Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 09/24/2020

Shrinking office space, converting factory space, mortgage forbearance updates, who’s on third place, and a big huzzah for the Big Apple.

In Today’s News

Office Market Could Shed 145 Million Square Feet in Two Years

A new Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) report says the U.S. office market could shrink by 145 million square feet in the next two years and that vacancy rates won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2025.

Why it matters: Cushman & Wakefield is a global leader in property management and puts considerable resources toward trying to understand what’s happening now and what comes next. The scenarios reported here by are just a couple of possibilities. You can download the whole report off this page.

Yesterdays Factories, Todays Apartments: Conversions at All-Time High

About 800 old buildings around the country have been converted into apartments in the past decade, RentCafe reports, including a lot of abandoned factories as well as a bomb shelter and former dispensary.

Why it matters: Factories lead the list in this interesting article, which also includes some of the author’s favorite examples of “residential adaptive reuse.” While not a new phenomenon, recent additions to the tax code — think historic districts and opportunity zones — can make investing in these kinds of projects even more enticing to creative developers out there.

FHFA Releases 2nd Quarter Foreclosure, Refinance Report

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said today that nearly 5% of the loans it services through the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in forbearance plans as of June 30. The regulator also extended the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy loans in forbearance for another month. That permission had been scheduled to expire on Sept. 30.

Why it matters: The FHFA says the GSEs had 1.39 million loans in that state of deferred payment as of June 30, and while foreclosure starts had dropped in half from the previous quarter, this is more cautionary information for the market as those agreements expire and the pandemic rages on.

Today on Millionacres

What Third Places Are and Why It Matters Now

Six months after most people went into COVID-19 quarantine, third places are enjoying a quiet but steady resurgence, buoyed by creative marketing that’s driven by equal parts love and — let’s just say it — the need to pay rent.

Why it matters: This thoughtful piece by Millionacres’ Lena Katz not only informs — just what is a third place anyway? — but could inspire, if you’re an investor in or operator of a property that could benefit from some creative strategies that capitalize on this very human need for connection.

NYC Real Estate Icon Larry Silverstein Keeps the Faith, So Should You

Start spreading the news. Big Apple real estate will recover from its pandemic pummeling. World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein says so. Millionacres’ Maurie Backman thinks so, too.

Why it matters: Maurie shares why she agrees with Silverstein that once the recession ends, a rebound is in store for this global hub of commerce, entertainment, and big city life, despite growing reports of city folk seeking greener pastures.

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