Dollar General booked a 3.3% increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales and is forecasting 9% sales growth for this year, pulling ahead of rival Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree beat out Dollar General to acquire Family Dollar in 2015, and it's now investing to integrate the chain, improve stores, raise wages and improve employee training.
With the shuttering of more than 700 Toys R Us stores expected, the retail sector is looking at how this space can be filled. According to CoStar, GGP's stores are in better locations and should have an easier time finding new tenants, while Toys R Us owns stores in weaker locations; other landlords include Simon Property Group and Kimco Realty.
The multifamily sector received $174.9 billion in capital in the fourth quarter of 2017 -- $46 billion more than any other previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve. Most of the capital came from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, US chartered banks and conduit lenders.
Commercial real estate does not have the levels of leverage that it did in 2007 and 2008, says John Levy, president and founder of John B. Levy & Co. There are debt funds on the market lending to commercial real estate projects, but not at levels comparable to the situation 10 years ago, he says.
Richard Campo, CEO of Camden Property Trust; PS Business Parks President and CEO Maria Hawthorne; and Martin "Hap" Stein Jr., chairman and CEO of Regency Centers, explain why board and management diversity is important to REITs. "A diverse board is likely to provide unique insights that ultimately allow companies to make the right decisions -- solving problems, assessing risks and identifying opportunities for changes and innovation," says Campo.
Mid-rise office buildings are becoming more appealing to investors as fundamentals for high-rise office start to erode, writes Tim Lee of Olive Hill Group. The lower prices of mid-rise office buildings translate into potentially higher yields and returns, he writes.
The retail industry needs to think outside the box and allow cost-contained failure -- it also needs to let something interesting take the place of traditional offerings, says Lou Conforti, CEO and director of Washington Prime Group. ""This has been a lazy and a reactive sector for a long, long time -- we became rent collectors," he says.
US housing starts fell 7% last month from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.236 million. Multifamily construction dropped 26.1% in February, while single-family starts increased by 2.9%.
Brick-and-mortar stores are working to "put themselves out of business" by moving away from providing quality service, writes Ron Bourque. Instead of cutting costs with self-checkouts, for example, retailers should focus on the advantages they offer, such as immediate purchases, in-store experiences and easy returns.
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