This Week in Real Estate Innovation
Today I share my views on why I believe there is a huge “Opportunity Zone” within PropTech and why investors, owners and startups should pay attention to the space. READ MORE
This Week in Real Estate Innovation
AI & ROBOTICS NEWS
As median home prices continue to surge, buyers are taking a second look at alternative housing options, including modular and pre-manufactured homes. Unlike options from the past, today’s prefab homes are stylish and technology driven.
One of the newest options in this $19.3 billion industry comes from Singapore-based startup Nestron that offers four, prefab options that include a built-in artificial intelligence assistant named Canny that controls lighting, heating and security.
Banks may soon have the incentive they need to sink huge amounts of money into Opportunity Zones, the controversial Trump administration tax abatement program that has seen tepid investment levels to date.
The federal government plans to give commercial banks credit for issuing loans in low-income communities as part of a larger reform to a 1970s-era law called the Community Reinvestment Act. This is the first direct regulatory incentive for banks to lend in Opportunity Zones and could be a game-changer for the program, according to some experts.
Embattled coworking company WeWork is still growing. That’s not what you might expect from a company that recently had to be bailed out and that has pledged to cut costs and become profitable in three years. In November, WeWork laid off nearly 20 percent of its employees as a cost-cutting measure.
In the final quarter of 2019, WeWork leased an additional 441,000 square feet — about the size of six typical WeWork offices, though it includes one massive lease of 360,000 square feet at 437 Madison — in Manhattan, its biggest market, according to new data from real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield. As of the end of 2019, it was leasing a total of 8.2 million square feet in the borough, where it remains the biggest office tenant, beating JP Morgan Chase by nearly 3 million square feet.
The Bay Area braced itself in 2019 for a tsunami of tech cash that seemed poised to sweep away the region as we know it, but now it seems that this most recent year in housing was mostly a wash.
While some sources predicted that tech money would “eat San Francisco alive,” Compass real estate group, which assessed the state of the Bay Area in a report released last week, described the results as “basically flat—down a little bit up a little bit, or unchanged” depending on the city in question.
WHAT’S NEW IN BLOCKCHAIN
Yesterday, it was announced that startup Propy and the U.S. city of South Burlington completed a blockchain trial for real estate transactions. Propy implemented its blockchain registry system for six weeks in parallel to the city Land Recorder’s office.
Property deeds filed with the U.S. Land Recorder’s office were also fed into Propy’s title registry software. While Propy is best known for providing real estate transaction management software for brokers and agents, it also has a title registry solution for government departments, which was the subject of the South Burlington trial.
The state’s “Blockchain Technology Act,” sponsored by Rep. Keith Wheeler (R), took effect Jan. 1, opening a slew of potential new legal scenarios for blockchain-based contracts. These contracts are now admissible as evidence in court, recognized as a viable alternative to paper-based records and statutorily exempt from local taxation.
“A smart contract, record or signature may not be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because a blockchain was used to create, store or verify the smart contract, record or signature,” the law reads in part.
AnySizeDeals Week Update
REAL ESTATE OWNERS
If you own or operate a real estate portfolio and are interested in staying abreast of the trends transforming the real estate industry, then AnySizeDeals Week – The Festival of Real Estate Innovation is your go to event.
Join us for an exciting 4 days at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas and share insights, collaborate, network and do deals with some of the most innovative companies in the industry.
If you are an innovator and are creating products that can help real estate owners provide better services to their tenants, attract new tenants or retain existing tenants then reach out to us.
Become a Partner of AnySizeDeals Week – The Festival of Real Estate Innovation and get the opportunity to meet the top owners and operators in the country in a collaborative format at our unique event in Las Vegas.