Wednesday, April 27, 2011

US Commercial Real Estate Markets Steady, Slightly Better In 4Q

U.S. commercial real estate markets continued to exhibit stability or mild improvement in the fourth quarter, Moody's Investors Service said Wednesday.

The overall composite score rose a point to 65 compared with the prior quarter, based on a range of 1 at the weakest end and 100 at the strongest. That puts it within two points of the highest scoring bloc, which Moody's calls "green."

Across all sectors, measures of market strength either improved slightly or stayed the same, the agency reported. The multifamily composite sector remains the only one with a green score, which held steady at 88. Retail also held steady at 64 during the fourth quarter.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Trophy Office Building For Sale In Northern Virginia

A 356,370-square-foot, Class A office building in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor is on the market. Cushman & Wakefield said Tuesday today that it has been selected by MetLife to market the property at 1320 North Courthouse in Arlington for sale or joint venture investment.
“Given the current market conditions and the building’s premier location, we believe this property will be well received by investors and developers looking to acquire high quality real estate in the D.C. area,” Senior Managing Director Susan Carras said in a statement. She and Senior Managing Director Brian Dawson are leading the assignment.

Friday, April 8, 2011

CVS $25 Billion Benefit Looms With Caremark Breakup

CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS), created in a takeover four years ago that has left investors with underperforming stock, could be worth $25 billion more if the company split itself up.

Shareholders SunAmerica Asset Management Corp. and Cambiar Investors LLC say Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo, 55, may have to separate CVS Caremark’s drugstore and pharmacy-benefits units if the largest U.S. provider of prescription drugs doesn’t lift profit growth. Merlo last month replaced Thomas Ryan, 58, who orchestrated the purchase of Caremark RX Inc. in March 2007. Since then, the stock gained just 3.4 percent through yesterday, trailing a 14 percent advance for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that sell consumer staples.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Victoria’s Secret, Costco Beat Analyst Estimates

Victoria’s Secret, Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) and other retailers posted a surprise gain in sales last month as improving U.S. employment encouraged some consumers to shop.

Same-store sales at Victoria’s Secret, owned by Limited Brands Inc., rose 19 percent, more than 10 times the rate predicted by estimates compiled by Retail Metrics Inc. Industrywide, retailers posted an increase of 2.2 percent, compared with the average projection for a 0.5 percent drop.

Consumers, whose purchases account for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy, withstood a 7.2 percent surge in gasoline prices as they bought up clothes and luxury goods. Some have more to spend after the jobless rate fell to a two-year low last month, helped by employment in business services and health care.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

$1.5 billion in commercial real estate transactions during the first quarter In suburban Maryland

D.C.'s office vacancy rate rose in the first quarter, as new construction became available, according to a quarterly report from CB Richard Ellis.

The vacancy rate rose to just over 10 percent, after falling into single digits at the end of 2010. Class A office space saw tenant gains, offset by tenants leaving Class B properties. CBRE said.

On the sales side, $1.5 billion in commercial real estate transactions during the first quarter was equal to almost half of total sales in 2010.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yuan REIT Aims for $1.8 Billion in Hong Kong IPO .

HONG KONG—Hui Xian REIT, the Beijing-focused real estate investment trust controlled by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing, plans to raise between 10 billion yuan and 12 billion yuan ($1.5 billion and $1.8 billion) from a Hong Kong listing on April 29, in what is set to be the first yuan-denominated initial public offering outside mainland China.

The news of the listing of the REIT, part of Mr. Li's flagship Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., comes less than three weeks after he raised $5.4 billion from the listing in Singapore of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, which owns deep-water ports in Hong Kong and China.