New York extends eviction moratorium again


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the state’s eviction moratorium again, as many fear being kicked out of their homes after the federal eviction moratorium and unemployment benefits ended late last month.

In March, the State of New York Unified Court System put in place the first eviction moratorium, effective through June. In May, this was extended but expired on August 5. On Wednesday, it was extended through September 4.

Last week, the New York Department of Homes and Community Renewal extended the state’s rental relief program, allowing renters struggling financially due to COVID-19 to apply for assistance through August 6.

According to Eyewitness News ABC 7 in New York, Cuomo said there will be “no evictions as long as we are in the middle of the epidemic” as he signed a 30-day extension of the eviction moratorium amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo also said he intends to extend the moratorium “until I say COVID is over.”

Meanwhile, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also signed an emergency executive order on Wednesday, tweeting out that “NO New Yorker should lose their home because they lost their income. It’s a tough time for many families. The pandemic has hit this country HARD,” offering a resource for renters.

In June, protesters across New York called for eviction moratoriums to be extended, but the federal eviction moratorium and unemployment benefit expired in late July.

States like New York have taken action while the federal government debates what to do. The House of Representatives has proposed two different pieces of legislation that address unemployment and other benefits as COVID-19 spreads.

The HEROES Act contains $200 billion of additional funding to consumers, including assistance making mortgage and rent payments.

The HEALS Act doesn’t include an extension of eviction moratoriums and offers $3.2 billion for housing, which includes $2.2 billion for tenant-based rental assistance and $1 billion for a public housing operating fund.



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Freddie Mac adds Mark Grier to its board of directors


Freddie Mac has announced that Mark B. Grier has been elected to its board of directors.

Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Grier served as the vice-chairman and a member of the board of directors of Prudential Financial, leading up to his retirement in 2019.

Grier joined Prudential in 1995 as chief financial officer before being named office of the chairman in 2002 and as vice-chairman in 2007.

In late 2011, Grier led the $3 billion initial public offering of Prudential Financial, which was one of the largest IPOs in history at the time.

“Mark Grier brings more than 40 years of finance, risk, and market experience to Freddie Mac,” said Sara Mathew, non-executive chair of Freddie Mac’s board of directors. “His deep expertise in capital management will benefit the Board as we guide Freddie Mac through the next chapter of its corporate life.”

Other positions Grier has held include various positions at Chase Manhattan Corporation and its predecessor from 1978 to 1995, including executive vice president, global risk management and executive vice president, co-head of global markets.

Grier is also chair of Achieve and the Global Impact Investing Network and is a Trustee of Eisenhower Fellow and the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Grier received his bachelor’s degree and a master’s in economics from Eastern Illinois University, and another MBA in finance and corporate accounting from the University of Rochester.

This announcement comes after the GSE named Donna Corley its head of single-family business, as David Lowman stepped down in October.



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These markets will see dramatic multifamily supply hikes this year


Just a few weeks ago, RealPage revealed that the multifamily residential market will see the most starts it has seen in nearly 30 years in 2020.

Out of the nation’s 50 largest apartment markets, all but six will have more units completed this year than the last, RealPage said.

The most drastic supply hike is predicted to be in Los Angeles. In 2020, there are an expected 17,600 units coming in the City of Angels, the largest supply it has seen in more than 20 years. It’s also about double the average from the past decade.

This supply is much needed, as occupancy rates in Los Angeles have been at 96% for the past five years. Despite this, rent growth in Los Angeles has fallen to its lowest point since the start of this economic cycle, in 2019.

Washington, D.C. will gain 16,000 units in 2020, about 7,800 more than in 2019. Occupancies are at 96%, while rent growth has been below 2% for the past five years.

Houston is also expected to see over 16,000 new apartments in 2020, about 8,500 more units than last year. RealPage said that kind of bump is not surprising for a metro like Houston, which is experiencing rapid population growth. However, due to recent hurricanes and volatile oil prices, the market ended the year with a quarter of net move-outs that brought occupancy down to 93.6%.

Phoenix, Seattle and Fort Lauderdale, Florida are projected to see supply increase by about 4,000 units this year, with Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale both reaching a two-decade peak, RealPage said.

Seattle, meanwhile, is seeing a 20-year high, with 12,700 units set to be completed this year. San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland, California, will also all see significant increases in supply.



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NYC real estate data firm Actovia salvages competitor CrediFi from the scrap heap


Just a few weeks ago, it looked like CrediFi, a commercial real estate data and analytics provider that had raised nearly $30 million in funding over the last five years, was mere days from shutting down.

Now, it looks like the company has been saved from the chopping block, at least in some form, by one of its competitors no less.

Actovia, which bills itself as “New York City region’s leading provider of commercial real estate intelligence and data,” announced this week that it has purchased CrediFi as part of an effort to expand beyond the NYC area.

“The acquisition of CrediFi, which was launched in 2014, enhances Actovia’s already-powerful information-gathering capabilities and greatly broadens the geographical scope of its operations,” the company said in a release.

As CrediFi was nearing its end days, the company sent a letter sent to clients and subscribers, with CrediFi CEO Ely Razin stating that the company is shutting down its data platform “over the coming days.”

Razin’s admission came in an email to clients offering them a chance to “get great data at close-out prices,” with the email simultaneously confirming the company’s fate and offering clients one last chance to buy the company’s data offerings.

Financial terms of the deal with Actovia were not disclosed, but the deal begs the question of whether Actovia bought CrediFi’s data and its platform at “close-out prices” or not.

As for Actovia, the company views the deal as a chance to expand beyond New York City real estate.

“Actovia’s acquisition of CrediFi helps fulfill our strategy of expanding our regional offerings to a national scale,” said Actovia Founder and CEO Jonathan Ingber. “Our broadened capabilities now significantly extend the market leadership of Actovia’s analytics-enabled solution – and empower us to deliver greater value to banks and clients.”

According to Ingber, Actovia chose to merge CrediFi into its new parent company. But for now, CrediFi, which had been based in Tel Aviv, Israel, will “effectively function” as Actovia’s “sister company.”

Ingber said the deal “stands as a natural next step in quickly scaling Actovia,” adding that the deal brings together “Actovia’s strengths in the small-business and mid-market spheres with CrediFi’s strengths in serving larger enterprises.”



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