Ranger starting at the end of 2018 and the Bronco starting in 2020.

U.S. Heading for Recession After Two Years of Unsustainable Growth, Economist Says “Posen, who served at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the mid-90s, said that GDP (gross domestic product) growth targets of 3 percent or more are unobtainable given current productivity and employment rates in the U.S. Add to that intended tax cuts and financial deregulation under Trump and the country will find itself trapped in a boom-bust cycle, Posen said.” (CNBC)

Commercial Real Estate Sellers: Hire Your Own Attorney! “Does a seller of commercial real estate really need an attorney?  I get asked this question often, and the resounding answer is ‘yes!’ Many sellers believe, possibly based on their experience in residential real estate transactions, that they can rely on the buyer’s attorney, or a real estate broker, to ‘represent’ them in a transaction.  Although it is common for the buyer’s attorney to prepare the deed and other closing documents for the seller in a residential transaction, it is strongly recommended that commercial real estate sellers hire their own attorney.” (National Law Review)

Here’s What the Next Generation of Trump Hotels Could Look Like “There could be up to 100 of these hotels opening up in cities and resorts across the country in the next three years, with the first likely to be in Dallas. According to the Dallas News, developer Mike Sarimsakci is rumored to be working on the first project, though a spokesperson for the Trump Organization declined to confirm. The Trump Organization will not be putting any money into building the hotel themselves – the named real-estate developers and their investors will cover costs.” (Business Insider)

Whole Foods Has Lost a Staggering Amount of Shoppers and That’s a Major Problem for its Future “How rotten is Whole Foods’ business at the moment? About as black as a 30 day old banana, suggests one analyst. Whole Foods has lost between nine to 14 million customers over the last six quarters, Barclay’s analyst Karen Short estimated in a new note on Monday. Short believes Kroger has been one of the prime beneficiaries of the traffic exodus from Whole Foods as the traditional supermarket has ramped up its number of organic food offerings and discounts.” (The Street)

NFL Approves Raiders’ Move to Las Vegas “NFL owners voted Monday to approve the Raiders’ move from Oakland to Las Vegas, the league announced. The move had been anticipated for months. The Raiders received about $750 million from Nevada taxpayers last year to build a stadium in Las Vegas, and team owner Mark Davis is putting up $500 million. Bank of America has committed to financing the rest. The stadium, expected to cost $1.9 billion, is planned for 2020. The Raiders are expected to stay in Oakland in the meantime.” (CNN Money)

Here Are the Nation’s Healthiest—And Unhealthiest—Housing Markets “Housing remains in high demand in most of the nation, but the housing recovery looks increasingly uneven, depending on location. Whether buyers are shopping for their own homes or for investment properties that will throw off some cash, certain markets are becoming far more lucrative than anyone might have expected just a few years ago. Still, some of the hottest markets are falling from grace. A few of the recession’s hardest-hit housing markets have suddenly some of the healthiest.” (CNBC)

LaSalle Closes on $185M Historic Boston CBD Asset “LaSalle Investment Management recently closed on the acquisition of an interest in 10 Post Office, a 14-story office building located in the center of Boston’s central business district, recapitalizing a joint venture with Synergy Investments, who will continue to act as operating partner. The asset was acquired on behalf of the company’s closed-end, U.S. value-add fund, LaSalle Income & Growth Fund VII. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank worked on behalf of both parties. According to Suffolk County records, the transaction of the Class A property amounts to $184.8 million, recorded in mid-March. Yardi Matrix data shows that the asset last changed hands in October 2014.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Amazon’s Cashier-Less Convenience Store Delayed to Work Out Technical Glitches “ Inc. is delaying the public opening of its first cashier-less convenience store because of technical complications. Amazon Go was due to launch to the public by the end of the month, after launching in beta mode to employees in December, according to people familiar with the matter. It is unclear when it will now open, as it works out kinks in the technology to automatically charge customers when they leave, instead of needing to have cash registers, checkouts and lines.” (MarketWatch)