Clockwise from top left: Social amenities drive down value of apartment buildings, Chinese investment in the US drops, Facebook sued over housing ads and Harvey Weinstein sold his NYC home.

Chinese slashes investment in US real estate by more than half in 2017
Chinese investment in the United States’ commercial real estate has plummeted by 55 percent last year, dropping from $16.2 billion in 2016 to $7.3 billion in 2017, a report by Cushman & Wakefield found. The pull-back is due in part to Chinese capital controls back home, but American scrutiny and international competition were also factors in the drastic decrease, the report concluded. The biggest drops in investment were in Los Angeles, followed by New York. [TRD]

Brookfield reaches massive deal to buy remainder of GGP
Brookfield Property Partners has agreed to buy General Growth Properties after increasing its bid, the company announced Monday. The GGP sold for $9.25 billion cash — at $23.50 per share — and Brookfield will pay the remainder in shares. As a result of the deal, Brookfield Property Group will create a new REIT called BPY U.S. REIT, of which GGP shareholders can receive shares, if they don’t opt to cash out their GGP shares in the sale. One of GGP’s projects was the SoNo Collection mall under construction in Norwalk. [TRD]

Social amenities drive down value of apartment buildings, study finds
Apartment buildings with amenities like pools, fitness centers and game rooms aren’t any more valuable than their less-fun counterparts — in fact, the perks make the buildings less valuable, according to findings from Newmark Knight Frank, first reported by Bisnow. Operating these amenities hurt a building’s bottomline and tenants are often reluctant to pay extra for them, the report stated, adding that apartments with fewer social amenities sold for an average of 7.6 percent more than those with more social amenities. [Bisnow]

Facebook hit with lawsuit over alleged housing ad discrimination
Housing advocates sued the social media giant in Manhattan court, accusing it of allowing landlords and real estate brokers to hide their listings from women and disabled people, according to The New York Times. Facebook previously was found to hide housing ads from people based on their ethnicity. They’d previously promised to not do that, but the lawsuit argues that some discriminatory preferences in ad targeting remained. [TRD]

Millennials spend nearly half their earnings on rent
Young adults are spending 43 percent of their income on rent, a study by RentCafe found. Millenials pay $92,600 in rent total by the time they turn 30. This is nine percent higher than the baby boomers. [TRD]

MAJOR MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

Investors hope their Bitcoin bundle will buy them New York City’s Plaza Hotel
A group of investors who have dubbed themselves “Chimera” hope to buy a majority stake in the famed Plaza Hotel for $375 million in cryptocurrency, according to CNBC. They’ve floated the idea to Plaza’s majority owner, Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group, but it hasn’t been finalized. To date, the largest known cryptocurrency property deal was over a $6 million mansion in South Florida. [TRD]

Challenges ahead for Trump International Realty as it prepares to expand in South Florida
The Trump organization’s residential brokerage wants to expand in South Florida, but faces tough competition from rivals with more offices, more agents and longer histories in the area, industry rivals claim. Trump reps said they’ll build the brand through various forms of outreach, but Mike Pappas, CEO of local competing brokerage Keyes Company said, “The brand doesn’t drive business. Business drives the brand.” [TRD]

Seattle leads home price increases nationwide for the 17th month in a row
The average price of single-family homes in the Seattle area was up 12.9 percent in January from the year before, The Seattle Times reported. That marks the 17th month in a row that the city lead the country in home price growth and the Times notes that it’s the longest streak for any metro area since San Francisco enjoyed a 20-month lead in 2001. The current median price of a Seattle home is at an all-time high of $777,000. [Seattle Times]

LAX seeks development ideas for 93 acres north of the airport
Officials with the Los Angeles airport are looking for development ideas for the nearly 100 acres north of its runways, Curbed reported. The development would be the first step of its 340-acre Northside Plan. The site is divided into two parcels, one of which is zoned for office and recreation with up to 10,000 square feet of new floor space. The other is zoned for offices with 765,000 square feet of floor space. [TRD]


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