5 at 5: Your Daily Digest for Real Estate Investing, 2/26/21

The eviction moratorium has been declared unconstitutional, lumber prices hit new apartments, the risk of short-term leases, Sephora is increasing and zoning for apartment buildings.

Today on Millionacres

Federal judge decides on eviction moratorium unconstitutional

This week, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the federal evictions moratorium was unconstitutional. And while this could put a large number of tenants in a difficult position, it could also bring relief to struggling landlords.

The Millionacres Take Away: Our Maurie Backman points out that nearly 60% of single family homes in the US are owned by mom and pop landlords whose name includes one or two buildings. And it is these landlords who have been injured by long-standing eviction bans. The case may of course not be closed, but this is an important decision and a case to watch.

Lumber problems at home construction, affordability

Record high lumber prices are driving new construction prices up, raising concerns about affordability and even demands for accountability from the country’s largest residential property trading group.

Take away from Millionacres: The lumber prices affect both the renovation and the new construction, so the high prices for this important commodity are below the line for both. Added to this is the concern about affordability: the higher the prices, the more potential buyers can be excluded from the market for that particular property.

Even in today’s news

Retailers are signing more short term leases in a risky bet for mall owners

Retailers and their landlords are currently embroiled in a high stakes risk game. And it will be a couple of years before we find out which party is on the winning side, says this CNBC piece released today.

The Millionacres Takeout: These short term leases might make some cash right now, but what are the risks? They are worth knowing, and the points raised in this article seem to be relevant to commercial real estate in general, not just malls.

Sephora will open more than 60 freestanding stores in 2021

Sephora launches largest store expansion plan in 21-year history in the United States, reports Chain Store Age.

The Millionacres snack bar: Together with these several dozen new freestanding branches, the beauty giant is planning to open around 200 locations in Kohl stores (NYSE: KSS). From the CRE perspective, a disadvantage in this regard is difficult to see, especially for optimists.

A push for zoning reform in Connecticut

The New York Times reported today [subscription required] This dynamic grows when multi-family homes are to be built in a state full of detached single-family homes.

The Millionacres Takeaway: Proponents of affordable housing are driving this problem forward in Connecticut and across the country, and it all starts with local, even hyperlocal, zoning boards. A reminder here that this is the place to be to watch what is happening in your yard, no matter what side of the problem you are on.