Deloitte’s 2019 Commercial Real Estate Outlook: Agility is key to winning in the digital era

New business models and competition, extensive use of technology, and changing tenant and investor expectations are redefining the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. In our 2018 Real Estate Outlook, we emphasized that RE companies will likely have to take some risks and embrace change to adapt for the future.1 Since then, we’ve seen these factors occurring at ever-increasing rates, which has continuously challenged companies to deal effectively with the relentless pace of change. As a result, traditional rules of the road might not work fast enough to provide the agility CRE companies of the future will likely require.

In our endeavor to help CRE companies understand the new rules of the road, our 2019 Commercial Real Estate Outlook dives deeper into the preferences of CRE investors. Our survey of 500 global investors, which provides insights on factors that are influencing their CRE investment decisions, revealed the following key themes…

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Texas Border Economy

Low unemployment levels and steady nonresidential construction indicated a healthy border economy. The lack of wage growth, however, revealed additional slack in the labor market. Despite stagnant wages and slower job growth, housing demand was strong, albeit in the lower price ranges. Trade values balanced around record highs, and the outlook improved following the announcement of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. The unofficial pact calms concerns of supply-chain disruptions and overall operating uncertainty.

Recently released 2017 gross metropolitan product (GMP) data revealed mixed trends along the border. The Brownsville economy contracted 0.8 percent year over year (YOY), while El Paso’s economy inched forward just 0.3 percent. Economic output in Laredo recovered most of its 2016 losses, rebounding 1 percent YOY. McAllen’s GMP increased 1.9 percent YOY but remained below its ten-year average of 2.4 percent.

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With 25,000 new apartments in D-FW this year, will there be enough renters?

More than 25,000 apartments will open their doors in Dallas-Fort Worth this year — more than in any other metro area in the country.

Developers and market analysts are betting that there will be enough tenants to fill all the new rental units. With more than 100,000 new jobs in North Texas this year, they have reason to be optimistic.

“Employment growth has been the tailwind this entire economic cycle and that has continued to push forward,” said John Sebree, national director with Marcus & Millichap, one of the country’s top apartment brokers. “There is a lot of conversation about are we getting overbuilt in apartments?

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Combining traditional and modern real estate tactics to survive industry evolution

In a digitized era where agile business principles reign supreme, traditional commercial real estate principles are being tested like never before. There’s no denying that technology has impacted and even disrupted all real estate asset classes, fundamentally altering the playing field. Given this, it’s tempting to think that it’s time to completely reinvent the way we do business.

But not everything we learned before is useless in today’s ever-changing landscape. If we commit to both reevaluating what we bring to our jobs and adapting tried-and-true methodologies to emerging trends, we can weather the evolution with grace and relevance. So what, exactly, has changed?

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Midtown Houston’s first apartment tower is first U.S. project for Australian developer Caydon

Australian-based private developer Caydon appreciates the potential in Houston’s park- and rail-friendly Midtown. Since snapping up a block for an apartment tower three years ago, the company subsequently acquired two adjacent parcels for future pieces of a mixed-use development to occupy the three blocks assembled.

The first project out of the ground, a $200 million, 27-story residential tower with ground-level retail, is Caydon’s first U.S. project. It’s also the first high-rise apartments in the chute for a redeveloping area in the urban core featuring several mid-rise residential properties.

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Frisco’s downtown master plan update gets OK from council

Frisco City Council voted Tuesday to approve the update to the Downtown Master Plan, making way for major changes to come to the city’s historic area.

The updated plan includes a Fourth Street Plaza in the heart of downtown, a design district that would attract new businesses and a new design for Main Street.

In a previous story, Frisco Development Services Director John Lettelleir said it could take several years before construction began on any of these projects. And any projects that do not follow the current zoning would have to go through the zoning process, Lettelleir said during the meeting.

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