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National Cheat Sheet: Moody’s launches CRE data portal, Trump’s childhood home hits the market … & more

Clockwise from top left: Trump’s childhood home in Queens seeks $2.9M via bidding process, Moody’s Analytics’ new commercial real estate data portal will compete with CoStar, a report claims some 55,000 Keller Williams agents could be inactive ‘ghosts,’ and shopping mall operator Simon Property Group has a record fourth quarter in the midst of nationwide retail woes.

Moody’s new CRE data portal to compete with CoStar
The Real Deal has had its eyes on a potential showdown that became a reality this week when Moody’s Analytics officially made public its plans to give real estate data behemoth CoStar Group a run for its money. The financial services information giant has launched its commercial real estate data portal, known as the REIS Network, through which users will be able to access data from firms like CompStak and Rockport VAL. Moody’s named the portal after the commercial real estate data company it snapped up for $278 million last year. CoStar had long been interested in buying REIS, but antitrust concerns dissuaded the two parties. “Our goal is to become a leading source for data and analytics for commercial real estate transactions,” said a statement from Moody’s Analytics Accelerator executive director Keith Berry. [TRD]

Keller Williams could have up 55,000 ‘ghost’ agents, report claims
More than 160,000 agents in the U.S. appear on Keller Williams’ official roster, but as many as 30 percent of those individuals could actually be “ghosts,” or agents who are inactive, don’t have a license or, in some cases, are dead, sources told Inman. Keller Williams president Josh Team acknowledged the numbers were off, but disputed Inman’s sources, stating that the amount of “ghost” agents likely stood between 10,000 and 15,000. Team noted that Gary Keller, who returned to his namesake firm last month as CEO, “took immediate action” when he learned there were “inconsistencies” in its agent count in January. [TRD]

Simon Property Group has record Q4 despite mall industry woes
Malls nationwide have taken a hit in the so-called “retailpocalypse,” but that didn’t stop Simon Property Group from having a record fourth quarter. The retail giant’s net income increased by 25 percent in the last three months of 2018, to $712.8 million, as its funds from operations jumped 3.5 percent, to $1.2 billion. CEO David Simon said in an earnings call that he was “excited” about the ways in which the mall industry has had to adapt. “There’s always been disruption in our industry,” said Simon, noting that he was “concerned about a few retailers,” but that ongoing unrest in the space is “something we’ve been able to withstand.” The good news for Simon came as Tom O’Hearn, CEO of fellow shopping mall titan Macerich, said the company expected more store closures in 2019.  [TRD]

US commercial property sales almost set a new record in 2018
The total value of U.S. commercial properties that sold for $2.5 million or more in 2015 was a record $569.9 billion. In 2018, the total value nearly hit that record, clocking in at $562.1 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics data cited by the Wall Street Journal. Property prices increased by 6.2 percent from 2017 to 2018, due in part to the fact that there’s “still a lot of capital out there chasing deals,” Ariel Property Advisors president Shimon Shkury told the outlet. “When you have less inventory to choose from, you’re going to be a little bit more aggressive in pricing.” [TRD]


Trump’s childhood NYC home seeks $2.9M via secret bidding
President Donald Trump’s childhood home in Queens has hit the market for $2.9 million. Trump’s father built the Tudor-style house in the 1940s, and Trump lived there until he was around 4-years-old, the Wall Street Journal reported. In recent years, the home has been available for rent. Prospective homebuyers will participate in a sealed bidding process that is meant to keep the process “low key,” Compass agent Edward Hickey, who has the listing, told the Journal. “One of the reasons we’re doing it the way we are is to prevent a circus atmosphere,” Hickey said. “We anticipate that there will be a lot of curiosity.” [TRD]

Miami mansion sets record for highest single-family home sale
A waterfront mansion has broken its own record for the highest single-family home sale in Miami-Dade County. The 10-bedroom, 14-bathroom home on Indian Creek Island sold for $49.9 million — breaking the record it set when it sold for $47 million back in 2012. A limited liability company managed by Russian lawyer Andrey Kaydin sold the property to Angouleme Holdings II Limited Land Trust, which may be managed by a Qatari businessman. The home is one of 40 properties on the private island, which has been dubbed the “billionaire bunker” due to its über-affluent residents, who include activist investor Carl Icahn and car dealership magnate Norman Braman. [TRD]

WeWork planning to open its first location in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills is getting its very first WeWork, sources told TRD. The co-working giant, now known as “The We Company” following a recent rebranding, plans to lease what was once the Creative Artists Agency Building. Former CAA executives Michael Ovitz and Robert Goldman still own the four-story edifice, which was designed by architect I.M. Pei. The building has a Roy Lichtenstein mural in its central atrium, a 94-seat screening room and an underground parking lot. Sony Music operated out of the building until it relocated to Culver City more than a year ago. WeWork, which also said this week that it would open in South Africa, declined to discuss the deal. [TRD]

Penthouse in San Francisco seeks record sale with $41M price tag
A San Francisco penthouse could set a record for the priciest home sale in the city if it snags the $41 million it’s asking for, the Wall Street Journal reported. The apartment in Related California’s 56-story Avery tower, which is currently under construction, has four bedrooms, a gym and a private rooftop terrace. It’s also near the shuttered Transbay Transit Center. There are some doubts as to whether the penthouse will actually sell for $41 million or take a price chop. Compass analyst Patrick Carlisle told the outlet that San Francisco’s luxury market has seen slower sales amid stock volatility in the technology sector. [TRD]

Amid deep freeze, Chicago realtor rents hotel rooms for homeless
A Chicago realtor and her husband rented out 20 rooms for the homeless when temperatures in the Windy City dropped below zero last week, the Chicago Tribune reported. Candice Payne, 34, a managing broker at 5th Group Realty & Management, and her husband paid $70 for each room at the Amber Inn in Bronzeville after convincing a group of people camped outside in the South Loop to take her up on the offer. The next day, Payne and friends paid for rooms for even more people. “We wanted to get as much of them out of there as possible,” Payne said. “This is just regular people trying to help.” [TRD]

Johnny Cash’s ex-Tennessee estate up for sale hits the market
A lakefront estate once owned by music legends Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash is up for sale, according to Forbes. The Texas businessman that currently owns the 4.5-acre estate in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, is seeking to sell the land to a developer or builder for $3.9 million. A buyer would then be able to divide it into several residential lots. “It’s been on the market for a while, but we didn’t have an appraisal like we have now and also the permission from the owner to sell it to a builder-developer… and allow it to be split up,” listing agent Stan Peacock of Crye-Leike told the outlet. Most of the home that Cash once lived in on the property was destroyed down in a 2007 fire[TRD]

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