Cushman reports 10% drop in revenue in 2020

Cushman & Wakefield CEO Brett White

Cushman & Wakefield CEO Brett White

The fourth quarter of 2020 was another tough one for Cushman & Wakefield, putting an end to a tough year for the commercial real estate giant.

Cushman reported a net loss of $27.3 million in the fourth quarter, its third consecutive quarterly loss in 2020. Quarterly revenue was $2.3 billion, a decrease of 13 percent over the same time the previous year. The pandemic was once again the culprit, as leasing activity remains lower than it was in 2019.

The firm recorded $388.7 million in revenue from leasing, down by 36 percent from the same time last year. Revenue from investment sales activities was $319.3 million, down 12 percent from a year ago.

But there was some good news: Fourth quarter leasing revenue was up 21 percent over the previous quarter, and investment sales revenue more than doubled, showing some signs of recovery.

“Our fourth quarter result is the balance of encouraging signals on business activity, especially in brokerage, and validation of our commitment to operational excellence,” said CEO Brett White during a Thursday earnings call. “We have executed very well in a very fluid and uncertain environment.”

For all of 2020, the company recorded a net loss of $220.5 million, and revenue of $7.8 billion — a 10 percent dip from 2019’s number.

Still, the loss was partially offset by the stable income from the company’s property and facility management sector.

The firm’s cost saving efforts of about $300 million in 2020 also contributed to mitigate the loss, said CFO Duncan Palmer, who will be stepping down from the position on Feb. 28. Neil Johnson has been appointed as a new CFO.

Though the pandemic-driven downturn continues, executives expressed some optimism about the future during the call.

“As we look ahead, most economists are cautiously optimistic that the worst of the pandemic impact on the economy is largely behind us,” said Kevin Thorpe, the company’s chief economist. “By extension, the worst of the impact on the property market is also largely behind us.”

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VeritageMiami Interactive Dinner with Chef Adrianne Calvo

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Confirmado el regreso del “Abierto de Miami” con la participación de Federer, Djokovic, Naomi Osaka y otras figuras

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Finance mogul linked to Crown family buys Miami Beach penthouse and cabana for $13M

Finance mogul linked to Crown family buys Miami Beach penthouse and cabana for $13M

James Star and The Caribbean at 3737 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach (Photos via Google Maps; Chewy)

James Star and The Caribbean at 3737 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach (Photos via Google Maps; Chewy)

A trust linked to the executive chairman of a Chicago-based investment firm bought an oceanfront penthouse and cabana in Miami Beach for $13.4 million.

Records show James A. Star, as trustee of the 3737 Collins Land Trust, purchased unit PH-3 and Cabana 2 at The Caribbean condo tower at 3737 Collins Avenue. The sellers are Linden and Michelle Nelson.

Star is executive chairman of Chicago-based Longview Asset Management. He is married to Sara Crown Star, a member of the billionaire Crown family of Chicago. In 2018, he bought a townhome at Murano at Portofino in Miami Beach for $6 million. Property records show he still owns it.

The Nelsons had bought the condo at 3737 Collins Avenue as SLAM Miami LLC in 2010 for $4.3 million. They purchased the cabana in a separate deal for $237,500. In 2014, the deeds were changed to their names, according to property records.

According to Realtor.com, the penthouse and cabana were listed in November 2020 for $14.9 million. Diane Lieberman with One Sotheby’s International Realty represented the sellers, while Stacy Robins, of Stacy Robins Companies, represented the buyer.

The 3,911-square-foot penthouse has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms. According to the listing, the condo also features a rooftop pool, 1,480-square-feet of wraparound terraces and a private elevator.

The cabana has a full bath and kitchenette and spans 464 square feet.

The total sale equates to $3,062 per square foot.

Other recent condo sales in Miami Beach include brothers Michael and Ron Simkins of Innovate Development Group selling a penthouse on Fisher Island for $9 million, and the executive chairman of an agricultural sciences company buying a Fisher Island penthouse for $20 million.

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Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US

(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

The average wage that workers earned in the third quarter of 2020 rose 7.4 percent from the previous year — a troubling sign for low-wage earners, and the job market as a whole.

According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed dipped by nearly 7 percent year-over-year, hitting 138.5 million at the end of the third quarter. Employment decreased in 355 of the 357 counties the report tracks, and wages rose in 350 of those counties — an indication of “substantial employment loss among lower-paid industries,” according to the Bureau.

Workers in leisure and hospitality have been the hardest hit by the Covid-19 virus, especially in tourist-dependent regions such as Maui County, Hawaii, where a staggering 67 percent of those employed in the industry — or almost 17,000 people — lost jobs. Overall employment there fell by more than a third year-over-year, according to the report.

Of the 10 largest counties tracked, New York suffered the largest employment loss over the year that ended in September, with a nearly 16 percent decrease in employment. Once again, leisure and hospitality took a huge hit, with over 182,000 of those workers losing their jobs.

The city also lost two-thirds of jobs in entertainment, recreation and the arts, erasing a decade of economic gains in an industry which drew millions to the city each year, Bloomberg reported.

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US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch

US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch

(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

Buyers bidding up homes have gotten carried away, according to a new report.

Fitch Ratings estimates that national home prices were overvalued by 5.5 percent as of November. In about a quarter of the country’s 392 metro areas, Fitch estimates, home prices are more than 10 percent too high.

Fitch said rapid housing price growth is out of step with the economy. While home prices have been driven up by historically low inventory and mortgage rates, income and employment metrics do not justify what buyers are paying.

“Slowing employment recovery and still-high unemployment levels are not supportive of long-term sustainable price growth,” said Suzanne Mistretta, a senior director at Fitch, in a statement. She defined sustainable as determined by market fundamentals, such as growth in incomes and households.

The report comes as national home price indices reported significant gains in the final months of 2020. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index rose 10.4 percent for the year. In the final quarter of 2020 the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, tracking single-family homes, reported the largest quarterly increase in its five-decade history.

As housing prices and sales rebounded last spring and quickly surpassed levels recorded in previous years in the summer and fall, the housing market was viewed as a rare pandemic bright spot.

“Home sales are continuing to play a part in propping up the economy,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, when the trade group reported January’s increased sales pace of existing homes. “With additional stimulus likely to pass and several vaccines now available, the housing outlook looks solid for this year.”

Other economists are tempering expectations, warning that increasing home prices and tighter lending criteria that began in 2020 have shut less wealthy buyers out of the market and will eventually lead to a drop in demand.

Fitch attributes the surge in prices largely to changes triggered by the pandemic, such as consumer protection policies like forbearance plans, and new consumer preferences, namely the desire for larger living space.

If consumer protections are scaled back and lifestyle preferences change, Fitch expects price growth to slow and inventory to rise as distressed or previously hesitant owners finally put their homes on the market.

But the ratings agency doesn’t anticipate a reversal of the upward price trend anytime soon. Fitch forecasts home prices will rise between 1 percent and 3 percent this year and its overvaluation estimate will continue to increase in the first half of the year.

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The post US home prices are more than 5% too high: Fitch appeared first on The Real Deal South Florida.

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