To riff on a famous saying: When capital controls close one door, somewhere the government opens a window. That’s what may be happening with the new federal Opportunity Zones program, created at a time when another governmental tool designed to spur development — the investment-for-visas EB-5 program — sees a decline in effectiveness given increased restrictions imposed by the Chinese government. The Opportunity Zones program aims to give tax breaks to developers launching projects in low-income neighborhoods around the country. The Real Deal digs into the capital opportunities in these zones, the Los Angeles projects that could qualify and how developers could game the system for maximum benefit.
And while the Opportunity Zones in L.A. will likely see a future influx of projects, TRD did a data deep dive to find out which areas are currently experiencing heightened investment activity. We found that each of the top five neighborhoods with the fastest rate of growth in property values had seen an increase in investments for a different reason. Spec homes drove high values in Bel Air, while multifamily developments drove growth in Westlake and trophy tower acquisitions put El Segundo on the list.
Over in the world of residential brokerage, firms of every size are still feeling the impact of Compass’ landmark acquisition of Pacific Union over the summer. As the big brokerages get bigger and the boutique outfits welcome agents fleeing those massive firms, brokers game out how the mergers will change the scene with TRD staff reporter Natalie Hoberman.
And to track just how much turnover the residential brokerages have seen in the first eight months of the year, TRD dug into agent licensing data filed to the state. One thing we learned? Tech tools and higher commissions are driving some agents to change allegiances.
Other highlights include our election primer, for which TRD reporter Dennis Lynch dug into donation records to see which candidates and ballot measures the real estate community is backing. We also have an entertaining look at the costs behind over-the-top parties used to market ultraluxury homes. And TRD’s Alexei Barrionuevo sat down with Douglas Elliman West Coast CEO Stephen Kotler — read the New York transplant’s candid reflections on breaking into a new market and why moving to L.A. demanded a serious wardrobe overhaul.