Each Wednesday, The Wrap presents a compilation of recent noteworthy commercial real estate stories from a variety of publications. Below are links to five stories that caught our eyes in recent days.
• Student Housing Gets an Upgrade by Robyn A. Friendman of the Wall Street Journal.
“The changes reflect a desire among students for services close at hand. ‘In addition to wanting to live close to campus, students also increasingly seek convenient access to restaurants, coffee shops and other retail stores,’ said Brian Veith, assistant director of student housing for the National Multifamily Housing Council in Washington. ‘Developers are responding to student demand.’”
• Cell Towers Bring Landlords Higher Profits by Shopping Centers Today.
“Unlike other roof leases and uses, mall-top cell-tower construction is driven solely by the pressing needs of the telecom industry. In fact, wireless networks are increasing capacity from 60 percent to 70 percent annually, says Ken Schmidt, president of Fort Myers, Fla.–based Steel in the Air, a cell-tower lease specialist. Because traditional towers provide between one and five miles of service in metro areas and roughly 25 miles in open areas, more opportunities abound, he says. To boost coverage, cell-service providers are densifying signals, with smaller installations; up to 40,000 of those are expected across the U.S. this year alone, according to Schmidt.”
• U.S Office Investment Hits 7-Year High at $119 Billion by Michael Gerrity of World Property Journal.
“Relative to other property types, foreign capital was particularly focused on the office sector, acquiring $17 billion of U.S. office assets in 2014--representing 45 percent of foreign investment in U.S. commercial real estate. Within the office sector, foreign capital leaned toward central business district (CBD) properties, with 80 percent of it going to such assets. Canada, Norway and Hong Kong were the largest sources of international investment capital in 2014, with New York and Boston the leading markets for foreign office investment.”
• Cap Rate Limbo: How Low Can They Go? by Joe Bousquin of Multifamily Executive.
“But while few expect that compression to stop, those low-slung cap rates have begun to fundamentally change certain aspects of the apartment market, and the traditional mores by which many investors have operated for years. Namely, the risk premium — the spread between interest rates and cap rates, and the extra return that investors gain for putting their money into apartments instead of ‘zero risk’ Treasury bonds — has started to disappear. Indeed, for some of the money coming into the apartment market, it simply doesn’t even matter anymore.”
• Cushman Said to Hire Goldman, Morgan Stanley for Sale by Hui-yong Yu, Ed Hammond and Tommaso Ebhardt of Bloomberg.
“Cushman & Wakefield Inc., the commercial property brokerage controlled by Italy’s Agnelli family, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to find a buyer for the company, said two people with knowledge of the hiring. The New York-based property-services company, majority owned by Exor SpA, is seeking about $2 billion and wants to find a buyer that isn’t a direct competitor, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.”