In the News—Week of May 24 2021

 In The Title Trove

Around the Nation

Seattle overtakes Manhattan as top spot for foreign investors

Manhattan lost its lofty place as the top spot for foreign investors to buy commercial real estate, Business Insider reports. Figures from Real Capital Analytics show that Seattle has ascended to No. 1, a position held by Manhattan since 2009. “Ascended” might not be the right word. Seattle rose to No.1 despite seeing an 11% year-over-year decline in investment from abroad. Manhattan saw a 79% decline. 

Energy & Environment

ESG scores gain prominence in commercial real estate

ESG — environmental sustainability, social responsibility and corporate governance — has been top of mind for some for some time. But it is taking on greater prominence in the investing community, Commercial Observer reports. Standard & Poors Global displays a company’s ESG score with a simple search. Brad Thomas writes in his upcoming book, “The Intelligent REIT Investor Guide,” that a 2020 survey showed that a full third of large institutional investors, who weren’t yet using ESG measures, intended to do so in the near term. “Stated simply, capital flows matter and money is flowing into ESG.” Not everyone is a fan. Warren Buffett called a proposal to make all his Berkshire Hathaway’s companies report their ESG scores,” asinine.” The proposal was defeated.


Office vacancies in Katy as residents work from home 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic less than 8% of Katy-area residents worked from home, Census Bureau figures show. Now about 6 out of 10 workers in the Houston area are working from home. Office vacancies in the Katy area have risen from 10.3% to 16.5%, Community Impact Newspapers reports. While many believe the work-from-home scenario is a temporary fix, Rick Ellis, vice president of the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, believes we are seeing a sea-change. “As people do stay home, the need for the office spaces overall is understandably going to shrink,” Ellis says. “And I think those changes are going to stay.”

Fort Worth building with automated parking tower lands anchor tenant

Fort Worth’s Triune Centre, the first office development in the country to feature a fully automated valet parking tower system, landed Vantage Bank Texas as an anchor tenant, D Magazine reports. The bank will take a 15,000-square-foot lease at the 30,000-square-foot building. Construction on the Triune Centre is scheduled to begin this quarter, and the building is expected to be completed by next summer. 


RENTCafé ranks Tucson, Phoenix among hottest markets   

When it comes to attracting renters, Tucson ranked 15th and Phoenix 22nd among U.S. markets, RENTCafé reports via AZ Big Media. Mid-sized markets dominated the rankings. Phoenix was the highest ranked large metropolitan statistical area. Central Valley, California; Spokane, Washington; and Boise, Idaho, topped the list as renters seek affordability and areas with growing economic opportunity. 


Investors pour money into Tulúm and Playa del Carmen

Resort areas are seeing a huge investment boom, mostly in condos, Mexico Business News reports. Rental portal Inmuebles24 says Tulúm, Playa del Carmen, Cancun and the Riviera Maya are experiencing sharp increases in investment. “Our allies in Cancun and Riviera Maya have told us that during the pandemic the luxury real estate market remained in the interest of investors, the searches in the portal confirm it,” Inmuebles24’s marketing manager, Alejandro García del Río, says.  

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