Editors’ Weekly News Roundup, November 4 – December 8

Debt service to income ratio of U.S. households is expected to increase to 11.7% by 2025 from 9.9% in 2022. Fitch Ratings

A breaking news story, a multi-billion-dollar fundraise, news from the nation’s capital and a pair of California reports comprised the five most-read stories on Connect CRE for the week ending Dec. 9. Leading the roster was an announcement that came out late Tuesday afternoon on the recapitalization of a portfolio of newly constructed, Class A industrial properties. 

Manulife, StepStone Recapitalize $1.2B Scannell Industrial Portfoliowas breaking news when Connect CRE reported it, and the news caught readers’ attention. Manulife Investment Management’s Jessica Harrison described the partnership as “an important opportunity to capitalize on the current market environment.” She added that Manulife and StepStone Real Estate would work with Scannell Properties to complete the portfolio’s business plan. 

A week after Blackstone announced the final close of its eighth real estate secondaries fund at $2.6 billion, Ares Management Corporation went one better. The asset management firm, headquartered in Los Angeles, said it had raised approximately $3.3 billion of real estate secondaries capital.  

Connect CRE reported the news in Ares Raises $3.3B for Real Estate Secondaries, our second most-read story of the past week. Our sister website, Connect Money, also reported the fundraise with some additional details. 

National news out of Washington, DC that affects the commercial real estate industry and doesn’t involve another rate increase from the Federal Reserve hasn’t been common in recent months, but our third most-read story was just that. Bipartisan legislation to create a middle-income equivalent of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit was filed in both houses of Congress. 

As reported in Bill to Create Workforce Housing Tax Credit Introduced in House, Senate, the news brought a positive response from the industry. National Multifamily Housing Council president Sharon Wilson Géno and National Apartment Association president and CEO Bob Pinnegar said in a joint statement that the measure “would help increase the supply of housing available in communities across the country which, in turn, will ease affordability challenges and increase housing access.” 

Los Angeles-based Hudson Pacific Properties has acknowledged that its quarterly earnings took a hit due to the strikes that shut down film and TV production activity at its Hollywood studios. However, the REIT has a few tricks up its sleeve.  Our fourth most-read story, Hudson Pacific Trades Land, Debt Tranches for $189M, reported that the company sold a land parcel in San Jose and loan tranches associated with its Hollywood Media Portfolio. 

Coming in at number five was a report of federal backing for Brightline West’s plan to construct a rail line from Las Vegas to California, similar to the Brightline service that now connects major cities in Florida. Feds Commit $3B to High-Speed Rail Between Vegas, SoCaldetailed Brightline West’s proposal for a 218-mile electrified line that would take three million cars off the freeway and cost $12 billion all told. It’s not yet clear where the balance of the project’s funding will come from. 

As part of our expanded coverage of distressed real estate, Connect CRE has run a series of feature-length articles focusing on options for borrowers and investors and, most recently, what municipalities are doing to counteract growing office and retail vacancies in their downtown business districts. The third in the series was published this past week and you can read it here

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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).