Is retail the next darling for capital investment in Orange County? In an interview with Miller & Cole’s CEO Judy Brower Fancher conducted by GlobeSt.com, Brower said retail is the next logical CRE powerhouse asset class, as investors chasing yield are having a tougher time finding what they are seeking in the office, industrial and multifamily sectors. Retail, which was the last category to climb out of the last recession, hasn’t seen the big pricing adjustment that the other sectors have had. With retail recovering, the time is ripe for investors to reap extremely compelling returns on retail properties, from strip centers through repositioned regional malls.
San Antonio's office market had the strongest first half in the city's history, thanks to the highest recorded levels of absorption and rising rents. According to CBRE’s second-quarter Office MarketView report, San Antontio vacancy is back down to pre-recession levels and asking rents have surpassed previous highs. The first half of 2015 saw more than 637,630 square feet of positive net absorption, passing the highest level reached at the same time last year by more than 7,000 square feet.
South Carolina is in the middle of a manufacturing renaissance, posting back-to-back record years of manufacturing investment totaling $10 billion in 2013 and 2014 and an outlook just as promising for 2015. The Midlands region has benefitted from this investment and is poised to take off in 2015, as the market has the most to offer in the way of product for new and expanding companies. Because the upstate and low country markets have such limited viable manufacturing space, the Midlands region will actually benefit from vacancy in 2015, offering a variety of high-quality, move-in ready industrial product.
An Ohio Supreme Court decision made earlier this month ruled that grain storage bins are personal property pursuant to state law and may not be taxed as real property. In the case of Metamora Elevator Co. v. Fulton Cty. Bd. Of Revision (July 15, 2015), the court unanimously affirmed a ruling of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA), which determined that the actual value of property owned by Metamora Elevator Co. in Fulton County was $738,240 instead of the auditor’s assessed value of more than $1.8 million that included the storage bins. The court observed that historically the distinction between fixtures that were real property and those that were personal property was elusive. However, the General Assembly amended the definitions of “real property” and “personal property” in 1992.
Evaluator Services and Technology Inc. is wrapping up the countywide reassessment process for Indiana County, Pennsylvania; however, county commissioners have directed the company to “review and research areas where there are insufficient valid sales or where new information has become available” in the review of property data and parcel documentation. The commissioners announced that revised notices of assessment changes will be mailed to affected property owners within the next several weeks. Indiana County hasn’t been through a countywide reassessment in 47 years, and many property owners have seen significant value increase and have voiced their concerns with the process.
The Kansas City Council unanimously approved a multifaceted financing package for the proposed $311 million downtown Hyatt convention center hotel, which is expected to allow construction of the long-awaited, 800-room facility to begin early next year. Completion is expected by 2018. Supporters argue the project is crucial to attract large conventions to the city, as several have had to decline in the past due to lack of hotel rooms. Conventions have also left the city due to the same issue. Councilman Scott Wagner said that, according to figures provided to him by Visit KC, 665 groups stopped holding their conventions in Kansas City. That represented a loss of 5.5 million room nights and $3.9 billion in economic impact, he said.
In an effort to "bring fairness to the process” of establishing property values, Ohio Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Township, proposed Senate Bill 85, which would prohibit schools and other governmental units, such as cities and townships, from challenging property tax valuations. Most complaints are filed by schools seeking a higher valuation, which means additional taxes for the property owner, and thus a boost in the school's short-term tax take. Coley says it has become a statewide problem, as school boards aren't seeking fairness in valuations, they're seeking additional funding. According to Coley, Columbus schools had over 4,400 appeal cases pending, none of which claimed that the value of the property was too high.
Milwaukee's central business district is seeing strong demand for office space, filling a significant amount of space in the second quarter. Suburban buildings, on the other hand, saw increased vacancies, according to the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin and Xceligent. The performance data shows companies' increasing interest in downtown locations, as they shift their focus from the overall occupancy cost of their space to attracting and retaining labor. The office market had an overall vacancy rate of 20 percent for the Milwaukee metro, but showed a divide in suburban versus downtown locations. The downtown area tallied 92,754 square feet of positive absorption, which tallies the net change in occupied versus vacant space. However, suburbs saw a net increase of 106,502 square feet of vacant space.
New York property taxes will grow less than one percent next year, which is great news for real estate owners who will likely face the lowest property tax increase since the cap was implemented in 2012. The cap limits school districts’ and local governments’ annual tax levy growth to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. According to the Albany Business Review, the limit dropped to 0.73 percent this year, driven by low inflation. The cap will apply to counties, towns, fire districts, and some cities and villages with fiscal years starting in January. The Empire Center estimated the cap has reduced tax payments by $7.6 billion across the state since it was enacted. A coalition of business groups pushed lawmakers to make the cap permanent during the last legislative session in an effort to make the state more competitive, as New York property taxes and the cost of doing business is so high. Instead, lawmakers extended the cap for four years through 2020. It's again tied to rent control laws in New York City, making it more difficult for downstate Democrats to allow an expiration of the cap.
As Pennsylvania's budget impasse continues, and Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf fight over other complicated issues, such as privatizing wine and liquor sales, public pension reform and more taxes on the gas-drilling industry, the likelihood of any property tax reform taking place diminishes. Despite the fact that Wolf and lawmakers were able to find some common ground on property tax reform, the discussion will be overshadowed by other issues the budget is contingent on.
Under current law, Pennsylvania school districts have the authority to pursue a tax assessment appeal on a property that they believe is under-assessed, called a 'spot' appeal. Because school districts don't have the education funding they need, especially with rising pension costs, they are increasingly relying on the method in order to generate more money. Specifically, school districts are beginning to target apartment complexes. Not only does this place an unfair financial burden on the apartment complexes, but it also affects the residents who receive rent hikes as a result.
Thanks to the help of Apple and the 49ers, Santa Clara County's property assessment roll hit a new high -- $409 billion. It is the first time the gross assessed value has surpassed $400 billion. The net assessed value of $388 billion — which doesn’t include property such as colleges and churches that are exempt from taxation — was up 8.67 percent over 2014, the largest growth in 10 years, according to the Office of the County Assessor. Silicon Valley's economic recovery is more evident than ever, as County Assessor Lawrence Stone traced all the increases to the third year of recovery from the recession, which has fueled jobs, construction and housing increases.
On April 29th, the Montana House passed Senate Bill 157, switching from a 6-year reappraisal cycle to a 2-year cycle for all properties other than forest land. By shortening the reappraisal cycle for residential, commercial and agricultural property from six years to two years, legislators said it will help simplify the property tax system, mitigate the fluctuations in market value and increase transparency. Tax year 2015 is the first year of the two-year appraisal cycle (2015-2016). Per the Montana Department of Revenue, value notices are expected to begin being mailed next week. Appeal deadline is 30 days from the date of the value notice. For property tax purposes, it is crucial that real estate owners ensure their appraised property values are accurate. We highly recommend enlisting a property tax professional to review your reassessment notice in order to achieve maximum tax savings.
North Texas' booming apartment market is bringing all-time high rent as apartment occupancy continues to remain tight. In fact, Dallas-Fort Worth ranks as the country's top apartment demand center for the quarter and the first half of the year, according to the second quarter data research by Carrollton-based MPF Research. The DFW apartment sector is achieving great performance results across the board, and market fundamentals are looking just as good.