Inside Real Estate - December 4th, 2019

Inside Real Estate (Dec 4th, 2019)

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1. A new report from the Wall Street Journal ranks Chicago’s commercial real estate values as the worst of all major metropolitan areas analyzed by research firm Real Capital Analytics — it’s even behind protest-afflicted Hong Kong. Chicago buildings, retail centers and other CRE assets plummeted in prices by 4.1 percent, compared to Hong Kong’s 2.6-percent decrease. This market slump wasn’t exclusive to Chicago’s commercial properties: its housing values saw a minor uptick go 1.5 percent year over year, compared to the national average of 4.9 percent. Experts blame the city’s struggling efforts to repay pension debts; others warn that tax hikes could deter future investment in that city. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

2. The City of Newark is suing New York, alleging that its rent-relief program — Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) — encourages poverty-stricken populations to accept substandard living conditions in New Jersey. In addition to those allegations, Newark officials also argue that this organization is incentivizing slum lords who are taking advantage of vulnerable people. Some people who enrolled in SOTA — in an effort to avoid homelessness in New York — have described inhumane situations: one person said raw sewage seeped into her basement, another complained that her dog’s water bowl froze because of inadequate heating. If the suit is successful, it could lead to widespread changes in similar programs across the nation. - NEW YORK TIMES

3. On Wednesday, Los Angeles leaders will vote on a new ordinance that places restrictions on campaign contributions from real estate developers. The city intends to crack down on donations that could be seen as monetary influence to drive certain city projects. However, some experts complain that this proposal isn’t strong enough because it would still allow for developers to host fundraisers from other donors. It also doesn’t explicitly prohibit politicians from knowingly accepting those banned contributions. - LOS ANGELES TIMES

4. The most expensive home ever sold in Florida is a $111 million Palm Beach property that closed on Tuesday. The buyer is Steven Schonfeld, a hedge-fund billionaire who founded New York-based Schonfeld Strategic Advisors. Dubbed "La Reverie," the 70,000-square-foot waterfront mansion includes 11 bedrooms and 22 baths. Its entertaining spaces include an ice cream stand, bowling alley, salon, spa and candy parlor. The last record-breaking sale to make headlines was Broadway producer Terry Allen Kramer’s $110.3 million property. - CNBC

5. Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver just sold his Paradise Valley, Arizona residence for $19.25 million, the most ever paid for a single-family home in that state. Situated near Camelback Mountain, the 5-acre parcel includes an 18,000-square-foot main house, swimming pool with attached covered ramada and indoor basketball court. - BUSINESS JOURNALS

6. A disgruntled homeowner in Clearwater, Florida, is being called the "Super Glue Vandal" after allegedly "terrorizing" homeowners association board members. He's accused of stuffing home locks of HOA leaders' units with super glue.  One woman said she was stuck in her home and had to exit through the fire escape. The suspect was reportedly upset by a proposed HOA fee hike for communal improvements that would cost condo owners an additional $300 per month for the next year. Ironically, that fee may be raised due to increased security needs on the property. - WFTS

7. Developer Foulger-Pratt is expected to break ground on a 25-story office building in Tysons Corner, Virginia, near Washington D.C. The 384,000-square-foot structure would be situated near Greensboro Metro station and will feature nine-foot ceilings, a sky lobby, various terraces throughout and a fitness center. Foulger-Pratt CEO Cameron Pratt said the goal is to offer the community a “workplace that enhances daily work life.” Foulger-Pratt is collaborating with USAA Real Estate on this project. - BISNOW

8. Among the six questions to ask yourself before purchasing a vacation home are what will it cost to maintain and what are the tax implications of leasing it out to short-term renters, according to Realtor. Homes that are rented out for more than 14 days out of the year are considered rental properties by the state, meaning that owners must report rents as income. Other vacation-home considerations include whether or not you’ll have time to manage its upkeep from home and whether you can afford a house manager if necessary. - REALTOR

9. New York City's luxury condominium tower One Manhattan Square this year beat out all other residential buildings in the U.S. when it comes to units sold, according to a new report from listing site Property Club. Between January and October, the 80-story, 815-unit high-end building unloaded 217 of its homes. However, another Manhattan building sold more in cash:  220 Central Park South Tower raked in $1.1 billion in sales with 39 transactions from January through October. - PROPERTY CLUB

10. An eight-story, 55-unit luxury tower in Bethesda, Maryland, is down to its last two on-the-market condominiums. Each of the almost-sold-out building's homes are priced at $1.439 million and $2.35 million. This comes after years of marketing the residential building, which has been welcoming residents since 2017. - WASHINGTON POST

Written and curated by Darla Guillen Gilthorpe. Darla writes for the Houston Chronicle, where she was part of its 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist staff. She was previously an editor at Vox Media site Eater and has had bylines in Elle Decor, SFGate and various other outlets. Follow her on Twitter here.

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