Texas Farmers Could Begin Growing Hemp Under Legislation Gaining Steam in Both Chambers

Wednesday at the Texas Capitol was hump day — or hemp day, state Sen. Charles Perry joked before the upper chamber unanimously approved a bill that would legalize the farming of industrial hemp in Texas. After a relatively short, amiable debate, the Texas Senate approved House Bill 1325 by state Rep. Tracy King. The bill would legalize hemp and hemp-derived extracts like CBD oil as long as they contain no more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element in marijuana known as THC. While hemp-based products that contain no THC — like clothing and twine, protein powder, moisturizers and essential oils — are legal in the state, the plant cannot be legally grown here, and Texas businesses often have to source it from other states. If the bill becomes law, marijuana would still be illegal. Click to read more at www.texastribune.org.

Renovation and Amenities

In this issue of Insights, we offer perspectives to capitalize on opportunities that continue to be created in a growing economy, and to maintain a house in order, with preparations made to weather market corrections or flattening economic growth, should those changes occur. Our cover story on office renovations and office amenities samples current building features and services, and discusses why many tenants not only desire, but require, amenity-rich workplaces to support their business strategies. Click to read more at www.transwestern.com.

Only Ripples Likely From Next CMBS Maturity Wave

What begins, must end, one way or another. As loan originators gradually ramped up after the Great Recession, and the packaging of commercial mortgage-backed securities grew apace, so the CMBS sector now faces a wave of maturities from 2020 through 2023 that totals more than $170 billion. According to a new Morningstar research report, the good news is that the on-time payoff rate is likely to remain in the range of 80 to 85 percent. This would be stronger than the payoff rate than during 2015 and 2017, when $222.48 billion in CMBS hit maturity, “because of more selective underwriting standards, rising valuations, and the Fed’s dovish interest-rate outlook amid a slowing economy,” the company says. Click to read more at www.cpexecutive.com.

NE Houston’s Industrial Submarket Breaking Records

HOUSTON – The northeast industrial submarket broke records in first quarter 2019, delivering 438,000 sf, with an additional 835,200 sf—the second-largest amount during a quarter—under construction. According to NAI Partners, the market contains 37 million sf of inventory. Vacancies have been gradually rising due in part to new inventory delivering with vacant space. Click to read more at www.recenter.tamu.edu.

Real Estate Wire Fraud Is Real — And It Almost Happened To Me

It all started with an email.

Just days before closing on a home, I got a message from my escrow officer—or at least someone pretending to be her. Our closing costs needed to be wired to the title company right away, she said, or our closing date would be pushed back. Considering the six weeks I’d spent waiting to close on the property—not to mention the disdain I had for our current rental home—the message sent my heart racing. The font was right. The signature was right. There was even a CC to my real estate agent. But something seemed off. A closer look at the header revealed the problem. Each email address—one for my agent, one my mortgage broker and one for my escrow officer—was a single character off. It was a fake. Click to read more at www.forbes.com.

Young Real Estate Flippers Get Their First Taste of Losing

Sean Pan wanted to be rich, and his day job as an aeronautical engineer wasn’t cutting it. So at 27 he started a side gig flipping houses in the booming San Francisco Bay Area. He was hooked after making $300,000 on his first deal. That was two years ago. Now home sales are plunging. One property in Sunnyvale, near Apple Inc.’s headquarters, left Pan and his partners with a $400,000 loss. “I ate it so hard,” he says. A new crop of flippers, inspired by HGTV reality shows, real estate meetup groups, and get-rich gurus, piled into the market in recent years as rapid price gains helped the last property crash fade from memory. Click to read more at www.bloomberg.com.