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Inside Real Estate (Apr 1st, 2017)

The homeowners association for San Francisco’s Millennium Tower has sued for damages over $200 million to fund repairs to the building which is slowly sinking. This latest suit names a laundry list of defendants including the developer, Millennium Partners, the tower’s general contractor, architect, and the agency building the adjacent Transbay Transit Center. The 58-story tower has already sunk over 16 inches and tilted by two inches. Transbay Joint Powers Authority has said that the building’s design led to the sinking while the developer says the authority removed groundwater from beneath the construction site. – SF GATE

Fannie Mae has informed mortgage servicers that they are no longer allowed to use plywood when boarding up vacant homes in pre-foreclosure. In a memo sent out this week, the mortgage giant said that broken windows should be secured using either clear boarding or a replacement window. The announcement gives servicers 90 days to replace all plywood. Plywood is allowed if the home is fire damaged or in pre-demolition. In January, Ohio became the first state to ban plywood on vacant properties. – HOUSING WIRE

Wentworth Woodhouse, the largest privately-owned house in Europe, has been sold to a preservation trust for seven million pounds ($8.7 million). The trust estimates it will spend more than 40 million pounds ($50.1 million) over the next 20 years to restore the 250,000-square-foot Georgian mansion located near the town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire. The property was put up for sale in 2015 after the last owner, architect Clifford Newbold, passed away. The purchase is being funded through a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund as well as a variety of both institutional and private donors. – THE GUARDIAN

Hedge funds and banks are starting to short the commercial real estate market. Bets against commercial mortgage-backed securities rose 50 percent year-over-year in February. As malls continue to lose tenants, including anchor stores like Sears, Macy’s and J.C. Penney, many could close completely. Speculators are picking up credit protection contracts that pay off when shopping centers fall behind on their loans. - BUSINESS INSIDER

The headquarters of Charles Schwab at 211 Main St. in San Francisco has been sold to Blackstone for $313 million. Last year, Schwab renewed its lease of 417,266 square feet for ten years with current owners CIM Group. The sale price works out to approximately $750 per square foot for the 18-story building. CIM Group bought the property in 2009 for $113.3 million. – SF BUSINESS TIMES

Realtor.com has added the capability to include Matterport 3D virtual home tours on all for-sale and for-rent listings on their iOS real estate app. Realtor.com is the first company to be formally connected to Matterport's syndicated direct feed. Properties on realtor.com that have the tours are designated with a hexagon-shaped icon displayed on the property image. – PROPERTY PORTAL WATCH

Dustin Hoffman and his son Jacob invested $3 million in a failed plan with Jeffrey Yohai to build a $30 million spec house in Los Angeles. Yohai is the son-in-law of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort who also invested in his ventures to develop multiple properties around Los Angeles. Companies associated with the properties filed for Chapter 11 last year. The Hoffmans are not named in any of the bankruptcy proceedings. A notice of a trustee's sale was filed last year and the unbuilt property is currently on the market for $9.95 million. – LA TIMES

HOT PROPERTIES OF THE WEEK

Tyra Banks has listed her two-story apartment at the Riverhouse in New York City for $17.5 million. Banks has been renting out the apartment for $50,000 a month since May 2015. She bought four separate units in 2009 for $10.13 million and combined them into a single 7,000-square-foot residence on the 22nd and 23rd floors. – NY TIMES

The Thimble Islands, a group of eight private islands off the coast of Connecticut, are for sale for $50 million. The islands are accessible by boat or helicopter and have multiple residences and docks. The largest, Rogers Island, has a 10-bedroom home, tennis court and putting green. The islands were previously listed for $78 million by a couple who own more than a dozen islands in the area. – MANSION GLOBAL

Ron Howard and his wife Cheryl are selling their co-op in New York City’s prestigious Eldorado building for $12.5 million. The three-bedroom apartment offers Central Park and city views and has a grand living room with a wood burning fireplace, library, and formal dining room. The unit is located high in the north tower of the twin-towered Central Park West building. WSJ reports that the couple is planning to move farther downtown. – VARIETY

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