Real Estate Daily News Buzz March 4, 2016

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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.

Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 44.58 points, or 0.3%, to 16,943.90. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index edged up 6.95 points, or 0.4%, to 1,993.40. Tech stocks lagged, and the NASDAQ composite index added 4 points, or 0.1%, to 4,707.42.

U.S. crude fell 9 cents to $34.57 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, added 14 cents to $37.07 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $1.30 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $1.12 a gallon. Natural gas, which is trading at 17-year lows, fell 4 cents to $1.64 a gallon.

Natural Grocers with two locations already in Tucson, will open its third in Central Tucson on Tuesday, March 22 at 3016 E. Broadway Blvd, near Country Club. To celebrate the grand opening, Natural Grocers will have a ribbon-cutting starting at 7:55 AM with the first 50 people in line receiving gift cards in the amounts of $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100. The amounts will remain a mystery until guests reach their cashier when checking out. Mariachi Alegre, a local group in Tucson, Arizona, composed of four musicians formed in 2010 from members of the original Mariachi Internacional America de Gilberto Velez.

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.64 per cent — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in two months as global economic anxiety and market turbulence eased. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.64 per cent from 3.62% last week. The benchmark rate remains below the 3.75% level it marked a year ago. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 2.94% from 2.93 per cent last week (ABC)

Sports Authority Bankruptcy Part of Larger Wave “Many companies languished in the portfolios of private equity firms while the markets tried to recover from the 2008 financial crisis. Ten of the 20 largest were eventually freed through initial public offerings of stock after 2010. But some of those companies are struggling. The biggest deal that went bust was the $44.3 billion purchase of the Dallas-based TXU Corporation by the Texas Pacific Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Goldman Sachs in 2007. The company has filed for bankruptcy in 2014 with nearly $50 billion in debt.” (The New York Times)

Investors Like Real Estate, Private Equity in First Half “Institutional investors at the start of the first half had mixed attitudes toward the alternative assets industry, according to a survey by Preqin, an alternatives data provider. Sixty-five percent of investors held positive general perception of private equity, with only 6% expressing a negative perception. And 52% of investors had a positive view of real estate, and just 12% a negative one.” (ThinkAdvisor)

Fed’s Beige Book: Economic Activity Increased in Most Regions “U.S. economic activity continued to expand in most districts from early January to late February but conditions varied considerably across regions and within sectors, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. The decidedly mixed picture illustrates the headache Fed policymakers face when they next meet to decide the path of interest rates on March 15-16.” (Reuters)

Fewer Superrich for the First Time Since 2008 “The ranks of the global superrich shrank last year for the first time since 2008, a fresh signal that slower economic growth, stock market shocks and weak commodity prices have taken their toll. The rise of the superrich over recent years has been a boon for real-estate markets, which have become a popular destination for investment. Since 2009, a quarter of global commercial property investment came from ultra-high-net-worth individuals, the Knight Frank report said.” (MarketWatch)

Marcus & Millichap Announces John Kerin’s Retirement, Appoints New CEO “Marcus & Millichap is starting fresh this spring with a new president & chief executive officer. The national brokerage firm announced that John Kerin will retire as CEO and member of the company’s Board of Directors on March 31st, to be succeeded by Senior Executive Vice President Hessam Nadji. John Kerin joined Marcus & Millichap as a sales agent in the Encino office back in 1981.” (Commercial Property Executive)

Greystar Buys Three NYC Rental Buildings for $336M “Greystar Real Estate Partners snapped up three New York City rental buildings for $336.3 million, in another sign that investors remain bullish on multifamily properties. The Charleston-based fund manager paid $211.3 million for the 204-unit rental building 160 West 24th Street in Chelsea from Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management. In a separate deal, it bought two new rental developments in Williamsburg – 247 North 7th Street and 248 North 8th Street – from Adam America Real Estate for $125 million.” (The Real Deal)

Moinian, Thor Take $160M Life Company Loan to Refi NoMad Office Tower “AIG Global Real Estate lent $160 million against the The Moinian Group and Thor Equities’s 24-story office building at 245 Fifth Avenue between East 27th and East 28th Streets in NoMad, a source informed Commercial Observer. The seven-year mortgage carries a three-year term with interest-only payments and a fixed rate of 3.99 percent, the source said on the condition of anonymity. Proceeds of the financing are being used to replace a $130 million loan Deutsche Bank originated in July 2014, city records show.” (Commercial Observer)

Smooth Operators: 6 Tips to Handle Property Management Transitions “Property management changes are one of the most basic processes in the apartment industry. Considering how often they happen, one would think the method for transitioning all the necessary property information from one company to another is standard and simple. But that’s far from true. Stephanie Brock recalls an example from a few years ago, when she was working as division president for Riverstone Residential Group.” (Multifamily Executive)

NYC’s Global Real Estate Giants “The rush of foreign investors and buyers has contributed mightily to New York real estate’s booming growth over the last few years. In this month’s magazine, The Real Deal adds it all up, and identifies the largest and most important sources of incoming cash from abroad – from Abu Dhabi, to Germany, to South Korea and beyond.” (The Real Deal)

First oil flows from Alaska reserve set aside in ’23 — ConocoPhillips has become the first oil company to draw crude from the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Rising from the edgeless, wind-scoured, snow-covered tundra is a million-pound drilling rig pulling the first commercial oil from a reserve set aside nearly a century ago. It’s an area the size of Indiana, which President Warren G. Harding dedicated as an emergency oil supply for the U.S. Navy in 1923. The Bureau of Land Management, which controls the reserve, in 2013 identified 12 million acres that could be available for development while setting aside 11 million acres to protect wild animals and grazing lands.

US productivity stuck in slow-growth mode — U.S. productivity fell in the final quarter of 2015 at the sharpest pace in nearly two years. The Labor Department said Thursday that productivity — the amount of output per hour of work — fell at an annual rate of 2.2% in the October-December period. For all of 2015, productivity rose just 0.7%, marking the fifth straight year of weak gains. Productivity is a key ingredient needed for rising living standards. Increased productivity enables businesses to pay employees higher wages without having to boost the cost of the products and services they sell.

Tech industry groups, security experts back Apple — A slew of tech industry groups and civil liberties advocates are filing court documents backing Apple in its fight with the FBI. Several police groups, meanwhile, filed briefs in support of federal authorities who are seeking Apple’s help in hacking an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino mass shooters. The so-called “friends of the court” briefs come in advance of a March 22 hearing in which Apple is asking U.S. Magistrate Sheri Pym to reverse an order requiring Apple help authorities hack into the phone. Among those backing Apple in the dispute are some of its biggest competitors, including Google, Microsoft and Facebook.