Middle Eastern Influence in Atlanta Real Estate


Now second only to New York, Atlanta has become a real estate hub for Middle Eastern investors. A recent CBRE Inc. analysis discovered a nearly 20 percent increase in Middle Eastern real estate investment in the first six months of 2015. This staggering increase is linked to cooling investments in previously coveted locations like Dubai and Qatar. People are beginning to realize that investing in the American real estate market has numerous benefits due to its predictability and structured judicial system.

As the southern market continues to grow, foreign investment is likely to increase.


TPG On the Rise

In its first high-risk real-estate fund, TPG raised more than $2 billion in commitments. Although TGP is a relatively new force in the real-estate investment industry, the company began fundraising for the real-estate fund it just closed in the beginning of 2014. Reaching the ambitious goal of a $2 billion round was difficult even for the $75 billion asset management company.

Recently, investors have been hesitant to reenter the market after its downturn a few years ago. However, companies like TPG have demonstrated a successful track record, encouraging those with only their toe in the pond to take a dive. Investors are starting to see the benefits of high-stakes opportunity funds, making fundraising easier. Pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign-wealth funds, and other institutions are looking for ways to reap the benefits of the riskiest investments – and with recent European and US economic growth, ricky deals and more likely to pay off.

In 2015 alone, real-estate opportunity funds have raised over $47 billion. While this is a far cry from the 2008 $74.2 billion record, it’s an improvement from 2014. With a few months left in the year, private-equity real-estate opportunity funds have raised a total of $87.2 billion. TPG has started to rank among big name firms like Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co. Blackstone’s second largest business endeavor is now real-estate funds, managing over $91 billion in assets.

One reason for TPG’s seemingly overnight success was their decision to invest in real-estate companies instead of individual properties. In 2014, they converted LifeStorage into one of the country’s top self-storage companies with almost 6 million square feet of space. TPG also controls the pan-European industrial platform, P3 Logistic Parks and plans to buy the Hungary-based developer, Trigranit. TPG hopes to tap into Polish real estate soon as the budding middle class acquires more disposable income.

Innovations in Real Estate Tech

Technology has taken over. This is the age of rapid information and innovation. In cities like Los Angeles and New York, which attracts the best and brightest, they deserve just that: the best and brightest in real estate technology.

Within the real estate industry, utilizing new and inventive technology has the potential to make management and building data readily accessible. For real estate professionals, both on the commercial and residential scale, online platforms help them work faster and smarter. Analyzing trends become easier, market changes are seamless to track, and thus better guidance based on hard facts from the data provided comes more efficiently.

The marriage of real estate and technology is reaching all facets of the industry, with real estate investors pouring $62 million into platforms that will enhance the system for both residential and commercial real estate.

That $62 million is almost 20 percent of the $322.5 million that has been invested in tech companies globally in 2015, the majority of that money–$221.8 million–has gone towards tech companies focusing exclusively on commercial real estate. The remaining $100.7 million went towards companies dealing with residential real estate.

Of the five-hundred commercial and residential real estate professionals polled for the RE:Tech report, about 85 percent of those working in commercial real estate said they were taking the time to understand how these new platforms have potential impact on their business. Overall, 45 percent of those polled believe their brokerage is interested in folding new real estate technology into their business strategy.

And it’s a smart decision to make: NYC-based real estate tech companies raked in $28 million in the first quarter of 2015, and $34 million in the second. One of those companies, Honest Buildings, a management platform for building owners, raised $5 million last month in fundraising. Another, VTS, a platform for asset management and leasing, recently announced its fundraising of $21 million.

“Honest Buildings technology materially improves efficiency and transparency for owners and developers, while reducing risk for lenders,” said Howard Milstein, chairman and CEO of Milstein Properties and Emigrant Bank, a lead funder of Honest Buildings.

Real estate investment is seeing a surge with the induction of crowdfunding platforms into the industry since the federal JOBS Act passed in 2012. Sharestates, a crowdfunding marketplace, has raised over $30 million since January of this year, and Cadre, an online investment platform, raised $18.5 million. This is a distinctive indication that the business is evolving and adapting to be as responsive as possible to client needs.

Largest Real Estate Property Jump in 5 years

Los Angeles county has seen its largest property value jump since 2010 at 6.13 percent. The average price of an L.A. county home was $780,000 last year; two-bedroom apartments averaged $2,591 for rent. Moreover, the county’s taxable properties were valued at $1.264 trillion. That’s $73.1 billion more than 2014. Each year, the number of taxable property units increases dramatically. Since 2014, 2.3 million taxable items have been counted along with 318,000 pieces of business equipment, 46,000 boats, and 3,100 aircrafts.

LAHomesAfter each annual residential and commercial property assessment, the data is sent to the county treasurer and tax collector, who then sends property tax bills to the appropriate parties. As of 1978, the assessment percentage on the value of property cannot increase more than 2 percent unless sold. Because of this, many homeowners see around a 2 percent increase in value. In county cities like San Bernardino, assessed property value increased more than 5 percent. This is an even larger increase than the previous high in 2008, just before the collapse of the market. All 820,314 the county’s taxable units were valued at $186.8 billion.

While the increase in price might be difficult for some to take on, it offers a clear advantage for sellers. The ability to set higher asking prices puts seller in a better position than buyers. The most impressive property increases were on the westside, San Gabriel Valley, and South Bay. The additional revenue pumped into the county government is expected to support public safety, health care, and public assistance services. The 6 percent increase provides approximately $280 million in additional revenue.

The housing market has experienced a slow, yet steady rise since the recession and is in good shape to recover. In 2014, over 96,000 jobs were created in L.A. County, posing a heavy contribution factor to the increase demand in housing. The county job increase attributes to 20 percent of the total new jobs in California.

Realtors can only hope that the upward trend continues. So far, that seems to be the case as newly listed homes continue to go fast – even at full asking price!

Top 5 Rookie Mistakes of Home Viewings

As the middle man, your job is to facilitate successful home viewings, matching a potential buyer with the perfect fit. Whether they come in the form of a single family, bachelor or bachelorette, linking the buyer to a beautiful space in which they are willing to settle down should be top priority. However, there are many amateur mistakes beginner agents make, starting at the home viewing. Want to know how to avoid these faux pas? Check out the list below:

1. Avoid awkward run-ins with previous/current tenants.
One of the most uncomfortable situations cited by potential buyers and buyers’ agents was the current tenants or homeowners lingering around while clients previewed the home. Whether they were busy watching TV or making dinner, clients found the situation tense and unfavorable. Even worse, in some situations the previous or current tenant was found asleep in bed or taking a shower in the bathroom. In order to avoid such an awkward occurrence, be sure to give the previous owners ample time to clean the apartment and occupy their time outside of the home for the duration of the viewing.

Roy-Dekel-Frustration2. “I’m so sorry! But, I can’t unlock the door.”
It is extremely frustrating to make an appointment to view a home, arrive on time, and have the agent realize they do not have the key to enter the premise. This makes the agent look extremely unprofessional and unprepared. Even if the seller has promised that the key “will be waiting in the lockbox” upon your arrival, it is the responsibility of the agent to ensure that the key is actually in place. Arriving 20 minutes before the scheduled appointment gives you enough time to review your notes, check for the key, and potentially reschedule the viewing should the key be missing.

3. Avoid an Overly Messy Home.
Not everyone has the ability to see through the mess. If the seller or renter has left the premise in an unkempt manner, it can deter the potential buyer from investing in the home. It’s a waste of time on behalf of everyone to show a less than presentable place. This goes for pet odor, trails of kitty litter, and slobbery chew toys. No one wants to rent a home they feel they’d need to hire an expert cleaner to take care of before they move in. Make a recommendation to the seller to have their home in order prior to any showings.

Roy-Dekel-Pests4. Exterminate Pests.
Along the same vein of keeping the home tidy, exterminating any and all pests prior to listing is highly recommended. Make sure the attic is free of bats or moths. Make sure the basement is free of rodents. And most important, make sure the kitchen is free of roaches. Even the slightest sign of pests will immediately turn a seller off. As the agent, make sure you take note of any and all potential problem areas on the premise.

5. Avoid Misleading Photographs and Listings.
Listing a home as a 2 bedroom apartment and then arriving to see the current tenants have turned it into 3 can be distracting and seem misleading. Bad paint jobs, missing doors, or exposed piping can also be a huge turn off for buyers. The agent should be upfront about potential DIY projects executed by the former/current tenants and the status of said home makeovers. Make sure the pictures for the listing are current and match the viewing. There nothing worse than seeing a completely different home from the one expected.

Avoiding these blunders will save time and make you a better agent.

ODA Penthouse in New York City

This magnificent penthouse is one of the largest luxury apartments in New York City. Featuring state-of-the-art design and a ridiculous private gallery, this place truly pushes the conventional boundaries of what we define as a home. In the words of the Executive Director of ODA, Eran Chen, “our private spaces are reflections of ourselves”. This penthouse is located on the 90th floor of high rise building, featuring a 360 degree view of the Manhattan skyline. The apartment enters facing the east river creating a sense of journey and adventure. The living quarters are divided into two parts connected by a “main spine”. The southern hemisphere contains the private residence while the northern section consists of entertaining spaces. Contrasting textures and materials line the apartment to represent different places of the world.

Learn all about this amazing work of art below: