Commercial, Multifamily Borrowing Up 1 Percent Annually in U.S.

The Mortgage Banker’s Association reports that loan origination have increased one percent over the same period last year. This increase being reported for commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations. Retail continues to decline while industrial and multifamily lending remains strong.

A rise in originations for hotel, multifamily and industrial properties led the overall increase in commercial/multifamily lending volumes when compared to the first quarter of 2017. The first quarter saw a 54 percent year-over-year increase in the dollar volume of loans for hotel properties, an 18 percent increase for multifamily properties, a 14 percent increase for industrial properties, a one percent decrease for office properties, a 27 percent decrease in retail property loans, and a 39 percent decrease in health care property loans.

Even with the small increases in commercial lending, investor sentiment is not so optimistic – a potential signal that the market may soften as the year continues. Read the full article here.

Amazon & Whole Foods: World Domination

Fortune just released an extensive piece outlining how Amazon plans to use Whole Foods as the gateway to being the everything store. Jeff Wilke of Amazon flew into the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin on the day that Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods. He started by speaking to the corporate employees about his breakfast that morning and made an unintentional slip calling his morning blueberries a vegetable.

In that moment, it was clear why Wilke and his team needed Whole Foods. His comment may have been just a slip of the tongue, but it reflected a persistent issue for the company: Amazon has expertise in many areas, but food is not one of them. For a decade, Amazon—a company with $178 billion in revenue and seemingly limitless resources—had not come close to breaking the billion-­dollar sales mark in its fresh food operation.

Online grocery is still a wild frontier for ecommerce. Nobody has won the market and it is incredibly hard to perfect. Ecommerce companies battle low margins and a fierce handicap when handling fresh foods with less than 12 hour shelf life when not refrigerated. Amazon hopes that the Whole Foods acquisition becomes the foundation for their domination of the online grocery industry.

This year, 56% of Walmarts sales came from its grocery, hitting a grand total at $500 billion in revenue. But Walmart knows that if they can get a customer in the door for grocery, they’ll walk up and down the aisles for everything else. Amazon wants to accomplish the same with online grocery and product. Some analysts believe that Amazon will be there, matching Walmart on grocery revenue, by 2021.

 Amazon's meteoric rise. Amazon’s meteoric rise.

Amazon is partial to building businesses rather buying them. But after a decade of trying to grow its grocery operation on its own, it was time for the latter. The company started exploring the possibility of an acquisition, and spent the two years leading up to the Whole Foods deal “walking around to every grocer in the U.S. asking them to be its fresh supplier,” says Bain’s Cheris.

Fortune continues delving into the next big waves Amazon will make in the grocery industry. What do you think is next for Amazon? Will they change healthcare next? Let us know your thoughts.

How to use Facebook Marketplace to post rental listings

Buildium releases a video outlining the best way to list rentals on Facebook Marketplace. This is a newer feature on Facebook, but is growing faster as a rental listing location than any other website.

Legal Q&A

Question: An applicant came into my office and is clearly pregnant. Do I count the baby to determine whether her household meets our occupancy standards?

Answer: No. You should not count the baby until it is born. You should also have a reasonable policy about what happens when the addition of a minor to the household during the tenancy puts the household over occupancy. A suggested policy would be that the household gets to stay through the end of their lease or a certain number of months, whichever is longer. That number should be at least six months in order to be considered reasonable.

Question: I own a fourplex. Unit B has two cars, one is broken down. What kind of demands can I place on B about the broken down vehicle?

Answer: You can create a lease term by requiring all vehicles to be in operable condition or they will be towed. To put this into place, you need to either serve a 30-day notice of change of terms to a month to month agreement, or wait until the lease expires and have the new condition in the renewal lease.

Question: Can I bill my tenant for excessive water usage if I can prove they neglected to fix two leaky faucets for over three months?

Answer: Most rental agreements and California law require the tenant to maintain the premises in good condition and repair. Failure to meet their obligations would therefore be a breach of the lease and you should be able to recover all losses suffered, provided you have sufficient proof.

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