Just past midnight on Wednesday morning, the Texas Senate gave final approval to a controversial property tax reform bill. In an effort to curtail skyrocketing property taxes, the bill would block cities and counties from raising the effective tax rates above 4 percent in any given year unless voters agree in a referendum. Currently, cities and counties can go to 8 percent. If they top that, voters can petition to hold an election to roll back that tax - something that rarely ever happens in Texas because of the difficulty in meeting all of the requirements to force a rollback election.
Oregon is facing a chronic labor shortage amid a multibillion-dollar tsunami of real estate development depleting the pool of skilled construction workers. Portland issued nearly 12,000 buildings permits through the first 10 months of its current fiscal year for a record $2.5 billion in projects, easily eclipsing the previous high of $1.9 billion set the year before. The construction workforce plummeted after the Great Recession, and the city was unprepared when then the slow recovery transformed into a storm of development. There’s an estimated 10,000 open jobs, and the labor shortage has led to delays and helped feed rising construction costs. Some developers allege it's also contributed to lapses in quality.
Intense competition for urgent care centers, surgery centers and other outpatient medical facilities is driving down cap rates in the sector. There is more demand and less opportunity for medical office buildings as a lot of new investment groups continue to enter the sector, including private equity firms. The firms are drawn to the sector’s stability – medical practices tend to sign long-term leases and have stable occupancy and vacancy rates, too. Cap rates on MOBs tightened to 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, after holding steady at 6.7 percent for the three previous quarters, according to the latest information from property research firm Revista.