The Climbing Costs to Insure US Commercial Real Estate
Data from the MSCI U.S. Quarterly Property Index shows that insurance costs as a percentage of income receivable more than doubled to 2.3% from 1.0% over the five years between September 2018 and September 2023. These increasing costs have been attributed to the growing number, and increased severity, of extreme weather events, and higher reinsurance rates.
San Francisco’s Montgomery Street Could Signal a Downtown Revival
Nearly 200 years ago, Montgomery Street — or the land beneath it, anyway — comprised the literal edge of San Francisco. When young gold seekers arrived in 1849 during the first of many booms that would come to define the city, San Francisco added several blocks by piling landfill into the bay. Now, a 15-minute stroll separates Montgomery Street from the shoreline. A seven-block stretch of Montgomery, from Shvo’s pyramid at the north to Market Street at the south, is dotted with “green shoots,” the botanical term that economists use to describe early signs of recovery. The street is on the eastern side of the city, in the heart of the Financial District.
A back door to a 3% mortgage rate? This startup has a plan to unlock housing market affordability
Back in September, Singh launched Roam, a real estate portal that resembles Zillow.com or Realtor.com. However, Roam exclusively showcases homes currently for sale with loans eligible to be assumable. One of the challenges with assumable mortgages is that, typically, most conventional mortgages are not assumable. However, if specific requirements are met, most loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are eligible.
A year after Colorado voters approved Proposition 123, demand for its affordable housing funds outweighs supply
In late July, Colorado affordable housing advocates worried about the low opt-in rate, when only 14 of the 336 eligible local governments had joined the new affordable housing program. But housing advocates who introduced the measure said they’re relieved to see the number climb to 202 jurisdictions. That means more than 90% of Colorado’s population now lives in a community where government leaders have committed to building more affordable housing in the coming years and in turn will get funding from the state.
More than 200 Colorado cities, counties to compete for new affordable housing program
Local housing officials had expressed concern about meeting the 9% growth requirement over the next three years, plus a looming, second provision that will require jurisdictions to fast-track their housing approval processes. Some had tried to haggle with their state counterparts this summer to ease the requirements. But the state said no, and Prop 123 advocates said improving affordable housing stock is a key piece of the ballot measure’s broader intent. More than 200 local governments jumped in anyway, local officials said, because the money is too important to turn down.
As offices sit empty and housing costs soar, some Texas developers are converting workspaces into apartments
Already, office-to-residential conversions have created nearly 20,000 housing units nationwide since 2016, according to a recent analysis from CBRE — and there’s another 21,000 units in the hopper. But experts in real estate, housing and urban policy caution that converting empty offices into apartments or condominiums isn’t the silver bullet for solving the nation’s office vacancy woes or its housing affordability troubles. Though there’s plenty of office-to-residential conversion activity going on in the country, it accounts for a small slice of the nation’s overall office space, said Julie Whelan, who studies trends in commercial real estate for CBRE. “Nationally speaking, we have to remember that, yes, there’s an uptick in conversions underway, but it’s still only about 1.6% of inventory overall nationally,” Whelan said. “So we’re not talking about crazy numbers.”
A new bill proposes kicking Wall Street investors out of the U.S. housing market. But would it improve affordability?
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and U.S. Representative Adam Smith (D-Washington) introduced the “End Hedge Fund Control of American Homes Act” in both chambers of Congress, seeking to push institutional investors out of the U.S. housing market. The bill aims not only to ban hedge funds from amassing large portfolios of single-family homes, but also to force them to sell off their portfolio. The bill would require hedge funds to “sell at least 10% of the total number of single-family homes they currently own to families per year over a 10-year period. After a 10-year full phase-out, all hedge funds will be completely banned from owning any single-family homes.”
How College Football Is Clobbering Housing Markets Across the Country
Around the United States, in small cities reliant on college sports to keep their economies humming, short-term rentals are destabilizing housing markets, fueled by wealthy fans and investors who transform single-family homes into de facto hotels for a few weeks out of the year, and often leave them sitting empty the rest of the time.
What Can Public Transit Deserts Learn From Paris, Texas?
Beth Osborne, director of advocacy group Transportation for America, said widespread support is the best way to get the government to fund public transportation. Now Paris receives grant money yearly because of the town’s demonstrated need and the success of the program, Record said. In the beginning, Record presented fifty letters of community support to the Texas Department of Transportation in addition to the statistics and evidence of financial support from the community. “It’s often a person or a group of people who are just relentless,” said Osborne. “They refuse to think their community can’t have what they think their community can have.”
Big Fare Changes Are Almost Here!
RTD’s new fare system brings lower fares, a reduced number of fare zones, consolidated Discount fares, and decreased costs for 3-Hour, Day, and Monthly Passes. Travel to and from the Airport will be included in all Monthly and Discount Passes. We’ll also offer decreased costs for Access-a-Ride and introduce Access-a-Ride LiVE fares. The new fare system also expands access to the LiVE program, introduces a transit assistance grant program as well as a new Semester Pass for post-secondary students, and much more.
Autonomous Vehicles: A Guidebook for Cities
While autonomous vehicles are still experimental and nascent in many corners of the U.S., the same kind of unguided tectonic shift seen with the introduction of the automobile nearly a century ago is possible. Autonomous Vehicles: A Guidebook for Cities was created in response to cities seeking to manage and influence autonomous vehicle (AV) pilots and deployments happening on their streets, as well as cities trying to prepare for these pilots.
Autonomous driving’s future: Convenient and connected
New AD technologies have tremendous potential to provide new levels of safety and convenience for consumers, generate significant value within the auto industry, and transform how people travel. At the same time, the dynamic and rapidly evolving AD passenger car market is producing high levels of uncertainty. All companies in the AD value chain—from automakers and suppliers to technology providers—must have clear, well-aligned strategies. Companies seeking to win in the autonomous passenger car market could benefit from a targeted value proposition, a clear vision of where the market is heading (including well-developed scenarios that cover the next ten years at minimum), and an understanding of what consumers want most.
Front Range Passenger Rail receives starter money from feds — with the promise of much more
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration are set to announce that the rail project will be included in the Corridor Identification and Development Program, according to a news release issued Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat from Lafayette. The program is a major component of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that aims to facilitate the development of intercity passenger rail corridors across the nation.
Love ’em or hate ’em, Denver’s 45 new traffic circles change the way drivers navigate the city
The city’s first traffic circles were completed in 2018 on West 35th Avenue in West Highland, said Nancy Kuhn, a spokeswoman for the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. This year, DOTI built 45 through the Community Transportation Networks initiative, which is “aimed at rapidly expanding safe and comfortable transportation options within three areas of Denver” — in the northwest, central and south. In those parts of town, the traffic circles are usually installed on neighborhood bikeways. “These are streets that DOTI is prioritizing for biking and walking,” Kuhn said.
REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
Did Car-Free Market Street Kill San Francisco’s Most Important Boulevard?
The new vision for Market Street, advocates said, would create a safer, more vibrant multimodal avenue for the hundreds of thousands of residents, commuters and tourists who daily traverse the 2.2-mile stretch from the Castro District to the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. More than a decade of planning went into alterations of Market Street, which were billed as a face-lift befitting the epicenter of innovation. San Francisco was experiencing boom times in 2019, as the cash-flush tech sector sent Downtown commercial rents soaring. “It was very bullish,” said Oz Erickson, chair of the San Francisco-based development firm Emerald Fund, who noted that some of the city’s best buildings were renting space for as much as $100 per square foot. “The whole economy was booming.” Today, the scene on the ground is almost unrecognizable compared to San Francisco’s grand promises. Yes, cars are gone from Market Street. But so are people.
Parts of Colfax will become more pedestrian friendly after Council passes rezoning project
Historically, Colfax was known to cater to cars, with miles and miles of drive throughs and motels. But the future of Colfax will look different with the arrival of a bus rapid transit line (BRT), which will bring faster, more pedestrian friendly bus service down Colfax. That project is set to open in 2026. In the meantime, Councilmembers Chris Hinds and Amanda Sawyer set out to ensure that the future of Colfax development will similarly cater to pedestrians.
Fully remote work plummets, EY finds
“Most organizations today are still operating [on] their pre-pandemic footprint,” Acoba said. “If you think about that legacy model, it was geared toward a typically 40% to 60% occupancy rate for most facilities across sectors, on average. While that model was accepted in the past, it is now seen as a 40% to 60% inefficiency rate in the utilization of assets. Now, there’s an opportunity to do some rightsizing there.” Right-sizing, Acoba said, offers a potential to “tighten up the envelope” and operate at a more optimized 65% to 75% occupancy rate, fostering a more engaging work environment.
After failed land use bill, Gov. Polis aims to link climate, housing and transit — and tie state funding to RTD overhaul
The new plan, detailed in a 34-page document, says Colorado urgently needs more and denser housing development to drive down prices — a research-supported belief that also underpinned his unsuccessful legislative push to overhaul land use policies last session — as well as more public transit service. Both are key to a more affordable, more climate-friendly state, the roadmap says. “All the partners that touch transit and housing need to work together to create this vision of a more livable and affordable Colorado to prevent us from becoming another California with higher costs [and] 12-lane highways that have rush hours that are six hours a day,” Polis told CPR News. Polis said he wants the state government to spend more money on transit service around Colorado, including investments in bus and rail service within cities, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s own inter-city bus services, and, perhaps, new passenger rail services along Interstate 25 and to the mountains.
Nobody’s leaving the house anymore
In 2017, Americans used to average more than three trips a day. Going to work and back and then going somewhere else — that’s three trips. And also maybe they went to the store every other day, or a friend’s house. Now, people are taking just a little over 2 trips a day. AND as they point out, urban dwellers, who used to go more places than rural dwellers (which makes sense) now don’t really to an appreciable degree.
Greyhound bus stops are valuable assets. Here’s who’s cashing in on them
The terminal closures have been accelerating as Greyhound, the largest carrier, sells its valuable terminals to investors, including investment firm Alden Global Capital. Last year, Alden subsidiary Twenty Lake Holdings purchased 33 Greyhound stations for $140 million. Alden is best known for buying up local newspapers like The Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and The Baltimore Sun, cutting staff, and selling some of the iconic downtown buildings. Alden has started to sell the Greyhound depots to real estate developers, speeding up the timetable for closures.