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Real Estate Roundup 5.1.20 – Real Estate Daily Beat



(Credit: David Williams & Bloomberg)

Real Estate Roundup:


  • A rent freeze for most rent-stabilized tenants is looking more likely after one of the two landlord representatives on the Rent Guidelines Board said Thursday that she can see the logic of no increase for one-year leases. Two-year leases are a different story. Board members questioned whether they could set the rent increases to zero for the first year of two-year leases and then a different percentage increase for the second. (TRD)
  • The DOB indicated that it audited construction work that purportedly supported essential businesses. At some sites, the agency found more than what was permitted by state rules enacted to curb coronavirus cases. Applicants can ask for a second chance but in the meantime must stop working. (TRD)
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has sketched out an altogether bumpier ride for the U.S. economy than many are predicting – one that sees business activity stop and start for months to come, until an effective treatment or vaccine for the novel coronavirus can be found. (Reuters)


  • Ghost kitchen startup Kitopi cut 124 of its New York City staff just months after it expanded into the city. The Dubai-based company manages shared kitchens for delivery-only eateries. Although these types of startups should be well positioned to take advantage of the current environment, many lack the infrastructure and existing revenue to capitalize. (CO)


  • Macy’s announced an ambitious plan on Thursday to reopen all of its 775 locations, including Bloomingdales and Bluemercury, in the next six to eight weeks. The reopening plan will start on Monday with 68 stores in Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Macy’s hopes to reopen another 50 locations on May 11. The company expects that its reopened stores will only bring in about 15 to 20 percent of their typical business at first and “slowly build” from there. Macy’s has been offering curbside pick up at about 20 stores for the past week. (NYTimes)
  • Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, will temporarily lay off 507 retail workers in the city. (CO)
  • Sycamore Partners is trying to back out of its $525 million deal to buy a majority of Victoria’s Secret from struggling L Brands – the deal was signed on February 20. By March 20, shares dropped from $23 per share to less than $10. The private equity firm isn’t the only buyer trying to get out of deals. (NYTimes)
  • Many Americans would return to Theaters if new protocols were in place… The combo of adhering by White House guidelines, sanitizing and staggered seating resulted in 53 percent of respondents saying they would likely to buy a movie ticket within the first month. (THR)

Office Leasing 

  • Digital marketing firm Jellyfish is leaving its WeWork location for 693 Fifth Avenue in Midtown. The company signed an eight-year lease for 9,508 SF on the entire 11th and 12th floors of the building, which is owned by Financière Marc de Lacharrière. Asking rent on the deal was $80 per SF. (CO)

Other news 

  • Barclays CEO Jes Staley said that headquarters built to house thousands of staff might be a “thing of the past” if social distancing means only two people can take an elevator at a time. Deutsche Bank AG’s Christian Sewing said the crisis highlighted how much the lender could save on office costs. He added that the last four weeks “have shown us opportunities to cut additional costs. If we look at our travel costs, if we look at our entertainment costs, if we look at the real estate costs, all this is underway.” (Bloomberg)
  • TPG Real Estate Finance Trust (TRTX) allegedly stopped funding some loan advances about a month and a half ago due to financial pressure and liquidity issues. Somera Road claims advances stopped in mid-March on the $60.2 million first mortgage loan it received from TRTX on January 8 last year because the lender was cash-strapped. (CO)

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Real eState

What Is the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)



The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Canadian Crown Corporation that serves as the national housing agency of Canada and provides mortgage loans to prospective buyers, particularly those in need.

Understanding the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) serves as the national housing agency of Canada. CMHC is a state-owned enterprise, or a Crown corporation, that provides a range of services for home buyers, the government, and the housing industry.

CMHC’s stated mission is to “promote housing affordability and choice; to facilitate access to, and competition and efficiency in the provision of, housing finance; to protect the availability of adequate funding for housing, and generally to contribute to the well-being of the housing sector.”1

A primary focus of CMHC is to provide federal funding for Canadian housing programs, particularly to buyers with demonstrated needs. CMHC, headquartered in Ottawa, provides many additional services to renters and home buyers, including mortgage insurance and financial assistance programs. CMHC acts as an information hub for consumers, providing information on renting, financial planning, home buying, and mortgage management.

CMHC also provides mortgage loan insurance for public and private housing organizations and facilitates affordable, accessible, and adaptable housing in Canada.2 Additionally, CMHC provides financial assistance and housing programs to First Nations and Indigenous communities in Canada.3

Professionals and Consumers

CMHC provides services to both professionals and consumers. For professionals, CMHC aims to work in collaboration with different groups to provide affordable housing. Services include project funding and mortgage financing, providing information to understand Canada’s housing market, innovation and leadership networks to access funding and talent to spur housing innovation and increase supply, and providing speakers and hosting events for the industry.4

For consumers, CMHC seeks to provide all the tools an individual would need to either buy a home or rent a home and a variety of information and assistance for current homeowners, such as managing a mortgage, services for seniors to age in place, and financial hardship assistance.56

For financial hardship and mortgage assistance, CMHC provides tools that include payment deferrals, extending the repayment period, adding missed payments to the mortgage balance, moving from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate mortgage, and other special payment arrangements.7

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the National Housing Strategy

In November 2017, the Canadian government announced the National Housing Strategy.8 Rooted in the idea that housing is a human right, this 10-year, $70 billion project will largely be administered by CMHC, although some services and deliverables will be provided by third-party contractors and other Canadian federal agencies.9

Strategic initiatives of the National Housing Strategy include:

  • Building new affordable housing and renewing existing affordable housing stock
  • Providing technical assistance, tools, and resources to build capacity in the community housing sector and funds to support local organizations
  • Supporting research, capacity-building, excellence, and innovation in housing research10

History of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

CMHC was established in 1946 as the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation by the federal government in Canada with the primary mission of administering the National Housing Act and the Home Improvement Loans Guarantee Act and facilitating discounts to mortgage companies. Initially, CMHC began by providing housing to returning Canadian war veterans, and toward the end of the 1940s, CMHC began to administer a program providing low-income housing across Canada.11

In 1947, CMHC was responsible for opening Regent Park, a large low-income housing project, and Toronto’s first urban renewal project. By the 1960s, CMHC introduced co-op housing and multi-unit apartment buildings throughout Canada.11

In 1979, the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation changed its name to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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Canadian home price gains accelerate again in May



Canadian home prices accelerated again in May from the previous month, posting the largest monthly rise in the history of the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, data showed on Thursday.

The index, which tracks repeat sales of single-family homes in 11 major Canadian markets, rose 2.8% on the month in May, led by strong month-over-month gains in the Ottawa-Gatineau capital region, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in Hamilton, Ontario.

“It was a third consecutive month in which all 11 markets of the composite index were up from the month before,” said Daren King, an economist at National Bank of Canada, in a note.

On an annual basis, the Teranet index was up 13.7% from a year earlier, the 10th consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since July 2017.

Halifax led the year-over-year gains, up 29.9%, followed by Hamilton at 25.5% and Ottawa-Gatineau at 22.8%.

Housing price gains in smaller cities outside Toronto and its immediate suburbs again outpaced the major urban centers, with Barrie, Ontario leading the pack, up 31.4%.

On a month-over-month basis, prices rose 4.9% in Ottawa-Gatineau, 4.3% in Halifax and 3.7% in Hamilton.

The Teranet index measures price gains based on the change between the two most recent sales of properties that have been sold at least twice.

Canada‘s average home selling price, meanwhile, fell 1.1% in May from April, Canadian Real Estate Association data showed on Tuesday, but jumped 38.4% from May 2020.


(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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Bank of Canada seeing signs of cooling in hot housing market



The Bank of Canada is starting to see signs that the country’s red hot housing market is cooling down, although a return to a normality will take time, Governor Tiff Macklem said on Wednesday.

The sector surged in late 2020 and early 2021, with home prices escalating sharply amid investor activity and fear of missing out. The national average selling price fell 1.1% in May from April but was still up 38.4% from May 2020.

“You are starting to see some early signs of some slowing in the housing market. We are expecting supply to improve and demand to slow down, so we are expecting the housing market to come into better balance,” Macklem said.

“But we do think it is going to take some time and it is something that we are watching closely,” he told the Canadian Senate’s banking committee.

Macklem reiterated that the central bank saw evidence people were buying houses with a view to selling them for a profit and said recent price jumps were not sustainable.

“Interest rates are unusually low, which means eventually there’s more scope for them to go up,” he said.

Last year, the central bank slashed its key interest rate to a record-low 0.25% and Macklem reiterated it would stay there at least until economic slack had been fully absorbed, which should be some time in the second half of 2022.

“The economic recovery is making good progress … (but) a complete recovery will still take some time. The third wave of the virus has been a setback,” he said.

The bank has seen some choppiness in growth in the second quarter of 2021 following a sharp economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at the start of the year, he added.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Julie Gordon; Editing by Peter Cooney and Richard Pullin)

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