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Home sellers continue to offer freebies; Slate Office to sell noncore assets


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Home sellers continue to offer freebies; Slate Office to sell noncore assets

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of real estate news stories published throughout the week.

About 35% of home sales in the US received concessions from sellers during the three months ended Oct. 31, down from 35.9% a year ago, real estate brokerage Redfin Corp. said in a report.

Sellers are handing out freebies such as money toward repairs as well as closing costs and mortgage-rate buydowns to woo buyers into entering a deal amid elevated mortgage rates, which hit its 23-year high in October.

Buyers have become increasingly likely to back out of deals if they do not get their desired concessions, said Redfin agent David Palmer.

In September, about 53,000 home purchase agreements were canceled, equal to 16.3% of homes that went under contract that month.

Home sales with concessions in the August-October period were up from 27.6% recorded in the same period in 2021, when demand for homes skyrocketed, making concessions rarer.

CHART OF THE WEEK: 12 US REITs announce dividend hike in October

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⮞ Twelve public real estate investment trusts in the US have announced higher dividend payments in October.

⮞ Datacenter REIT Equinix Inc. declared the largest hike, at $4.26 per share, about 25% higher than its last quarterly payout of $3.41 per share.

⮞ The dividend hike announcements in October have brought the year-to-date total to 67 REITs, equivalent to about 42.7% of the entire US REIT industry.

Portfolio realignment

– Toronto-based Slate Office REIT will divest noncore assets comprising approximately 40.0% of its total gross leasable area as part of plans to improve liquidity and strengthen the REIT's balance sheet. As of Oct. 31, approximately two-thirds of the identified assets were either listed for sale, under discussions, or at varying stages of contract negotiation.

Slate Office also suspended its monthly cash distribution, beginning with the distribution that would have been payable in December. The savings will be used to pay down debt and fund ongoing business operations.

Top property deals

– Boston Properties Inc. agreed to sell a 45% stake in two life science projects in Cambridge, Mass., to Norges Bank Investment Management at a gross valuation of approximately $1.66 billion or $2,050 per square foot. The properties are 290 Binney St. and 300 Binney St., which together span 810,000 square feet in Kendall Square. Both properties are 100% pre-leased.

– Tishman Speyer Properties LP sold the 1.1 million-square-foot Bala Plaza office complex in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., for $185 million to FLD Group LLC and the Adjmi family, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

See key people moves in North American real estate.

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