Situs Newswatch 12/5

Mall Madness: Amazon Captures 31% of Online Spending Over Cyber Weekend

Amazon is king!

According to new data by Slice Intelligence, which scanned more than 1 million online shopping receipts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, Amazon accounted for 30.9 percent of sales.

The online giant was trailed by primarily brick-and-mortar stores Best Buy at 7.4 percent, Target at 4.4 percent, and Wal-Mart at 4.1 percent.

Best Buy, which entered the weekend fresh off a better-than-expected third-quarter earnings report, saw the biggest improvement of the top 10 retailers, growing its share of spending by 1.3 points over 2015. Apple also recorded a gain, closing the gap with larger chains like Nordstrom and Kohl’s.

One thing is for certain malls, brick-and-mortar stores and CRE investors need to rethink their strategies in order to compete with Amazon and other online retailers.

As Situs RERC President Ken Riggs told Bloomberg Radio on Black Friday“Malls need to better figure out how to get shoppers off their computers and back into the mall arena to allow stores to do their job of selling goods, even if the customer ultimately buys from these stores online.  Many shopping malls are using entertainment hooks or restaurants, for example, to draw high-end shoppers back.”

CLICK HERE for Situs’ Riggs full Bloomberg Radio Interview

Situs is honored to yet again be considered for the prestigious Real Estate Capital Award, an industry peer recognition from one of the largest real estate industry publications in Europe and worldwide.
Situs has been nominated in two categories:

•    European Loan Servicer of the Year
•    European Loan Transaction Advisor of the Year

Voting is now open, and the link to the voting page can be found here.

Prime Minister Booted from Power in Italy, Banks in Turmoil 

Italy plunged into political and economic uncertainty early Monday as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign after voters decisively rejected constitutional changes, a step certain to reverberate across a European Union already buffeted by anti-establishment anger.

“The ‘no’ won in an incredibly clear way,” Mr. Renzi said, congratulating the winners from the Chigi Palace. Holding back tears as he spoke in front of Italian and European Union flags, the usually brash and confident 41-year-old said, “I assume all the responsibility of the defeat,” adding that he would go tomorrow to the country’s president, Sergio Mattarella, and “tender my resignation.”

Mr. Renzi’s defeat, and the instability his resignation is likely to cause, raised the prospect of punishment in the markets, but also a caretaker government staffed with technocrats appointed by the Italian president. Another possibility was the calling of early elections in 2017, though that, too, was unclear because Italy’s new electoral law is itself under review by Italy’s constitutional court.

If early elections do occur next year, 2017 is shaping up to be a seminal year in the history of the European Union with founding members Germany, France and potentially Italy all going to the polls with strong Eurosceptic and populist candidates in the running.

read more: NY Times

All In The Family

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner plans to invest $1B in outside business.

Real-estate maven Kushner’s firm is planning to place at least $1 billion into loans for other people’s projects over the next few years. ‘We have very ambitious objectives for 2017 and would like to do at least $200 million per year with the expectations of placing roughly $1 billion over the next five years,’ said Laurent Morali, president of Kushner Companies.

read more: NY Post

AirBnb Waves White Flag in London, Amsterdam

Airbnb Inc. is showing a willingness to place curbs on its home-sharing business, a nod to regulators globally who have besieged one of the world’s most valuable startups with potentially crippling restrictions ahead of an inevitable initial public offering. The company agreed for the first time to limit the number of nights a year a host can rent out a home in two of its biggest European markets, London and Amsterdam. The concessions could provide a template for how Airbnb operates in nearly 200 countries around the globe, including major cities such as New York and its hometown of San Francisco where it faces bitter fights over some of the toughest rental laws in the world.

read more Wall St Journal

Most Expensive Town House IN NYC Ever

David Wildenstein, heir to his family’s art-dealing dynasty, is in contract to sell his family townhouse at 19 E. 64th St. for a record-breaking $81 million, The Post has learned.

The price breaks a 10-year townhouse record set when financier J. Christopher Flowers bought the Harkness Mansion at 4 E. 75th St. for a whopping $53 million in 2006. (That’s all presuming the deal does eventually close.)

This news comes after a Ukrainian-born billionaire and serial real estate collector, Len Blavatnik — owner of Warner Music and an investor in the hit Broadway show “Hamilton” — sued Wildenstein for reneging on a $79 million handshake deal that would have put the property in Blavatnik’s hands, as The Post reported last month.

Blavatnik alleged that Wildenstein acted in “bad faith” to get a better offer on the property. The limestone building on 64th Street is down the block from Central Park, between Fifth and Madison avenues.

It was last asking a cool $100 million.

Designed by Horace Trumbauer, the building features original details including 20-foot ceilings, a paneled elevator, a dramatic staircase and a third-floor paneled salon that was imported from the 18th-century home of a Parisian prince.

However, sources say it was built as an art gallery, not as a single-family mansion, and thus only has one bathroom per floor.

The mystery buyer is a Chinese conglomerate, sources say. read more: NY Post

Smoking Hot

Smoking will be prohibited in public-housing residences nationwide under a federal rule.

Officials with the Department of Housing and Urban Development said the rule will go into effect early next year, but they are giving public housing agencies a year and a half to put smoke-free policies into effect. More than 1.2 million households will be affected, the officials said, although some 200,000 homes already come under smoking bans adopted voluntarily by hundreds of public housing agencies around the country. The ban will have the biggest implications in New York, where the New York City Housing Authority, the nation’s largest public housing agency, with 178,000 apartments and more than 400,000 residents, has lagged behind many of its smaller counterparts in adopting smoke-free policies.

read more: NY Times

As Auto Lending Rises, So Do Delinquencies

Regulators are airing “significant concern” about the millions of Americans who are falling behind on their car loans, even as auto lending continues to boom at a near record pace.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted increasing distress among auto borrowers with shaky credit, as subprime delinquencies rose in the third quarter.

In the third quarter, 2 percent of subprime auto loan balances became at least 90 days delinquent, up from 1.6 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

in the depths of the recession, in the second quarter of 2009, that rate peaked at 2.4 percent.

“The increased level of distress associated with subprime loan delinquencies is of significant concern,” researchers for the New York Fed wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

The report is the most strident warning yet from the New York Fed about stresses in subprime auto lending. The New York Fed analyzes trends in borrowing by American households each quarter.

The swelling delinquencies come at a time when unemployment is low and borrowers typically should be able to make their payments.

That such serious trouble is emerging in a relatively good economy suggests that lenders have been loosening their standards and letting borrowers take on more debt than they can afford.

read more: CNBC

Top U.S. Real Estate Markets for 2017: Go (Mostly) West Young Man and Woman

1 Phoenix, AZ

2 Los Angeles, CA

3 Boston, MA

4 Sacramento, CA

5 Riverside, CA

6 Jacksonville, FL

7 Orlando, FL

8 Raleigh, NC

9 Tucson, AZ

10 Portland, OR

read more: Realtor.com