Editors’ Weekly News Roundup January 29 – February 2

With significant capital on the sidelines, our expectation is that the combination of rate cuts and pricing resets for all asset classes will fuel significant activity later this year.Harry Klaff, U.S. president, Avison Young

Outlook stories for the year ahead led the rankings of the most-read stories on Connect CRE for the week ending Feb. 3. Topping the list was a story on a Bloomberg survey of where residential mortgage rates will settle by the end of the year.

Mortgage Rates Expected to Drop to 5.5% in 2024 was the week’s most-read story on the strength of survey respondents’ convictions, which have implications for apartment renter demand. The story also cited a study from John Burns Research & Consulting on why 5.5% appears to be the magic number for mortgage seekers.

On the subject of rates, CRE Experts See “Higher for Longer” Rates Lasting a Little Longerfollowed up on the Federal Reserve’s widely expected decision at its Jan. 30-31 meeting to leave the federal funds rate unchanged. Our second most-read story for the week, it quoted commercial real estate experts who generally expressed the belief that markets’ giddy response to seemingly dovish comments from the Fed was a little premature.

Few in CRE or the broader financial market expected that the Fed would start 2024 by cutting rates, but the hope was that the central bank would begin the reduction process before the first quarter came to an end. Now it’s looking more likely that the year’s second half will see this process getting underway.

A forecast with more favorable ramifications for investment sales came from Marcus & Millichap and served as the basis for the week’s third most-read story. Although the firm tempered expectations by cautioning that deal volume has normalized after a couple of high-velocity years, Marcus & Millichap: Investor Capital Will Return to Multifamily reported that we’re likely to see price discovery as both individual and institutional capital comes off the sidelines.

Two regional stories that also drew readership nationally completed the top five. From New York City, Bilt Raises $200M, Valued at $3B reported on fundraising success on the part of Bilt Rewards, a loyalty platform specializing in rent and neighborhood rewards. Its latest funding round was led by General Catalyst and Connect CRE readers made its story the fourth most-read of the week.

Rounding out the roster was a story from the Phoenix region about a sector with impact not only on industrial real estate, but more broadly as well. Lucid Group is embarking on Phase II of its Advanced Manufacturing Plant in Casa Grande, AZ. We reported the news in Lucid Building $1B Plant Expansion.

Although it fell short of cracking the top five, another regional story about expansion plans drew readership both locally and nationally. In this case, the manufacturing facilities are sound stages for film and TV production, specifically those at Hackman Capital Partners’ Radford Studio Center in Los Angeles’ Studio City neighborhood. Dating from the late 1920s, the historic sound stage complex is due for modernization, and Hackman signed a project labor agreement for the redevelopment.

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 16-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 7-10 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).