Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, November 13 – November 17
The old saying goes that everything’s bigger in Texas, and apparently that extends to multifamily projects. Connect CRE’s five most-read stories for the week ending Nov. 18 were led by the story of a developer that thinks big, River City Capital.
With strong readership both regionally and nationally, Austin Apartment Developer Building Mega-Sized Projects detailed River City’s plans to put up multifamily complexes of at least 700 units near multibillion-dollar factories coming to the metro area. The developer plans a mix of market-rate and affordable units for the first of these mega-sized projects. A national story on commercial real estate lending was our second most-read and provided evidence of light at the end of the tunnel. Although transaction activity is still subdued, CRE Lending Market Begins to Stabilize reported CBRE’s finding that borrowing costs have probably reached their peak. Still, the services firm’s latest Lending Momentum Index didn’t contradict other reports that lending volume is down by double-digit amounts compared to 2022. In recent months, Connect CRE has reported on a fair number of leadership changes as the previous generation begins to transition into less hands-on roles. Our third most-read story of the past week was another case in point. Newmark Reveals New MF Leadership Team reported that Sharon Karaffa would succeed Jeff Day as president of the company’s Multifamily Debt & Structured Finance group. Day plans to retire at the end of the year. The Federal Housing Finance Agency set guidelines last week for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when it comes to multifamily loan purchases in 2024. FHFA Sets 2024 Multifamily Loan Caps for GSEs, Exempts Workforce Housing revealed that those caps have been set at $70 billion for each company, but loans classified as supporting workforce housing properties will be exempt from the volume caps. The story was our fourth most read for the week. Rounding out the top five was another story in which the world’s largest CRE services firm figured, this time focusing on the office sector and comments from CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic. During a panel discussion in Dallas, where the company is headquartered, Sulentic spoke of a new normal for office use that’s summed up in the headline: CBRE’s Sulentic: Workers Will Spend at Least 20% Less Time in the Office. He also said that property valuations are likely to erode further than originally thought. On the subject of office, the latest in Amy Sorter’s series debunking the direst predictions on the sector is leading the latest Weekender mailing. It focuses on debt maturities, which although challenging for some properties aren’t challenging for all. The series’ previous installments have focused on the nuances that gloom-and-doom headlines have missed, how upgrades are helping owners of older properties compete and the truth behind the perception of a “doom loop” for central business districts in general and office buildings in particular. Weekly Roundup will return on Dec. 3, following the Thanksgiving break.