Statement from NAHB Chairman Randy Noel on States Receiving Section 404 Permitting Authority

Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a custom home builder from LaPlace, La., today issued the following statement in support of the Trump administration’s announcement that clarifies over which waters states can assume Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting authority rather than the federal government:

“NAHB commends this latest action by the Trump administration to enact common-sense solutions to reduce regulatory burdens for small businesses. The Army Corps of Engineers’ recent memorandum will help to promote the federal/state partnership envisioned by the Clean Water Act, reduce duplicative administrative burdens and create a more streamlined authorization process for builders and developers whose projects occur near wetlands. In turn, this will boost housing affordability while also protecting our nation’s wetlands and waterways.

“We are hopeful that by providing this clarity, more states will take steps to assume Section 404 permitting authority.”

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CyrusOne Building Out European Platform

Gary Wojtaszek, president and CEO of CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2018 Investor Conference in New York.

Wojtaszek said that the growth that CyrusOne has seen in the United States during the last few years is now beginning to land on European shores.

“We’re trying to build that European platform,” he said. “Our first move was the acquisition of Zenium.”

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FTSE Nareit All REITs Index Up 0.8% in July

REITs rose modestly in July, with data center REITs and regional mall REITs posting the strongest returns during the month.

The total returns of the FTSE Nareit All REITs Index rose 0.8 percent in July, while the S&P 500 rose 3.7 percent. The total returns of the FTSE Nareit Mortgage REIT Index gained 3.8 percent in July.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was 0.1 percent higher in July.

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55+ Housing Market Shows Continued Strength in Second Quarter

Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market continued to be in positive territory in the second quarter of 2018, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) which was released today. The index increased one point to 67.

The 55+ HMI is broken down to measure two segments of the 55+ housing market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each segment of the 55+ HMI measures builder sentiment based on a survey that asks if current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated six-month sales for that market are good, fair or poor (high, average or low for traffic).

“Builders and developers continue to see demand from consumers for homes in the 55+ housing sector,” said Chuck Ellison, chairman of NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council and Vice President-Land of Miller & Smith in McLean, Va. “However, increases in building material costs have made it challenging to meet this demand.”

When compared to the previous quarter, among the three single-family components of the 55+ HMI, present sales increased three points to 73, sales expected in the next six months dropped three points to 77 and traffic of prospective buyers fell four points to 47.

The 55+ multifamily condo HMI dropped seven points to 57, however, it is still the second-highest reading since the inception of the index in 2008. All three 55+ condo HMI components decreased in the second quarter: Present sales fell six points to 61, sales expected in the next six months dropped seven points to 63 and traffic of perspective buyers declined 11 points to 44.

Conversely, all four components of the 55+ multifamily rental market went up in the second quarter: Present production rose six points to 65, production expected in the next six months jumped 11 points to 68, present demand for existing units increased four points to 72 and demand expected in the next six months rose seven points to 75. 

“Strong economic growth and rising home owner wealth are allowing consumers to sell their current homes and buy or rent homes in 55+ communities,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, builders need to manage rising building material costs, especially for lumber, in order to continue providing housing at competitive prices.”

For the full 55+ HMI tables, please visit

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Brookfield Agrees to Buy Forest City Realty in $11.4 Billion Deal

Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Forest City Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: FCE.A) said July 31 that Brookfield will acquire Forest City in an all-cash transaction valued at $11.4 billion, including debt.

Cleveland-based Forest City, founded in 1920, focuses on the ownership, development, management, and acquisition of commercial, residential, and mixed-use real estate in key urban markets. The REIT’s assets total $8 billion.

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Plymouth Industrial REIT Searches for “Mission-Critical” Property Acquisitions

Jeff Witherell, CEO of Plymouth Industrial REIT (NYSE American: PLYM), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITweek: 2018 Investor Conference in New York.

Plymouth Industrial REIT held its initial public offering (IPO) in June 2017, and Witherell said the company used the proceeds to pay down some short-term debt, with the majority of the capital going toward new acquisitions. “We [also] did a preferred equity issuance in late October of last year, so between the two offerings, we have in excess of $100 million of proceeds,” he added.

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