Clockwise from top left: The Skirball wildfire threatening the Los Angeles area, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Art Basel in Miami, and Andrew Right, Anthony Foxx, Stephen Ross of Related.
Who will lead commercial real estate’s data revolution? With data increasingly considered a sacred resource in commercial real estate, a battle is raging between the companies that control the information used in many transactions. CoStar Group, the longtime industry leader, is fighting off competition from its main rival Xceligent and many other smaller firms, leaving brokers, landlords and other real estate professionals caught in the middle. CoStar and Xceligent are not only fighting in court, but have also launched PR attacks on each other, complete with reports of data piracy and even sex trafficking. [TRD] Realtors: GOP tax plan will lower coastal home values and inventory The National Association of Realtors predicts that changes to property taxes, mortgage interest, and deductions to state and local taxes will lower home values and decrease already struggling inventory levels across the country — particularly in high-tax, Democratic-leaning states like California, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, Bloomberg reported. A proposed change to the capital gains tax on sales could encourage homeowners to keep their properties off the market. [TRD] Hurt by online sales, malls themselves are now being sold online While using online marketplaces for commercial real estate sales has been common among properties with smaller footprints, malls, which are the top tier of retail spaces, are increasingly joining in on the digital sales. Ten-X Commercial, an online commercial real estate marketplace, has sold 50 malls since 2012, and Real Capital Markets has managed 57 mall transactions this year alone, in addition to 68 deals last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. [TRD] Douglas Elliman names Scott Durkin president Scott Durkin, who has lead Douglas Elliman’s national expansion for the last two years, has been named president of the residential brokerage. Durkin will assume some managerial responsibilities from Elliman CEO Dottie Herman and will keep the COO title he already has. The firm’s chairman, Howard Lorber, said that Herman, who owns 30 percent of the company, would be “an overall strategist and less focused on the day-to-day minutia.” [TRD] Apartment List to provide apartment community listings for Realtor.com Realtor.com announced that Apartment List will be its exclusive provider of listings for apartment communities. Apartment List will bring its more than 3.5 million rental unit listings to Realtor.com, and it expects that number to grow in the future. Last month, Facebook announced that Apartment List would provide listings for its expansion into real estate via the social media platform’s Marketplace feature. [HousingWire] Related hires two former Obama officials to lead infrastructure initiative Ex-Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, along with another former transportation official, Andrew Right, have been tapped to lead Related Infrastructure, which will invest in businesses developing or operating airports, toll roads and other types of infrastructure, the Wall Street Journal first reported. [TRD] More than 20% of the US population now lives in common interest communities Some 69 million Americans, or 20 percent of the population, are now living in common interest communities like condominiums or cooperatives, as opposed to single-family homes, according to a report by Forbes. Community living tends to be more popular among baby boomers and millennials, the two largest age groups in the U.S. Retired baby boomers are looking for homes with fewer maintenance issues, and millennials tend to prefer managed properties that offer amenities and entertainment. [Bisnow] MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS Real estate execs prepare to take on New York’s mayor and City Council Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council have many real estate players anxiously surveying the political landscape. Although he’s faced criticism for being too cozy with New York’s real estate developers, de Blasio begins his second term as a potential adversary of the industry, while a stronghold of council members is pushing legislation that could put the reins on developers. It’s a high-stakes contest in a city where real estate generated $20.4 billion in taxes last year. Construction spending is expected to reach $102.6 billion combined in 2018 and 2019. [TRD] Wildfire burns in wealthy Los Angeles neighborhoods, destroying multimillion-dollar homes This week, the Skirball wildfire ripped through Bel Air, home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country. Residents were forced to evacuate and multimillion-dollar homes went up in flames, including media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s 16-acre Moraga Vineyards estate, a local NBC affiliate first reported. The fire has been propelled by heavy winds, as well as the region’s dry climate. [TRD] Real estate and art will merge in Miami during Art Basel Developers and brokerages capitalize on the well-heeled crowd in Miami for Art Week and Art Basel by hosting events meant to boost the exposure of their luxury projects, insiders told TRD. Condos are hosting parties and exhibits, and brokerages are sponsoring art fairs in the hopes of drumming up sales. TRD South Florida rounded up all the of the real estate-related festivities at this year’s exhibition. [TRD] Report: Commercial property assessments in Chicago defy logic While the real estate market in Chicago is changing rapidly, the valuations of thousands of commercial and industrial properties by Cook County did not change at all from one assessment to the next, according to a ProPublica Illinois-Chicago Tribune analysis of tens of thousands of property records. Nearly 25 percent of 40,000 parcels examined in the study had identical valuations in the reassessments of 2009, 2012 and 2015, despite wildly different market conditions. The Chicago Tribune found that Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios’s office generally undervalued expensive downtown properties while overvaluing small business in poorer neighborhoods. [Chicago Tribune] Steinbridge tries to make single-family rentals profitable in Philadelphia The Steinbridge Group is buying houses in Philadelphia to test its theory that single-family rentals can be both profitable and affordable. CEO Tawan Davis told Bisnow that his company wants “to focus on people who need to live in and around the urban center, but can’t afford to buy a home because the starting price to get on the homeownership ladder is so high that working people can’t start owning as early as they might like.” Steinbridge has closed on 60 homes and is in contract on 40 more in Philadelphia. By the end of 2018, Davis hopes to spend $50 million on 500 homes in the city. [Bisnow] With rents and traffic growing in Denver, a record number of people are leaving Colorado A record number of Colorado residents are choosing to move out of the state, with many citing rising housing prices, trouble finding well-paying jobs and increasing traffic as reasons for leaving. New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show that 193,000 Coloradans moved away last year — 10,000 more than in 2015. Home prices in metro Denver were up 57 percent over the past eight years through October, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price indices. [Denver Post]