A docked boat in a marina with a blue sky

A Tight Ship

The stiffest headwind most boaters face these days isn’t from a storm. It’s finding a place to tie up. Slips at marinas are so hard to find that Florida boat and yacht brokers advise clients not to buy a watercraft until they have first found somewhere to store it. “There’s just too many boats and [...]

Looking down a street in New York City from a high vantage point with tall buildings and orange clouds in the background

New York’s Local Law 97

New York City’s Green Energy Local Law 97 (LL97) is a significant component of the Climate Mobilization Act passed by the New York City Council in 2019. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability presents this law as “one of the most ambitious plans for reducing emissions in the nation.” One of [...]

A city skyline along water reflecting the buildings with graph lines overlaid on image

Predicting Property Returns

During times of market uncertainty — such as a financial crisis, pandemic or spike in interest rates — the illiquid nature of private equity real estate (PERE) leads to questionable valuations. Appraisals rely on recent transactions of comparable properties to estimate the most probable selling price for a property. But commercial property transactions typically drop [...]

A row of new townhouses with garages along a street

Narrow Track of Housing Affordability

A simplified measure of housing affordability is the ratio of median household (HH) income over income needed to own a median-valued home. This is a gauge of broad-based affordability that can help determine if a market is balanced. Using the input choices shown in Figure 1 yields a current index of 1.07 for Florida indicating [...]

Looking up at skyscrapers from street-level

Wall Of Debt

There is no question that debt markets face some challenges and current maturities are elevated by any standard. In February, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported 20% of the outstanding $4.7 trillion in U.S. commercial mortgages held by lenders and investors will mature in 2024. If commercial mortgages range from one to 10 years maturity, then [...]

Aerial view of Cypress Ranch in Pasco County, Florida

Cypress Ranch

Ferber Co. spent $28 million to develop Cypress Ranch, the largest land development project in the company’s 117-year history. The mixed-use project in Pasco County includes retail businesses, single family homes, townhomes, and apartments. Work began in 2018 when Ferber applied for governmental approvals to rezone the 164-acre tract. After navigating delays related to the [...]

Coastal homes during a hurricane endure winds and storm surge

Building in the Danger Zone

Much of the most valuable property across the United States is near the coasts, and the estimated costs from coastal hazards and rising sea levels are enormous — amounting to over a trillion dollars. Florida represents perhaps the best example of the explosive combination of severe weather hazards and a large population. Warm weather and [...]

An aerial view of condos lining the coastline

Cause and Effect of Florida’s New Condo Law

Following the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Tower South condominium in Surfside, Florida, the state Legislature enacted a new law to address high-rise condo safety concerns. The new regulations require increased inspections, specify the involvement of experts, mandate the funding of reserves and remove inspection exemptions. If executed with diligence, these new requirements should improve [...]

Apartment buildings with a retention pond in the foreground and chart lines overlaid on the sky in the background

Ups and Downs for Apartments

Over the last four years, the commercial real estate market has undergone a series of major changes, marked by three periods. First, uncertainty: In 2020, the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns that brought global economies to a virtual standstill. The real estate industry was among the hardest hit as government [...]

Looking down on construction equipment in the middle of a stripped out building

A Narrow Path

Repurposing office buildings to housing has been one of real estate’s hottest topics in recent years. It’s little wonder. In the four years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, vacancies in office buildings reached record levels and an increasing shortage of housing has plagued parts of the country. Consider two data points: 19.6% of [...]

An aerial view of an industrial storage facility where many trucks and storage containers are parked

Industrial Outdoor Storage May Be the New Self Storage

This may be a good time to start noticing industrial outdoor storage (IOS) facilities, a tiny segment of the industrial sector dominated by small-to-midsize properties with fractured ownership and localized operations. It’s such a small part of the real estate business that you won’t find reliable aggregate returns and other market data to analyze. Instead, [...]

Southtown Senior development in Birmingham, Alabama

Building in Birmingham

The Benoit Group leads the $40 million development of 143-unit affordable apartments on a recently demolished low-income housing property near downtown Birmingham, Ala. The 158,000-square-foot project is in the mixed-use redevelopment area known as Edgehill at Southtown. It aims to fill the needs for seniors 62 and older with one- and two-bedroom units. The four-story [...]

Two people walk along water by palm trees and tall buildings in the background with a population graphic overlay

Shrinking Miami-Dade?

It’s surprising to read headlines about Miami-Dade County losing population from 2019 through 2022. “Miami Sees its First Population Drop in Decades,” the Wall Street Journal reported in August. “What’s the Matter with Miami?” read the headline of a piece by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Both reports blamed increasing housing prices as a [...]

Sun shines through the trees and Spanish Moss in the Withlacoochee Wetland in Green Swamp

Banking on Mitigation

In the Fall of 2018, Clay Thompson was living in Frankfort, Ky., when he got a call from an old Air Force buddy who was enjoying the good life in Florida. But his friend was having trouble obtaining a permit to build a backyard swimming pool at his home in Lutz, a fast-growing community north [...]

A graphic of many tall city buildings and the sky

Listed REITs and Private Property Investments

Debates erupted over the years whether listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a substitute for commercial property in a diversified portfolio. Institutional investors often include publicly traded REITs and privately held properties in their real estate allocation. Yet academic research suggests that though the private and public markets both exclusively own and operate commercial [...]