Blog

Author:
James I. Clark III
Posted:
09.11.2008

Fannie, Freddie and the American Taxpayer

As the United States government commits a bare minimum of $100 billion of taxpayer money to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the final reckoning depends on how effectively Washington runs the mortgage powerhouses. According to the Christian Science Monitor, with the sheer magnitude of Fannie and Freddie – with $5 trillion in home […]

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Author:
Richard Gatto
Posted:
09.03.2008

Economy Grows 3.3 Percent During 2Q

Contrary to the recent grim news about home foreclosures, bank failures, the credit crunch, rising unemployment rates, soaring oil prices, inflation and stock-market jitters, the United States’ economy — surprisingly — grew by 3.3 percent during the second quarter of 2008. The economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly a year, thanks primarily to […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
08.18.2008

Industry Mourns Passing of Bill Alter

Bill Alter, founder of The Alter Group, passed away peacefully Friday, August 8, in his Winnetka, IL, home of complications from Alzheimer’s at age 78.  Named one of the most influential people of the 20th century by National Real Estate Investor magazine, Alter presided over the development of more than $1 billion of space over […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
08.01.2008

2nd Quarter 2008 Economic Update

The 2nd quarter of 2008 ended with a slight economic rebound – an extremely lethargic one – that raises new fears of a recession.  The Commerce Department reported that the GDP increased at an annual rate of just 1.9 percent from April through June.  Although an improvement over the feeble 0.9 percent reported during the […]

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Author:
Matt Ward
Posted:
07.22.2008

Student Housing Flexes its Muscles with Illini Tower Sale

In a transaction that demonstrates the inherent strength of the red-hot student-housing market, an Australian firm recently purchased the 725-bed Illini Tower in Champaign, IL, for approximately $60 million.  Do the math and you’ll find that the cost-per-bed adds up to a whopping $82,758.  The building serves students of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. […]

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Author:
John Coleman
Posted:
07.15.2008

Suburban Office Vacancies Rise

According to a recent Crain’s Chicago Business article, suburban office vacancy rates shot up to 13.1 percent during the second quarter of 2008.  That is the highest level in more than two years. According to the commercial real estate services firm, Transwestern Commercial Real Estate, the vacancy rate is at its highest level since the first […]

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Author:
Matt Ward
Posted:
07.08.2008

Want Affordable Housing? Here’s Where to Find It

Despite all the doom-and-gloom reports on the residential real estate market, there are some bright spots.  In several markets, housing has become surprisingly affordable to families earning a median household income of $61,500.  And there’s more good news.  Mortgage rates are again nearing the record lows of a few years ago; and family incomes jumped […]

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Author:
Kurt Rosene
Posted:
06.30.2008

Construction-Loan Delinquencies on the Rise

The surge in the construction-loan delinquency rate – both residential and commercial – suggests that lenders will remain reluctant to make loans for new construction. Developers usually finance projects through short-term construction loans.  Once the project has stabilized, the developer seeks long-term debt.  With the current economic downturn, developers are finding it difficult to obtain […]

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Author:
Mark McDowell
Posted:
06.16.2008

Make Green Buildings Grow

Buildings four stories and higher use 65 percent of electricity generated in the United States, according to a recent article on the website http://www.tmcnet.com/. Several states – notably California – are requiring all new government buildings to qualify for green certification.  Additionally, California is looking at the possibility of granting preferences to private building owners […]

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Author:
James I. Clark III
Posted:

Capital Markets

One of the biggest issues we’ve faced is the stability of the capital markets, which are slow but showing some signs of life.  You have to look closely, but there are some positive signs.  At the end of March, two office properties sold for more than $500,000,000 each.  These included the UBS Tower in Chicago, […]

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