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Inside Real Estate (Jan 6th, 2020)

1. Bed Bath & Beyond on Monday announced it sold 2.1 million square feet of commercial real estate in a sale-leaseback transaction that’s yielded it $250 million in proceeds. The deal — which entails selling properties and leasing them back — was made with an affiliate of Oak Street Real Estate Capital and is expected to help the company "unlock valuable capital,” CEO Mark Tritton said. Tritton, a former Target CEO, is making big moves despite taking the helm as recently as two month ago. He has been in office since November and has already let go of six senior executives. - CNBC

2. California’s wildfires are driving up the cost of insurance, which is slowing home sales in that state. Some home shoppers are having a hard time being approved or finding affordable policies, so they end up backing out of home deals. In December, California implemented protections for homeowners which prevent insurance companies from dropping them for at least a year following wildfire destruction near their homes. In October alone there were 16 wildfires in that state. - INMAN

3. The largest Hollywood Hills home on the market just sold for $35.5 million. The contemporary new construction features San Gabriel Mountain panoramas, a 163-foot wraparound infinity pool and a 12-foot waterfall. Inside is a car showroom, theater with concessions stand and a "wellness center" that boasts cold-plunge pools. The main room offers uninterrupted vistas through floor-to-ceiling disappearing glass doors.  Prior to this unique estate, a $2 million sat on the parcel in 2013. Experts predict the permitting and construction for this modern dwelling likely lasted years. - REALTOR

4. Major Wall Street financial institutions will continue to move “outside of expensive cities like New York to places like Phoenix, Tampa, and Nashville,” Business Insider’s  26 biggest predictions report said. That survey asked industry experts to reveal how the landscape would change over the next decade. It predicts that finance powerhouses will mimic tech companies’ amenities — like onsite cafeterias and coffee shops — including mobile apps replacing office badges. It also sees a shift to more private space rather than open offices. - BUSINESS INSIDER

5. Several residents in a North Carolina public housing community have been treated for high carbon monoxide levels, the Associated Press reports. The Durham Housing Authority said that hundreds of people who lived in that building have been transported to hotels out of safety concerns. The Durham Housing Authority said it would be inspecting each unit for carbon monoxide risk. Displaced residents are being given a daily per diem for food and transportation. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

6. A lack of construction in Oregon could mean a worsening housing shortage crisis in that state, according to a report by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. Oregon's population grew by 400,000 people from 2010 to 2019, but the state approved a mere 37 housing permits for every 100 new residents. Economist Josh Lehner said that even on a growth-adjusted basis, Oregon “built fewer new housing units this decade than we have since at least World War II.” The cause, according to the Wall Street Journal, is “government-imposed scarcity.” Lawmakers' urban-growth boundaries from the 1970s have not kept up with the population spike in that state. - WALL STREET JOURNAL

7. Experts are predicting a radical luxury market downturn in 2020, the Robb Report says. Plummeting home prices in Manhattan in the last quarter of 2019 is just one indicator of what's to come in the new year, brokerage Douglas Elliman explains, adding that overdevelopment and vacant high-end units in that market run rampant. Despite these facts, “5,000-plus units across 63 buildings are still under construction,” the Report said. High-priced cities in the rest of the country are mixed: in San Francisco and Los Angeles, those sectors will hold up because of strong economies and home shortages. - ROBB REPORT

8. If you hire U-Haul for your next big move, there's a good chance the mover will be a non-smoker. Starting Feb. 1, U-Haul will stop hiring nicotine users in more than 20 states. The company said it wants to foster a wellness-focused culture in its workplace. U-Haul employs more than 30,000 people in the U.S. and Canada. Existing smokers in its fleet will be grandfathered in but will also be offered smoking-cessation help. - WASHINGTON POST

9. Pop star Zayn Malik just sold his New York City penthouse at a loss. He reportedly purchased the 3,597-square-foot Soho property for $10.61 million in March 2018 but recently sold it for $9.45 million. The property includes a 923-square-foot terrace, four bedrooms and 12-foot barrel-vaulted ceilings. According to the Observer, this isn't his first rough sell: Malik reportedly sold his Bel Air home last year for $2.94 million after buying it for $3.1 million. - OBSERVER

10. Market snapshot: A Central East Austin 827-square-foo bungalow is listed at $436,000. Built in 1927, it has two bedrooms and features classic Craftsman-style architecture throughout. It's slated to become part of a "condo regime" with another housing unit. Both will be divided by a fence for privacy. According to Zillow, Austin's average home price currently ssits at $388,000. - CURBED AUSTIN

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.

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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