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Welcome to CREtrends.com — a blog about commercial real estate

Developed and maintained by attorneys at Leonard, Street and Deinard, this site will address a wide variety of topics focused on commercial real estate. Collectively, we offer decades of industry experience and a national perspective that extends from our Midwestern base. Our goal is to help individuals and businesses better understand the issues driving today’s commercial real estate trends. Our Bloggers →

Latest Commercial Real Estate Blog Posts
Bidding on a home

Should Homeowners in States with Cumbersome Foreclosure Processes Pay Higher Interest Rates?

Sep 4

Affordable Housing, Banking/Finance, Land Use, Residential Development The Wall Street Journal is reporting on an idea floated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that would make the rates paid by borrowers in states with long foreclosure processes higher than the rates paid by borrowers in states with shorter foreclosure processes.  At this point the Agency, which regulates mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has said only that it intends to seek public comment on the idea.  No details have been provided and no... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

gold-dollar-sign

Batman’s Wayne Manor Valued at $32.1 Million

Jul 20

Banking/Finance, Commercial Development, Land Use, Mixed-use Development, Residential Development, Uncategorized A recent web posting gives the appraised value of Wayne Manor, the fictitious home of Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego, as $32.1 million.  The posting cites an appraisal by Movoto.com as the source for that valuation, and the Movoto site does identify comparable nearby properties.  The Movoto site also contains a listing for the property that contains demographic information as well as information on the local school district.  The appraisal values the... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

Boston Skyline

Walkable Communities Increase Real Estate Values

Jun 4

Affordable Housing, Brownfields, Land Use, Mixed-use Development, Residential Development, Retail, Transportation, Uncategorized A new Brookings Institution study suggests that walkability increases values for both for-sale and rental housing, as well as office and retail real estate.  The study concludes that office, residential, and retail rents, retail revenues, and for-sale residential home prices all increase faster in walkable communities than in communities where walking is more difficult.   The study also finds that rents and home values increase even more quickly in... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

Red Tape

Association Rental Restrictions: When is an Occupant a Tenant?

May 25

Commercial Development, Hospitality, Land Use, Mixed-use Development, Residential Development, Uncategorized Many condominium and townhome associations have in recent years adopted restrictions on leasing units governed by the association.  Such restrictions range from complete prohibitions against leasing, to limitations on the percentage of units that may be leased at any time, to limitations on the terms of leases--e.g. no leases for terms of less than six months.  While the restrictions tend to be clear, their application to some living situations is less... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

Bidding on a home

Small Lot Subdivisions Address Urban Housing Needs

May 9

Affordable Housing, Brownfields, Land Use, Residential Development, Uncategorized A small lot subdivision is a tool for building detached, single-family homes on urban infill lots.  For example, a small lot subdivision might permit the construction of three detached, single-family homes on a single zoning lot zoned for 2-4 family development.  A report prepared by the Los Angeles architectural firm Modative and available for free on their website gives examples and much useful information on using small lot subdivisions.   The key... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

gold-dollar-sign

New Homes–Would You Like to Supersize That?

Apr 24

Banking/Finance, Commercial Development, Mixed-use Development, Residential Development, Uncategorized In an earlier post, we noted a recent trend toward smaller apartments and discussed whether the trend would last beyond the end of the housing recession.  A recent New York Times article suggests that the trend is dead, at least at the highest end of the residential market.  That article discusses a strong trend in the Manhattan and South Florida markets toward huge apartments containing more than 3,000 square feet, which the article refers to as... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

tokyo streets

Convenient Public Transportation Helps Senior Housing

Apr 13

Affordable Housing, Banking/Finance, Land Use, Mixed-use Development, Residential Development, Transportation The senior housing boom finally seems to be taking hold in the U.S.  One trend that we have noted is that affordable senior housing along transportation corridors is in great demand, with new units filling up months before construction is complete.  In our car-centric culture, one factor that moves people to seek out senior housing is the loss of the ability to drive--whether caused by physical, mental, or financial disabilities.  The physical and... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

Man Signing Paper

Calculating Tenant’s Share of Commercial Condominium Expenses is Tricky

Apr 2

Commercial Development, Mixed-use Development, Retail, Uncategorized It is common for a lease of a commercial condominium unit to require the tenant to pay the entire condominium assessment for the unit during the lease term.   Under such an arrangement, the tenant could end up paying some expenses that are usually paid by the landlord in a commercial lease.  For example, commercial condominium assessments may include a contribution toward association reserves.  Those are funds that are typically earmarked for... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

Apartment Buildings

Tight Rental Market Tough for Tenants

Mar 27

Affordable Housing, Commercial Development, Land Use, Residential Development, Uncategorized In an earlier post, we reported on record high affordability levels for home purchasers.  Some of the trends driving that phenomenon have, predictably, resulted in low levels of affordability for renters.  A recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition describes the challenges facing low-income renters, many of whom pay rents considered unaffordable by the standard measure of affordability (rent no more than 30% of income).  Of the... Read more →

Shaun McElhatton

growth-chart

Improved Fundamentals for Commercial Real Estate

Feb 27

Affordable Housing, Commercial Development, Mixed-use Development, Residential Development, Retail The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has issued its quarterly commercial real estate forecast and reports that all major commercial real estate sectors are experiencing improved fundamentals.  A press release summarizing the forecast can be found here.  NAR reports that multifamily housing is becoming a landlord’s market, while office and industrial space remain a tenant’s market.  Among other predictions for 2013, NAR predicts that by the... Read more →

Jim Wilson