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Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Outlook Shows More Signs of Optimism

Spring 2019 – Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Outlook Shows More Signs of Optimism for the Upcoming Two Years

The May 2019 University of St. Thomas / Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Survey is continuing to show to show changes in the sentiment of our panelists as they look out over the next two years. The biannual survey projects a two-year ahead outlook for Minnesota’s commercial real estate industry and forecasts potential opportunities and challenges affecting all commercial real estate sectors.

As was done with all sixteen of our previous surveys, the same group of 50 commercial real estate industry leaders involved in development, finance, and investment were polled regarding their expectations of near-term future commercial real estate activity. The decisions that these industry leaders are making today will determine what the CRE markets will look like two years from now.

Spring 2019 Results

Observations from May 2019 have recorded several notable changes in the panel’s expectations when compared to the previous survey conducted in Fall 2018. “There is still some concern that we are near the top of the cycle and that overbuilding and increased vacancies may occur in some product types and submarkets.” says Herb Tousley, Director of the Real Estate Programs at the University of St Thomas. “While our composite index for late 2021 remains slightly pessimistic, there are some bright spots worth noting. There is no expectation of a major downturn in the commercial real estate market in the Twin Cities within the next two years. The increase in online shopping, low interest rates, changes in housing trends and the continued redefinition of the office environment will remain major factors in the performance of commercial real estate in the coming two years.”

The panelists are very concerned about the expected increase in the cost of land and building materials and its expected impact on values and expected returns for developers and investors. There was a big change in the index for investor’s return expectations. It increased 9 points moving from a pessimistic level moving to slightly optimistic territory. This is a big change in sentiment since our last survey. It appears that our panel now expects interest rates to remain stable at current low rates. While our respondents are not expecting a major downturn, they are more somewhat concerned about where we are in the market cycle.

Index values greater than 50 represent a more optimistic view of the market over the next two years, with values of less than 50 indicating a more pessimistic view. More detailed information about each of the individual indices may be found below.

The individual indexes are detailed below:

Rent Expectations

The outlook for rental rates is essentially unchanged from our last survey. Market conditions expected in early 2021 are best described by the price for space (rental rates) and the supply of space (occupancy levels). The index for rental rates was 63 compared to 62 six months ago. This means the panel continues to be strongly optimistic in its expection of continued rent growth. The panel’s sentiment is that the economy will continue to grow and that business conditions will continue improve creating more competition for commercial space.

 Occupancy

The outlook for occupancy levels continues to be moderately pessimistic moving from 43 to a slightly less pessimistic 45. This indicates the panelist’s belief that occupancy levels and space absorption may not remain at current levels during the next two years. As a great deal of new product continues to be delivered, the panel is beginning to be concerned about the market’s ability to absorb the new space. This is especially noticeable in the multi-family and certain office and industrial segments. It is a continuation of a general trend that began 4 ½ years ago. Businesses expect to continue to grow but they are concentrating on reducing their cost of occupancy by doing more with less space.

Land Price Expectations

The rate of increase in land prices is expected to accelerate. The land price index has decreased (become more pessimistic) in the current survey moving from 46 last December to 40 this spring. Although, the lowest point for the index was recorded at 31 in the fall 2013 survey, a score of 40 for this index indicates increasing concern about the rapid rise of land prices. Since land prices are a major component of project costs, any increase has a great deal of impact. Higher land prices are a hindrance to new development, making it more difficult to obtain financing and adequate returns for investors.

Building Material Price Expectations

There is a continued expectation that increases in the price of building materials will continue to increase. The index for the price of building supplies remains strongly negative, moving from 26 in December 2018 to 32 in May 2019. The panel believes that commodity prices for lumber, concrete, steel and many of the other materials used in construction will continue to increase due to shortages and newly imposed tariffs. Since building materials are a major cost component of any development project any increases in prices will make it difficult to provide adequate returns on future developments.

Return on Investment Expectations

Our panel expects that investors return on investment expectations will remain constant. The index for investor’s return expectations made a big move, increasing from a pessimistic 42 to a slightly optimistic 51. This indicates that investors will be expecting to maintain their expected returns. The consensus among survey respondents indicates that investors will not be seeking higher returns in the next two years due to their expectation of stable interest rates. The panel’s concern remains about market fundamentals over the next two years. Investors will continue to seek out quality investments, but they will be much more diligent about how they price risk, evaluate projects and developer/sponsors when they evaluate potential return when considering their investment options.

Lending Expectations

Equity and loan to value requirements are not expected to increase. The index for the amount of equity required by lenders remained unchanged from our last survey at 41. That recorded level is somewhat pessimistic but, now that appears interest rates have moderated and are expected to stay that way, the panel’s belief that is even if interest rates were to increase moderately credit will still be available for good projects. However, they expect lenders will continue be more risk adverse by tightening their underwriting criteria in the coming two years.

 

 

 

 

 

Best of Real Estate Matters, Commercial Real Estate, Development, Economics, Industry News, Minneapolis / St. Paul Housing, Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, Real Estate Programs, Twin Cities Real Estate, Upcoming UST Events, UST Program News

Real Estate Hall of Fame is Seeking Nominees for 2019

University of St Thomas

Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

Award Criteria

The basic criterion for acceptance into the Hall of Fame is outstanding business performance coupled with a high standard of ethics. Usually the honorees are responsible for successful and/or innovative business activities and have made major life-long contributions to our industry.

– All nominees must be retired from their primary business   or

– Must be at least 65 years of age   or

– Be deceased

Nominations are not limited to University of St Thomas graduates.

Nominees can represent any discipline related to real estate in Minnesota.  The nomination committee is encouraged to nominate candidates from all  disciplines of both commercial and residential real estate.  The committee is encouraged to solicit recommendations from the real estate community and to encourage others from outside the committee to make nominations to insure a wide variety of candidates.

The Selection Committee will consider the following when making their selection of honorees:

  • Business: the nominee has made a significant contribution as a leader in the field of real estate;
  • Nominees are expected to have made a significant impact in their particular area of real estate and be recognized primarily as a person that is an exceptional role model in their discipline.
  • Weight will be given to such accomplishments as starting and building a business, leading an established business to significantly greater achievements, major transactions, and innovative projects.
  • Among the factors to be considered are industry recognitions and accomplishments, being an industry pioneer and/or leader, and recognition by others for achievements.
  • Community: the nominee has had concern for improving his/her community as a business leader
  • Ethics: the nominee has displayed the highest level of ethics in their business practices.

Beyond the criteria noted here, the Selection Committee has the responsibility   and discretionary power to make their determinations from the pool of nominations submitted.

Access the Nomination Form: https://centers.stthomas.edu/shenehon/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2019/05/2019-REHoF-Nomination-Form.pdf

Nomination deadline: June 14th 2019

Best of Real Estate Matters, Commercial Real Estate, Industry News, Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, Twin Cities Real Estate

Tom Holtz, Jim Nelson, and Russ Nelson Inducted into Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

Three new members were inducted into the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame at an awards breakfast this morning: Russ Nelson, an industry groundbreaker who was among the first to exclusively represent tenants; Jim Nelson, who helped spearhead the new US Bank Stadium; and Tom Holtz, a driving force behind industry giant CBRE.

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame was established in 2010 by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. Members of the Hall of Fame are chosen for their outstanding business performance, high standards of ethics, and community activities.

The annual event, held at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club, drew over 200 people including real estate professionals and friends and family members of the inductees. Robert J. Strachota, president of the real estate valuation firm Shenehon Company, acted as emcee and Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, was the keynote speaker. The awards were presented by Patrick Ryan, President and CEO of builder/developer Ryan Companies.

After the awards presentation and a brief video about each recipient, the event concluded with Herb Tousley, director of the Shenehon Center, presenting scholarships to five students, the winners of this year’s Boyd Stofer & Ken Stensby Real Estate Student Competition. The competition challenges undergraduate and graduate students to develop a business concept that has potential to become a viable, high-growth business or make a meaningful contribution to existing real estate companies. Scholarship recipients are current UST students Ethan Finger, Issac Kuehn, Charles Bird, Holly Spaeth and Matt Michalski.

About the Inductees

Tom Holtz

For nearly 40 years, Tom Holtz has played a pivotal role in developing CBRE into one of the world’s leading real estate services companies. He is personally credited with approximately $11 billion in investment transactions during a career that has touched every major Twin Cities building.

Holtz’s advice is sought by some of the most successful people in the industry, both in Minnesota and across the country. Colleagues praise his sharp intellect and unwavering ethical barometer. Lifelong friends laud Holtz as a deeply spiritual family man who has dedicated his support and leadership to many local and national organizations, including St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie and Luther Seminary in St. Paul.

Jim Nelson

Known as “the quiet leader that everyone listens to,” Jim Nelson has spent more than half a century in real estate advisory services, finance, and investment. He played a pivotal role in such transformative projects as the Midtown Exchange, the Walker Art Center expansion, and the new US Bank Stadium, and he is a valued counselor to the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the state of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota, among others.

In addition to being the principal of Eberhardt Advisory, Nelson has served on numerous civic and industry boards, and he helped shape and guide the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He is often praised for his devoted mentorship of real estate industry leaders across the state and the country.

Russ Nelson

Known for his energy, enthusiasm, and coveted book of connections, Russ Nelson helped shape the skylines of Minneapolis and St. Paul during his 35-year career. He recently retired from real estate and project management firm NTH, one of the first Twin Cities firms to exclusively represent tenants, which he cofounded in 1993.

Nelson is legendary for his devotion to the downtown Minneapolis core, including one of the largest land sales in the city’s history: the five-block StarTribune megadeal that launched the redevelopment of the Downtown East Commons. Just as legendary is his enthusiasm for serving the community, such as his recent role in helping Como Park Zoo and Conservatory’s raise $8 million for its polar bear exhibit and Japanese garden.

 About the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame honors, preserves and perpetuates the names and outstanding accomplishments of real estate leaders who have made significant contributions in real estate and demonstrated care and concern for improving their communities as business leaders.

Appraisal, Commercial Lending, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate Index, Development, Industry News, Twin Cities Real Estate

Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Outlook Showing Increased Signs Of Pessimism

 

The October 2018 University of St. Thomas / Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Survey is continuing to show to show changes in the sentiment of our panelists as they look out over the next two years. The biannual survey projects a two-year ahead outlook for Minnesota’s commercial real estate industry and forecasts potential opportunities and challenges affecting all commercial real estate sectors.

As was done with all fifteen of our previous surveys, the same group of 50 commercial real estate industry leaders involved in development, finance, and investment were polled regarding their expectations of near-term, future commercial real estate activity. The decisions that these industry leaders are making today will determine what the CRE markets will look like two years from now.

Fall 2018 Results

Observations from October 2018 have recorded several notable changes in the panel’s expectations that were observed in the last survey conducted in December 2017. “There is some concern that we are near the top of the cycle and that overbuilding and increased vacancies may occur in some product types and submarkets.” says Herb Tousley, Director of the Real Estate Programs at the University of St Thomas. “While the forecast for 2020 has become slightly less optimistic, there is no expectation of a major downturn in the commercial real estate market in the Twin Cities. The increase in online shopping, higher interest rates, changes in housing trends and the continued redefinition of the office environment will remain major factors in the performance of commercial real estate in the coming two years.”

Our panelists seem to be most concerned about the expected increase in the cost of building materials and the impact of rising interest rates on values and expected returns for developers and investors. The panel has changed to a more pessimistic outlook on all categories (see the chart at the end of the report). While our respondents are not expecting a major downturn, they are more concerned about future prospects than they have been in our previous surveys.

The composite index of all the other indices the survey continues to indicate a slightly less than neutral expectation looking ahead two years to late 2020. The composite index was recorded at 42. This is slightly less optimistic than the 43 that was recorded a year ago. Index values greater than 50 represent a more optimistic view of the market over the next two years, with values of less than 50 indicating a more pessimistic view. More detailed information about each of the individual indices may be found below.

The individual indexes are detailed below:

Rent Expectations

The outlook for rental rates has become less optimistic. Market conditions expected in late 2020 are best described by the price for space (rental rates) and the supply of space (occupancy levels). The index for rental rates was 62 compared to 67 one year ago. This means the panel now has a lower expectation of the rate rents will increase for all property types over the next two years. The panel’s sentiment is that the economy will continue to grow and that business conditions will continue improve at slower pace, creating less competition for commercial space.

Occupancy

The outlook for occupancy levels has changed significantly moving from slightly optimistic 52 to more pessimistic 43. This indicates the panelist’s belief that occupancy levels and space absorption may not remain at current levels during the next two years. As a great deal of new product has been delivered the panel is beginning to be concerned about the market’s ability to absorb the new space. This is especially noticeable in the multi-family, office and industrial segments. It is a continuation of a general trend that began 4 years ago. Businesses will continue to grow but they are concentrating on reducing their cost of occupancy by doing more with less space.

Land Price Expectations

The rate of increase in land prices is expected moderate. The land price index has increased (become less pessimistic) in the current survey moving from 38 last in December 2107 to 46 this fall. The lowest point for the index was recorded at 31 in the fall 2013 survey. This index has become somewhat less pessimistic. Although land prices are expected to continue to increase during the next two years, any moderation in the rate of increase would help to keep total project costs in check. Higher land prices are a hindrance to new development, making it more difficult to obtain financing and adequate returns for investors.

Building Material Price Expectations

There is a continued expectation that increases in the price of building materials will continue to accelerate. The index for the price of building supplies remains strongly negative, moving from 24 in December 2017 to 27 in October 2018. The panel believes that commodity prices for lumber, concrete, steel and many of the other materials used in construction will continue to increase due to shortages and newly imposed tariffs. Since building materials are a major cost component of any development project any increases in prices will make it difficult to provide adequate returns on future developments.

Return on Investment Expectations

Our panel expects that investors return on investment expectations will increase. The index for investor’s return expectations has become more pessimistic moving from 42 to 39. This indicates that investors will be expecting to achieve higher returns. The consensus among survey respondents indicates that investors will be seeking higher returns due to their expectation of increasing interest rates and concern about market fundamentals over the next two years. Investors will continue to seek out quality investments but they will be much more diligent about how they price risk and evaluate return when considering their investment options.

Lending Expectations

Equity and loan to value requirements are expected to remain essentially unchanged. The index for the amount of equity required by lenders has decreased slightly, moving from 42 to 41 in December 2017 to 42 in October 2018. Although interest rates have increased somewhat since our last survey, the panel’s belief that is even if interest rates continue to increase moderately credit will still be available for good projects. However, they expect lenders will continue be more risk adverse by tightening their underwriting criteria in the coming two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commercial Real Estate, Economics, Multifamily, Real Estate Trends

Emerging Trends: The Two Sides of Multifamily

The following is reposted from The 2019 “Emerging Trends in Real Estate”  the annual real estate report put together by the Urban Land Institute and PwC published on October 16th.

The 2019 “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” is the annual real estate report put together by the Urban Land Institute and PwC. When it comes to overall housing, the recently-released report offered good news and not-so-good news.

On the good news front, fundamentals continue driving demand for apartments. “Millions of 20-somethings are still funneling along at high amplitude into rentals, now solidly supported by a macro economy that has reached virtually ‘full’ employment,” the report notes. Also adding to the demand influx is the growing pool of renter-by-choice baby boomer demographic.

The not-so-good news? Scarcity of product for certain populations. “Even at 360,000 multifamily starts (in 2018), we’re not building enough units in the right places to meet demand, and keep rents in check, and now construction costs are going up faster than we can raise rents,” observed a CEO of one of the nation’s top multifamily developers.

Additional trends impacting the multifamily sector include:

  • Technology increase. Technologies are impacting all facets of multifamily, from property management to automated building. “Technology provides one of the biggest opportunity areas to address the decoupling of household budgets and development expense,” the report observed.
  • A plethora of regulations. Legislative and regulatory issues such as density and rent control are becoming issues on the municipal and county level. While rent control is being used as a method to control affordability, regulating rent increases negatively impacts NOI which, in turn, can suppress development.
  • New renting models. Four new models pertaining to long-term living leases are Airbnb units, co-living, single-family rentals and micro apartments — as well as hybrids between them all. These are “on the fringes of the long-term lease, cash-generation business models that dominate the multifamily space today,” the report noted.

Read the article at https://www.connect.media/emerging-trends-the-two-sides-of-multifamily/?utm_source=mlApartments&utm_campaign=mlApartments-2018-10-18_17:30

Commercial Real Estate, Executive Insight Series, Industry News, Twin Cities Real Estate

Executive Insight Series: Mike Ohmes

Discussion Topics

The CRE Cycle – Are we headed over the top?

Working in the new consolidated CRE environment

Mike Ohmes, Cushman & Wakefield

Executive Vice President, Brokerage

Earning an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and speech communications from Macalester College in St. Paul and an MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota, Mike Ohmes has a wealth of commercial real estate experience from a broker to a manager.

Today as Executive Vice President Mike Ohmes is responsible for leading Cushman & Wakefield’s Transaction and Advisory Services business. This group includes the company’s Brokerage, Capital Markets and Real Estate Advisory.

Since joining the Cushman & Wakefield in 1991 as a broker in the office division, Ohmes consistently was among the top producers. He has received the company’s Offshore Club designation for his performance a total of 7 times (each year from 1993-1999). In 2000, Ohmes earned the company’s President’s Award for his outstanding contributions to the company, and in 2003, he was recognized by The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of their “40 Under Forty.”

The Shenehon Center for Real Estate is proud to present this opportunity to gain insights into the commercial real estate industry. Founded in 2000, the Shenehon Center for Real Estate looks to provide both resources and a public forum for real estate industry professionals and the public.

Executive Insight Series - Shenehon Center for Real Estate

When:

Tuesday, November 28th, 5:30PM

Where:

University of St Thomas, Minneapolis Campus

Shulze Hall, Room 127

Interested?

REGISTER HERE

 

 

Architecture & Design, Commercial Real Estate, Development, Property Management

History of the Empire State Building: A Financial Flop for Nearly 20 years

By QuickLiquidity | Date: June 13, 2017 | Category: History

In the late-1920s, New York’s economy was booming and a competition to build the world’s tallest building was heating up. One man who was at the center of it all was Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation, who wanted to build the world’s tallest building as a monument to himself and American capitalism. Chrysler began construction of his monument, the Chrysler Building in 1928 at 405 Lexington Avenue. Despite the buildings name, the Chrysler Corporation did not pay for the construction of the building and never owned it. Instead Chrysler paid for it himself, with the hope of his children one day inheriting the world’s tallest building.

The architects of a competing building, 40 Wall Street, had devised a plan to prevent the Chrysler Building from ever becoming the world’s tallest building. Seeking the title for themselves, they planned 40 Wall Street to be 925 feet tall: 85 feet taller than the Chrysler Building had originally planned to be. When Chrysler found out about 40 Wall Street’s plans he decided to add a surprise 186-foot spire to his building. 40 Wall Street finished construction first in April of 1930, and held a celebration for being the tallest building in the world, without knowing that they were about to be surpassed. Less then two months later, the construction workers at the Chrysler Building hoisted 4 parts of the secret spire to the top and riveted them together in 90 minutes. At 1,046 feet high, the Chrysler Building became the world’s tallest building¹.

John J. Raskob of General Motors, a rival of Chryslers, also aspired to build the world’s tallest building. Raskob purchased 350 Fifth Avenue and began construction of the Empire State Building in March of 1930, only a few months before the Chrysler Building was completed. Raskob hired architect William F. Lamb, who finished the original drawings for the Empire State Building in only two weeks. In one of their first meetings Raskob had taken a jumbo pencil, stood it on its end and asked Lamb, “Bill, how high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?” Using over 3,400 laborers a day, the building went up in just over a year, well ahead of schedule and under budget at $40 million, which would be nearly $600 million today. During certain periods of construction, the frame grew a remarkable four-and-a-half stories a week. Not to be bested by the Chrysler Building, Raskob put the final cherry at the top of his building – a spire, making the Empire State Building a soaring 102 stories and 1,250 feet high. The Empire State Building was completed in May of 1931 and became the world’s tallest building, a title it would hold for nearly 40 years until the World Trade Center was completed in 1970. While successful in beating the Chrysler Building in height, the Empire State Building was far from being the success Raskob had hoped.

 

Full Article: http://www.quickliquidity.com/blog/history-of-the-empire-state-building-a-financial-flop-for-nearly-20-years.html

Architecture & Design, Commercial Real Estate, Development, Real Estate Trends

Minnesota: Commercial Development Hub

A recent post by the New York Times blog, shows Minneapolis is among the leaders in urban development. One may ask, why and how does Minneapolis keep attracting people to the city? Simple, the city’s diverse population allows for vibrant restaurants and events, and municipal transportation creates accessibility to and from these destinations. Looking deeper, destinations and even housing were only possible through recent Minneapolis commercial development. You can see from almost any point in the city a construction crane or sign saying, “Opening Soon.”

Setting aside apartment and condo developments, the last 15 years has seen revitalization of major Minneapolis buildings. The old Sears building on Lake Street is now the Midtown Global Market which hosts over 1.5 million visitors a year, and the Foshay Tower is now the W-Hotel. Recently, the Minneapolis Armory, also on the national landmark registrar, looks to be renovated into a venue hosting large crowds as an event center. The Armory was recently sold for $6 million dollars to Nedal Yusuf Abul-Hajj who has submitted plans to convert the 80 year old building.

Architecture & Design, Commercial Lending, Commercial Real Estate, Development, Housing Trends

Finance & Commerce: Will Minnesota law change revive condo development?

Original Article

Date: June 7th, 2017

By: Brian Johnson

 

A change in Minnesota law that makes it more difficult for homeowner associations to sue over construction defect claims may or may not revive condominium and townhome construction. But builders, developers and real estate agents who pushed for the change say it’s a good start.

House File 1538, signed by Gov. Mark Dayton last week, requires homeowner associations to implement a preventive maintenance plan, go through mediation, and get the majority of association members on board before they can proceed with a construction defect lawsuit.

“None of us have a crystal ball as to whether any of this will change the market,” said Ryan Hamilton, associate legal counsel for the Minnesota Association of Realtors, which supported the bill. “It is an effort to improve the risk environment. We hope it does that.”

Builders and developers have been clinging to that hope for a while. In recent years, they have been hesitant to move forward with condo and townhome developments for fear of litigation, despite growing demand for such homes. Another barrier: Some still feel the sting of the condo bust in the previous decade, and the lenders do, too.

As Finance & Commerce has reported, state law allows a condo owner or association to sue project teams for “major construction defects” for up to 10 years after the unit or building was completed. The law was amended in 2010 to add commercial contractors to the list of liable partners. That 10-year statute still applies, said Minneapolis attorney Peter Coyle, who worked with the Housing Options Coalition.

Homebuilding has been on the upswing overall. More than 7,600 new multifamily units were added in the seven-county metro area in 2015, up from 2,329 in 2007, according to the Housing Options Coalition, which pushed for the new law. Coalition members include the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, the Builders Association of the Twin Cities and the Minnesota Association of Realtors.

But because of the liability issue, condos and townhomes represent a much smaller share of new housing units. Two years ago, 3 percent of new multifamily units were condos and townhomes, down from 23 percent in 2007, the coalition said.

Speaking to the demand side, Herb Tousley of the University of St. Thomas points specifically to downtown Minneapolis and the city’s North Loop.

Demand is solid for condos there, but “hardly any” units are for sale, said Tousley, director of real estate programs at St. Thomas. Still, he noted new ones are coming online, including developer Jim Stanton’s 374-unit Legacy Condos project at 121 12th Ave. S. in the Mill District of Minneapolis.

“I think you will see people moving in to fill that supply,” he predicted.

Abbey Bryduck, legislative director for AGC-Minnesota, hopes the change will encourage more development. In particular, the preventive maintenance requirement “goes a long way in making sure these buildings are maintained properly,” she said.

The bill, which was approved by a wide margin in the Legislature, had a Republican author in the House and a DFL author in the Senate.

Despite the bipartisan support, some language in the bill, including the requirement to get the majority of condo owners on board with a lawsuit, gives pause to David Hellmuth, an Edina attorney who represents homeowner associations.

Hellmuth said the requirement puts an “unnecessary restriction” on the association when legitimate claims need to be addressed.

A typical defense against construction defect claims is that the association didn’t do enough preventive maintenance. In other words defendants claim the association “caused their own problems,” he said.

“Whether or not that is true is debatable,” Hellmuth said.

Even so, housing industry advocates like David Siegel of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities expect to see more condo and townhome projects sprout up in the metro area and across the state with the changes in effect.

How far has townhome ownership declined?

A number of years ago, BATC held an event that showcased townhomes, condominiums and other for-sale multifamily properties. “We could not do any such thing today,” Siegel said, because the options are too limited.

“I think this legislation will lead to more condo development, and will similarly result in more townhome construction,” Siegel added.

The Builders Association of Minnesota also supported the legislation, said Remi Stone, BAM”s executive vice president.

Stone said it “improves the landscape” for builders and developers looking to produce condos and townhomes, which appeal to younger buyers just entering the market as well as empty-nesters. That goes for markets such as Rochester, St. Cloud and Duluth, as well as the Twin Cities, she said.

Stone hopes the statute changes will spur more development. “This is one feature,” she said. “We still have issues of financing, we still have regulatory costs. But there is demand. And where there’s demand, the market will go.”

Commercial Real Estate, Industry News, Retail Real Estate

Is the U.S. Over-Retailed?

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When and where will we see the impact from the store closures?

Reposted from nreionline – Barbara Byrne Denham, Victor Calanog | May 15, 2017

When looking at the numbers, the story is not as bad as many have reported. The retail vacancy rate for neighborhood and community shopping centers was flat in the first quarter at 9.9 percent, the same as in the first quarter of 2016. Moreover, rent growth was positive, at 0.3 percent for the quarter. The mall vacancy rate only climbed to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent at the end of 2016 and rent growth was 0.4 percent during the quarter.

So when and where will we see the impact from the store closures?

First, many of the store announcements have yet to translate into actual closings. Thus, we should see more vacancies in the next three or four quarters. Second, a number of other retailers are expanding into retail space, we are seeing quite a bit of this in the properties we survey. Third, many of the stores closing are in less densely populated or more rural areas beyond the 80 primary metros that we track. Indeed, our tertiary market statistics show an aggregate retail vacancy rate increase to 13.5 percent from 13.2 percent at the end of 2016 and no rent growth.

We are seeing consistent results in the employment numbers. That is, only 14 of 82 primary metros tracked by Reis show a year-over-year loss in retail jobs, but 35 tertiary markets show an employment loss as of the first quarter. It should be noted that nearly all of the retail losses at the national level are in “general merchandise” stores that include department stores as well as supercenters. It should also be noted that the U.S. added retail jobs in April, yet the media stayed mum.

 Still, anyone looking at this industry will say the same thing: we are over-retailed. Retail development exploded in the late 1980s through the 1990s. It has subsided in this last cycle as many developers and lenders got burned in the recession. But there are likely still more stores than we need. And with the overwhelming growth in e-commerce we probably need fewer than we currently have in a number of markets. But where to start?

A good way of measuring what markets may be over-retailed is to compare retail employment to population. The table below shows the markets with the highest and lowest ratios of retail employees per 1,000 people and the respective growth in retail rent over the last four years.

As the tables above show, there is a pretty wide gap between the metros that have a high retail employment per population ratio and those that have a low ratio (39 to 66). What’s more significant is the differences in the range of rent growth rates between the top and bottom tables. That is, those with a high ratio had persistently slower rent growth than those with a low ratio. In fact, for the 80 metros tracked by Reis, the correlation coefficient for the four-year retail rent growth and retail employment per 1,000 residents is -22.3 percent. In other words, markets that look to be over-retailed (i.e. with a high retail-employee-to-population ratio) have generally seen lower retail rent growth than those that seem to be relatively under-retailed.

While this correlation coefficient is negative as one would expect, it is still pretty low. This suggests that far more variables are impacting retail rent growth. In fact, the correlation coefficient between population growth and retail rent growth was significantly higher: 42 percent. Thus, population growth drives retail rent growth more than the saturation of the retail industry.

 While the numbers show that the retail industry could in fact be over-saturated, the impact of this saturation on the real estate industry may not be as troublesome as many would presume. Again, other businesses are expanding in formerly empty stores, especially non-traditional tenants such as yoga studios and urgent care medical centers. In sum, while the media may overreact to the next jobs report as doom and gloom for the retail industry, it is important to consider what is likely not being reported in the press, which is that the retail industry is performing better than many would assume.

Barbara Byrne Denham serves as an economist and Victor Calanog as chief economist with Reis, Inc, a provider of commercial real estate data and analytics.