Commercial Real Estate & Business News – May 12, 2014

Fundamentally Speaking: Encouraging Signs in Apartment, Office Sectors

The apartment sector witnessed another decline in vacancy rates in the first quarter, reaching a new low for the cycle. The office sector also saw some improvement in vacancy rates, although rates are still several percentage points above what would be considered “normal” in a healthy market, he said. However, vacancy rates moved down despite the addition of new supply, particularly in the apartment sector. Analysts had been concerned that new supply would swamp new demand, Schnure said, but that has not occurred so far… Read more

Retail Sales Show Strength in April, Led by Gap, L. Brands and Costco

Many retailers reported better than expected sales in April, helped by warmer weather and a later-than-usual Easter. Gap Inc., L Brands, Costco Wholesale Club, The Buckle, Stein Mart and Zumiez all came in ahead of analysts estimates… Read more

International Real Estate Investors are Seeking, and Getting, Mortgage Loans

Overseas property finance is in increasing demand, particularly from Asian investors, says a leading provider. Despite rising inquiries for foreign finance, some wealthy property investors, particularly from China and Russia, are able to pay in cash, says overseas property and finance specialist Simon Conn… Read more

West Valley Development Slowly Making Comeback

Developers are resurrecting subdivisions shuttered during the recession and creating new residential communities and office parks throughout the West Valley. Activity has yet to reach pre-recession levels, but cities have issued an increasing number of building permits… Read more

Student Housing Planned for Former Theological Institute in Tempe

An abandoned theological institute west of the northwest corner of Priest Road and University Drive may soon be transformed into a new low-density student housing complex. The site – which was operated as the Charles H. Cook Christian Training School from 1965 through its closure in 2008 – could soon be razed and replaced with “village-style” student housing units… Read more