Thursday, February 13, 2014

Are the Fireworks Subsiding in the Housing Market? Median sales price increases edged down 5% at year’s end from their highest point in 2013.

Lanny Baker
EMERYVILLE, CA,  Feb.13, 2014 – Although the housing market in most cities soared in 2013, the fireworks began to subside by year’s end, based on the latest analysis of housing market trends by ZipRealty, Inc. ( (NASDAQ: ZIPR), the nation’s most prominent online technology-powered residential real estate brokerage firm and real estate marketing solutions provider.

Median sales prices in the markets surveyed by ZipRealty ended 2013 rising 11% over the prior year, cooling off from the 15% to 16% gains seen in the summer and fall.

“Overall demand across the 24 metros surveyed by ZipRealty still outweighs supply, with pending sales up 13% and the inventory of homes for sale down 8% year-over-year.

“Price momentum is lagging in the East, with Baltimore and Long Island sales prices flat year-over-year. Philadelphia saw 1% sales price growth and Boston edged up 5%,” says Lanny Baker, CEO of ZipRealty.

 The sold-to-list price ratio also appears to be decelerating: the average ratio according to the ZipRealty survey dropped to 98.4% as of Dec. 31, 2013. The sold-to-list price ratio remained steady at approximately 99% from May to August 2013, but then slowly trended downward throughout the autumn months.

Sold-to-list price ratios dropped the most year-over-year as of Dec. 31, 2013 in these metros:

1)     Long Island – 96%
2)     Chicago – 96.9%
3)     Philadelphia – 97%

Markets where homes achieved 100% of their full listing price as of year-end 2013 include:

1)     The San Francisco Bay Area
2)     Sacramento
3)     Los Angeles
4)     San Diego

Total housing inventory in the markets surveyed by ZipRealty ended 2013 in negative territory at (8%) year-over-year, with a Midwestern market and two Texas metros showing the greatest declines in inventory as of Dec. 31.

1)     Chicago inventory fell 25%
2)     Houston inventory fell 22%
3)     Dallas inventory fell 21%

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Stacey Corso

HFF arranges $230 million financing for six-property multi-state student housing portfolio

Aspen Heights, college student housing, Clemson, SC

Douglas Opalka
AUSTIN, TX – HFF announced today that it has arranged $230 million in financing for a six-property student housing portfolio totaling 1,496 units/4,799 beds across multiple states.

HFF worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower, Aspen Heights, to secure six separate loans that included five years of interest only loans through Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings, Inc.  

The securitized loans will also be serviced by HFF.  Loan proceeds were used to refinance the original construction debt on the properties.

The properties in the portfolio were completed in 2013 and are approximately 95 percent leased for the spring 2014 semester.  Individual property details are listed below:

Property Name & Location                            University Served                             Size                                     
  • Aspen Heights – Clemson, NC, University of Clemson,
  • 184 Units/598 Beds         
  • Aspen Heights – Columbia, MO, University of Missouri,
  • 318 Units/972 Beds         
  • Aspen Heights – Harrisonburg, VA, James Madison University                              180 Units/600 Beds
  • Aspen Heights – Murfreesboro, TN, Middle Tennessee State                   244 Units/750 Beds
  • Aspen Heights – Statesboro, GA, Georgia Southern University,
  • 339 Units/1,087 Beds
  • Aspen Heights – Stillwater, OK, Oklahoma State University             
  • 231 Units/792 Beds         

John Chun
The HFF team representing the borrower was led by senior managing director Doug Opalka, director John Chun and associate director Casey Wenzel.

Aspen Heights, headquartered in Austin, Texas, is a student housing developer and manager focused on “re-thinking” student living by building neighborhoods of American Craftsman-style homes with all the amenities of a luxury apartment community.

  In 2007, the organization founded Aspen Heights in Africa; a program that not only supports housing and education for youth on the continent of Africa but educates employees and college residents on the importance of making a global impact.

University of Clemson, Clemson, SC
 Several times a year employees and residents have the opportunity to travel to Africa and witness firsthand the importance of volunteering abroad.

 For a complete copy of the company’s                   news release, please contact:

Kristen M. Murphy
Associate Director
HFF | One Post Office Square, Suite 3500 | Boston, MA 02109
Main: 617-338-0990 | Direct: 617-848-1572 | Cell: 617-543-4873 |

HSA Commercial Lands Whole Foods Market as Anchor for the Second Phase of The Mayfair Collection Development in Suburban Milwaukee, WI

Rendering of planned Whole Foods Market at The Mayfair Collection
Highway 45 and Burleigh Street, Wauwatosa, WI
Photo courtesy of TOA Architects.

Timothy C. Blum

CHICAGO, IL and  MILWAUKEE, WI (Feb.  13, 2014) — Timothy Blum, executive vice president of Retail Development for HSA Commercial Real Estate, today announced that Whole Foods Market has signed a 45,150-square-foot lease to anchor the second phase of The Mayfair Collection, a large-scale, mixed-use development at Highway 45 and Burleigh Street in Wauwatosa, Wis.

The new Whole Foods store will be housed in a converted warehouse space at the northeast corner of Burleigh Street and 112th Street.

Plans for the second phase of The Mayfair Collection also include approximately 50,000 square feet of junior anchor retail space, a mix of upscale bars and restaurants, a bank branch, and a 140-room hotel.

HSA Commercial expects to break ground on the second phase this spring with a planned opening for Whole Foods early in 2016.
“Wauwatosa is not only a dynamic and energetic community, but also one with a strong passion for natural and organic foods,” comments Michael Bashaw, Midwest regional president of Whole Foods Market. “We are delighted to join this community and support the wonderful people who live in it.”

Michael Bashaw
With a focus on fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, specialty items, high-quality meats and poultry, everyday pantry staples and sustainable seafood, this new store will appeal to the health conscious as well as devoted food enthusiasts.

The Wauwatosa store will provide customers with grocery staples as well as a butcher, fishmonger, baker and a team of chefs creating freshly prepared take-out meals – all under one roof.

Phase I of The Mayfair Collection consisted of adaptively repurposing functionally obsolete warehouse buildings along Highway 45 into new, contemporary retail environments to be occupied by Nordstrom Rack, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Old Navy, Ulta Beauty, and more.

Grand opening for Phase I is scheduled for April 3. Proposed future phases of The Mayfair Collection include the development of multi-family, office, and medical buildings subject to future market demand for those uses.

 “We are very excited that Whole Foods chose The Mayfair Collection for its second store in the metro Milwaukee area,” said Timothy Blum. 

“We are hopeful that this will help fuel the continued development of the ‘Burleigh Triangle’ into the premier commercial and residential district in the region.”

 Evanston, Ill.-based TOA Architects is the project architect for The Mayfair Collection. Premier Design + Build will serve as the general contractor for the first two phases.

 For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Mark Thomton at or 312-267-4523.

Lincoln Property Company Brokers 23 New Leases and Renewals in Orlando, FL for Garrison Investment in 2013

Airport Business Center, Orlando, FL

Sean Dupree
ORLANDO, FL (Feb. 13, 2014) – Lincoln Property Company Southeast (Lincoln) brokered twenty-three leases and renewals totaling 62,354 square feet in 2013 in a portfolio of three metro Orlando flex/office properties that the firm leases and manages on behalf of landlord Garrison Investment Group.

 The portfolio consists of the Airport Business Center in Orlando, a six-building property totaling 176,894 square feet of office and warehouse space; Longwood Business Center in Longwood, which consists of seven buildings and totals 130,868 square feet of office and warehouse space; and NorthLake Business Center, a two-building property in Altamonte Springs totaling 80,948 square feet of office and warehouse space.

The tenants were represented by brokers from several firms, including Cresa Orlando, Cassidy Turley and Adler Realty Services.

"We are extremely excited about the level of leasing activity we generated at these properties," said Sean DuPree, director of sales and leasing for Lincoln. "These transactions are not only testimony to our good relationships with brokers throughout the Orlando market, but also to the extensive capital improvements we made to the properties in 2012 and 2013."

Longwood Business Center, Longwood, FL
 The upgrades included the installation of "make ready" suites, improved landscaping, directional signage, pressure washings and the painting of buildings and sidewalks.

At Longwood, new roofs were installed on five buildings, and an onsite leasing office was opened. 

At Northlake, new HVAC units were placed on one of the buildings, and the parking lot was repaved. Improvements at Airport included significant roof repairs, and the sealing and restriping of the parking lot.

 Garrison Investment Group purchased the three-property portfolio in late 2012.

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Sean DuPree
Lincoln Property Company


RealtyTrac Reports Bank Repossessions Decrease 4 Percent to Lowest Level Since July 2007; Foreclosure Starts Increase More Than 50 Percent Annually in MD, CT, NJ, CA

Daren Blomquist
IRVINE, CA,  Feb. 13, 2014 — RealtyTrac® (, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for January 2014, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 124,419 U.S. properties in January an 8 percent increase from December but still down 18 percent from January 2013.

The report also shows one in every 1,058 U.S. housing units had a foreclosure filing during the month.

January marked the 40th consecutive month where U.S. foreclosure activity declined on an annual basis, but the annual decline of 18 percent was the smallest annual decline since September 2012, and the 8 percent monthly increase was the biggest month-over-month increase since May 2012.

“The monthly increase in January foreclosure activity was somewhat expected after a holiday lull, but the sharp annual increases in some states shows that many states are not completely out of the woods when it comes to cleaning up the wreckage of the housing bust,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

 “The foreclosure rebound pattern is not only showing up in judicial states like New Jersey, where foreclosure activity reached a 40-month high in January, but also some non-judicial states like California, where foreclosure starts jumped 57 percent from a year ago, following 17 consecutive months of annual decreases.”

For a complete copy of the company’s news release, please contact:

Jennifer von Pohlmann
PR Manager
Office: 949.502.8300 ext 139