James Jirtle writes to me:
I am a long-time reader of your blog (and your books!) and hugely enjoyed your recent interview with Camille Paglia.
I was wondering whether you might consider writing a post about potential policy responses to the housing crises in many major cities, perhaps nowhere as acute as in London where I live.
Close to 40 per cent of Calgary’s available rental listings are unoccupied, according to a local property management company which says the weak market has become a major source of financial stress for small, private landlords.
TORONTO — As long as Sears Canada has viable real estate to sell — and management is able to keep shaving costs — the struggling retailer will likely stay alive despite posting years of declining sales and substantial operating losses.
That’s the view of a new report from Desjardins Securities, which notes the department store’s management has not been able to reduce its fixed and variable costs quickly enough to compensate for the company’s lower revenue productivity, even as it has closed unproductive locations and rebuilt some key product categories.
A few months ago, I warned all to Watch As Near Free Money To Banks Fails To Prevent Nuclear Winter For European CRE. This warning was an offshoot of the extensive research that I did on the European banking sector, sovereign debt and CRE.
We’ve been skeptical of the private equity land rush to snap up single family homes for rentals. They’ve been a big enough force in the housing market nationwide to lead some commentators to question how solid the housing “recovery” is. Yet the combination of rising enthusiasm for housing and a richly-valued stock market is leading a raft of PE firms to ready IPOs as a way to take profits and establish valuations for their profit participations.
Altus Group Ltd. plans to double its revenue to about $800 million in the next five years as the Canadian real estate data provider expands further into property tax consulting with acquisitions in the U.S. and U.K.
TORONTO — An Ontario judge has given the green light to a compromise between Target Canada and its landlords over properties the retailer will soon leave vacant.
The revised agreement, which was reached earlier this week but required court approval, gives Target Canada until the end of June to finish selling its store leases.
Both Target Canada and its landlords agreed to have a court-appointed monitor supervise the sale, in a deal which shifts control away from the company.
Most businesses use some kind of commercial real estate. Leasing property has been a bargain in the past year. Prices for buyers are very favorable, though commercial mortgages are still subject to pretty tight underwriting. Many commercial tenants have renegotiated their leases to lower their rents. Going forward, though, good deals are going to be more difficult. 2011 is the year to lock in current rents. If you are going to need more space in the future, you might want to commit this year while landlords are still feeling desperate.