Development without gentrification? Oakland’s Fruitvale is the model, report says

Oakland’s Fruitvale transit village has been a boon to the surrounding community without gentrification

The cluster of shops, community service organizations and apartments at the Fruitvale BART station may not seem all that different from other commercial plazas, but to some economists and urban planners, it’s the grand prize of development — at least, for now.

Researchers from UCLA’s Latino Policy and Politics Initiative say the transit village has been a boon to the surrounding neighborhood without resulting in gentrification. As many low-income and working class residents across the state are forced to leave urban areas due to rising rents and home prices, the UCLA researchers said Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood has held onto its existing residents, along with its signature Mexican-American culture.

“It’s the holy grail of urban planning,” said Alexander Quinn, an economist with Hatch, who reviewed the study’s findings, “to say we improved the place and the people who live there are better off.”

But long-time residents, academics and elected officials question whether Oakland’s Mexican-American mecca can continue to withstand the pressure of the region’s booming economy.  And, to them, the tide may already be turning.

Read more from East Bay Times

 

 

Nine Things To Keep In Mind About Blockchain In Real Estate

Blockchain is the next frontier of the real estate market, making inroads at a fast clip.

The use of the technology will make it possible to have transparent transactions that sellers and buyers will benefit from. From real-time ledgers to full-on shared databases and processes, blockchain throws the doors wide open with possibilities in real estate. However, does it come at a cost?

Some agents think it might, while others are embracing it with abandon. Yet, there is much to learn and consider before adopting blockchain into your business processes.

Nine members of Forbes Real Estate Council share the thing that everyone in their profession needs to know in order to safely and efficiently begin adopting blockchain or the tools it enables.

Read more from Forbes

 

 

San Francisco’s homeless crisis is driving tourists away

San Francisco’s hotels are facing a serious problem.

The city’s idyllic image of the Golden Gate bridge and grandiose views of the bay are being replaced by concerns about needles and feces littering the streets, homeless citizens sleeping on sidewalks or in Bay Area Rapid Transit stations and aggression toward visitors by people with untreated mental illness. Visitors are noticing and rethinking booking events and vacations at hotels around the city.

San Francisco’s homeless population was down by 0.5% in 2017 compared to 2015, but is about 17% higher compared to 2013, according to SFist. While homelessness is nothing new for the city, hoteliers and local business say street conditions have worsened.

Within 153 blocks in downtown, there were over 300 piles of feces, 100 drug needles and trash on every block, a recent report by NBCBayArea revealed. Complaints of poor street conditions to 311 have skyrocketed in recent years. In 2016, 311, a city agency where visitors and residents can report issues or seek information about the city, received 44,000 complaints of encampments, human waste and needles, up from 6,300 complaints in 2011, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“[Visitors] are noticing it and hearing about it and saying, ‘well, why would I bring my conference here?’” Hotel Council of San Francisco Executive Director Kevin Carroll said.

Visitors often have rave reviews for the local restaurants and hotel service, but say they will not come back or will not bring their families here, he said.

San Francisco is not the only major West Coast city dealing with issues of homelessness and street conditions impacting tourism and hospitality. Anaheim, home to Disneyland with its spotless, litter-free Main Street, U.S.A., has the stark contrast of homeless people who live just outside the park. The city has been looking into ways to help its homeless population, such as providing emergency shelter and employment opportunities. Honolulu also took action in recent years on cleaning up the streets, including around its popular Waikiki area.

Read more from Bisnow

 

 

 

AI is Changing the CRE Game: Here’s 5 Ways

CRE industry leaders using artificial intelligence to analyze and apply data to decision making saw productivity increase of up to 6% compared to competitors.

In a study by Harvard Business Review about the revolution of big data as a management tool, it was found that artificial intelligence used to analyze and apply data to decision making by those at the top of the CRE industry saw an increase of up to 6% in productivity compared to their competitors.

AI is changing the CRE game in several different ways and in turn, having an impact on all CRE sectors in different ways.

Read more from NAI Global

 

 

MIPIM Day One: Driverless Cars Are Far Off, but Here’s How to Prep

Real estate professionals are eager to discuss the subject of driverless cars.

As self-driving cars slowly transition from fantasy to reality, real estate professionals eagerly crammed into a panel devoted to the subject on the first day of the Marché International des Professionnels de L’immobilier conference in Cannes, France.

But panelists didn’t make bold predictions of massive changes needed for buildings and roads. In fact, the experts were stumped about what would exactly happen as an effect of driverless cars—and when they would take over the streets.

“The key question of will we see more cars or less cars [on the road]—let me tell you we don’t know,” said Carlo Ratti, the director of innovation and design firm Carlo Ratti Associati, which has offices in New York City and Italy.

Speaking hypothetically he added: “According to most estimates if you’ve got self-driving cars moving around, then the cost per mile can decrease significantly. Today an Uber is $2.20 [or] $2.50 per mile in the United States. Well, that number could go down to something like 20 to 60 cents per mile [if the cars were driverless] according to some studies. Well, if that happens then it’s going to be hell, because nobody would want to take the subway anymore. The subway will be more expensive than a car… There will be jams everywhere.”

And when will self-driverless cars be the norm?

Read more from Commercial Observer

Dorm living for professionals comes to San Francisco

The middle-class backbone of San Francisco is looking to move into dorms.

In search of reasonable rent, the middle-class backbone of San Francisco — maitre d’s, teachers, bookstore managers, lounge musicians, copywriters and merchandise planners — are engaging in an unusual experiment in communal living: They are moving into dorms.

Shared bathrooms at the end of the hall and having no individual kitchen or living room is becoming less weird for some of the city’s workers thanks to Starcity, a new development company that is expressly creating dorms for many of the non-tech population.

Starcity has already opened three properties with 36 units. It has nine more in development and a wait list of 8,000 people. The company is buying a dozen more buildings (including one-star hotels, parking garages, office buildings and old retail stores), has raised $18.9 million in venture capital and hired a team of 26 people. Starcity said it was on track to have hundreds of units open around the San Francisco Bay Area this year, and thousands by 2019.

Read more from The New York Times

 

 

NAI Global Ranks #4 in Lipsey’s 2018 Top 25 Commercial Real Estate Brand Survey

Lipsey’s Top 25 Brand Survey Annual Commercial Real Estate Rankings 2018 Results are In

With a unique interaction and involvement in the Commercial Real Estate Industry, the Lipsey Company has set the standard for the industry’s hierarchy by publishing its annual Top 25 Brand Survey which is a list of the most recognizable firms.

Lipsey’s Top 25 Brand Survey is celebrating its 17th anniversary in 2018, and has been announced in the Wall Street Journal by National clients.

See the full survey results here

Smart tech becoming key to attracting renters

Tenants want more tech in their apartments and multifamily landlords and developers are putting in the technology to meet that demand.

While building-wide WiFi, electric chargers and rooftop decks remain popular among tenants, smart building technology is becoming the new “it” amenity.

From package delivery lockers to smart locks, landlords are turning to tech-enabled amenities to woo tenants who are willing to pay more for these features.

In a Schlage and Wakefield Research survey of 1,000 U.S. multifamily renters, 86% of millennials are willing to pay one-fifth more for a smart apartment. Gen Y renters are 61% more likely to rent a unit because of electronic access such as keyless entry, and 55% are willing to pay more in rent for a unit with a smart lock.

Smart lock systems, such as Latch, Kwikset, August Home, Schlage and Yale Locks & Hardware, are being installed in existing and new units throughout the country.

Read more from Bisnow

20 Secondary Cities to Watch in 2018 (and Why)

It took about 7 years from the height of the housing collapse for primary markets to rebound.

Until 2016, they were still exceeding the appreciation rates of secondary markets, but then secondary markets surpassed them in the second half of 2016 and continue to outpace primary markets.

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and Urban Land Institute have highlighted secondary cities that are on the rise in their recent market outlooks. We take a look at which secondary cities we need to be paying attention to in 2018 and why they have become so popular with investors.

Why Secondary Cities?

In PwC’s survey, some of the top primary markets like San Francisco and Manhattan tumbled down to 27 and 46 respectively while secondary cities leapt into the top 20. There are several reasons for the surge in investor interest – chief among them is affordability. Other factors:

·      Investors have come to understand the complexities underlying the potential of secondary cities

·      Unlike typical real estate cycles, new construction in secondary cities has remained low, preventing the problems created by overbuilding

·      Hiring costs for businesses are 14% – 16% lower than in primary markets

·      Cost of living is much lower in secondary cities with housing a full 45% lower

·      Foreign investors are increasingly focusing on secondary cities, accounting for 10% of transactions involving secondary markets last year

Lower costs of living and of doing business in secondary cities enable investors to save more money on their investments while reaping more of the profits. On the opposite side of the coin, as real estate pricing continues to go up in primary markets, investors are pocketing less and less while also being constrained by limited inventories and interest waning in assets in places like New York, DC and LA. What is more, those macroeconomic factors are predicted to hold for years to come.

Read more from NAI Global

Apartment Renters Continue to Dominate Many of the Nation’s Cities

Renter households now make up the majority in 42 of the 100 largest cities in the U.S., according to RENTCafé.

In close to half of the largest U.S. cities, the majority of households now rent rather than own their primary residence, according to a new report from RENTCafé, a Yardi company.

The share of households that own their homes has now declined to the level last seen in the1980s and early 1990s. That’s been great news for the multifamily sector, as those would-be homeowners have filled up apartments.

The homeownership rate is likely to stay at roughly its current level for the foreseeable future due to recent changes in the tax code that favor renting over buying and the high cost of for-sale homes.

Read more from National Real Estate Investor