Recession unlikely in 2020 - Slower Growth, Price Gains to Continue

A group of prominent real estate industry economists today released a consensus economic and real estate forecast that projects continued but slowing growth in 2020. Meeting at the National Association of REALTORS®’ Washington, D.C., headquarters for the first-ever Real Estate Forecast Summit, the economists said they expect the U.S. economy to continue expanding next year and real estate prices to keep rising. To create the forecast, NAR surveyed the economists Dec. 2-5, and their responses were compiled and averaged.

“Real estate is on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” says NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, in order for the market to be healthier, more supply is needed to assure home prices as well as rents do not consistently outgrow income gains.”

Yun is one of 16 economists participating in today’s Summit, along with Leslie Appleton-Young of the California Association of REALTORS®; James Chessen of the American Bankers Association; James Gaines of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University; Danielle Hale of; Danielle Nanayakkara-Skillington of the National Association of Home Builders; Brad O’Connor of the Florida REALTORS®; and others.

Recession remains unlikely but not out of the question in 2020. The economists predicted a 29% probability of a recession with forecasted gross domestic product growth of 2.0% in 2020 and 1.9% in 2021. The group expects an annual unemployment rate of 3.7% next year with a small rise to 3.9% in 2021.

Asked what action the Fed might take in 2020, 69% of the economists said they expect no change in the federal funds rate (the rate at which banks borrow money), while 31% expect the Fed to lower the rate next year. The group expects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to average 3.8% in 2020 and 4.0% in 2021.

Getting comfortable with growth in Boones Creek area

David Lefemine, a Johnson City Commercial Realtor, said after the vote to deny a rezoning request that the work going on on the I-26 interchange will likely mean more business growth will occur in the Boones Creek area. He said there’s going to be increasing pressure for business growth in that area.

“Because of this interchange and everything that’s growing out there, you’re going to see business and you’re going to see annexation requests made time and time again,” Lefemine said. “It’s just a matter of whenever everybody is comfortable to proceed forward.”

Read the full Johnson City Press report at "

Tri-Cities commercial sales increase, sales volume down

All too often the public perception of real estate is one-dimensional. The residential side of the business gets most of the attention. But there’s more to the real estate story. Commercial real estate is critical to the local economy even if it’s not in the spotlight.

The Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors® commercial real estate mid-year report offers some facts, and numbers, that often go unnoticed by the public. For instance, During the first six months of this year there were 274 completed commercial sales. Those transactions – as measured by title transfers – were worth $103.3 million. That was a little over $50 million less the first half of last year even though there were more transactions this year. The biggest commercial sales so far this year was the $20 million sale of the Monarch Apartments in Johnson City and the sales of the Bristol Va. Court Yards by Marriott for $13.7 million.

Part of the data for NETAR’s mid-year commercial report comes from third-party sources. For example, the commercial sales numbers came from the Appalachian Highlands Dashboard for Real Estate Analytics, a new enterprise by Don Fenley, supported by TechPoint’s Austin Ramsey, TCI Group’s Nina Heffner, and underwritten by Jerry Petzoldt, TCI Lifestyle Investments.

An internal source for commercial lease transactions was the NETAR Commercial Multiple Listing Service (CMLS). It shows leases transactions were a 33.3 percent improvement over last year. It was the best half-year showing since 2015. NETAR’s CMLS transactions do not include lease data from other commercial listing services.

And then there were the new commercial building permits from The Market Edge in Knoxville. That report listed a total of 267 new permits during the first half of the year compared to 213 last year. Sullivan and Washington counties – the region’s largest markets – accounted for the lion’s share of new permits, while Greene Co. Tenn. and Washington Co. Va. saw noteworthy increases in the number of permits. The Washington County market saw the highest construction value gain from mid last year - up $22.3 million – while the Sullivan County increase was $8.9 million. Together new permits for those two counties totaled $83.5 million.

The full mid-year report, which includes market assessments from a panel of NETAR members who are commercial practitioners can be found at on the NETAR website in the Commercial Real Estate category that’s linked to the top of the page.

RPR Commercial Adds CREXi To Its Strategic Listing Partnerships

RPR offers commercial REALTORS® an exclusive resource to conduct data property research and use forecasting and investment analysis tools. Our goal is to help commercial practitioners support their clients and customers by providing easy access to deep, powerful data and expanded listing capabilities.

Recently, RPR has announced direct partnerships with Catylist and Brevitas, which further bolstered our commercial listing totals. Today, we’re pleased to announce another strategic listing partnership with CREXi, the industry-leading public marketing platform for commercial real estate listings.

CREXi has more than 80K for sale properties and 128,000K spaces for lease. These listings will be searchable in RPR nationwide, making RPR’s commercial inventory more robust than ever before.

CREXi will integrate its data with RPR® so that RPR users can gain a more comprehensive overall research experience. Together, CREXi and RPR enable RPR commercial users to streamline, manage and grow their business.

“In the evolving world of real estate technology, it is crucial that NAR aligns with an innovative, public facing commercial listing portal that aggregates data from multiple sources, displays commercial properties and creates national exposure for our members’ listings. CREXi is an industry-leading, REALTOR®-friendly technology tool that will help advance our members-first mission for years to come,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

“CREXi is thrilled to be partnering with RPR and the National Association of REALTORS® in bringing the commercial real estate industry’s fastest growing listing platform to commercial REALTORS® nationwide,” said Eli Randel, Vice President of Operations and Strategy at CREXi.

If you’re not taking advantage of everything that RPR has to offer, today’s the day to start! Simply click here to get an overview of how RPR Commercial can improve your skills and services as a commercial REALTOR®.

Seizing the Opportunity: The Ins and Outs of Opportunity Zones October 8, 2019 | Memphis Bioworks

Seizing the Opportunity: The Ins and Outs of Opportunity Zones
October 8, 2019 | Memphis Bioworks


8:30 am
Arrivals and check-in + light breakfast and networking

9:00 am
SHAWN MASSEY, CCIM, CRRP, ALC / MAAR Commercial Council President

9:05 am
EVAN LIDDIARD, CPA – Director of Federal Tax Policy / National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
Tax Benefits of Opportunity Zone Investments

9:30 am
CHRISTOPHER COES - Vice President, Land Use Development / Smart Growth America & Director of LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors
Attracting Social Impact Investors to Make Memphis the Best Business Opportunity in the South

10:15 am
JOHN ZEANAH, AICP – Director / Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development
A virtual tour of Opportunity Zones in the Memphis area

10:25 am Break

10:35 am
EMILY LINE - Vice President of Member Experience / REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR)
REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR) OZ Map Overlay

11:00 am
BOB TURNER, ALC / MAAR Past President & 2019 NAR Commercial & Business Liaison
Opportunities in Opportunity Zones: Matching Investors to Projects; Project Types & Locations

11:25 am
SHAWN MASSEY, CCIM, CRRP, ALC / MAAR Commercial Council President
Building Thriving Communities & Dynamic Neighborhoods + The Role of REALTORS® Final thoughts + Q&A


Director of Federal Tax Policy / National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

EVAN LIDDIARD joined the National Association of REALTORS® in 2013 after serving for more than 20 years as the Senior Tax Policy Advisor to Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Evan was Senator Hatch’s lead advisor on tax policy issues, as well as issues relating to the budget, financial services, and Social Security. Before going to Capitol Hill, he was a Tax Manager in the Salt Lake City and Washington National Tax offices of Deloitte, where he worked on a variety of corporate and small business tax issues, as well as on individual and estate tax matters.
Evan received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Utah (magna cum laude). Later, while working in the Senate, he completed a Master’s Degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University and then a Master’s Degree in Taxation from American University. He is currently an adjunct professor in the business graduate tax program at American University in Washington, where he teaches a tax policy course as well as a course on the taxation of real estate transactions. Evan also currently serves as a member of the Tax Executive Committee of the American Institute of CPAs.

Vice President, Land Use Development / Smart Growth America & Director of LOCUS: Responsible Real Developers and Investors

CHRISTOPHER COES has advised cities on community revitalization and sustainable and equitable economic development over the past nine years, including serving as an advisor to USDOT’s LadderSTEP Pilot Cities (Atlanta and Baton Rouge). In addition, he has facilitated numerous deal-making opportunities that have produced over $1 billion in new smart growth real estate deals. Prior to joining LOCUS, Christopher served as a Consultant for Government Affairs and Campaigns at M+R Strategic Services. As a consultant, Christopher worked with various clients including Transportation for America – a broad, diverse and unprecedented coalition advocating for a national vision for a 21st-century transportation system. For three years, Christopher served as Transportation for America’s Senior Campaign Advisor and Deputy Director. In addition to his work on transportation and real estate issues, Christopher has more than fifteen years of experience in government relations, advocacy and coalition building and program management. He currently serves as an active member of Urban Land Institute (TOD Product Council, the Real Estate Executive Council) and serves as Treasurer and a Board Director for African American Real Estate Professionals of D.C.

Director / Memphis and Shelby County Division of Planning and Development

JOHN ZEANAH oversees land use, comprehensive planning, sustainability and resilience, transportation, housing and construction code enforcement. The mission of John’s agency is to develop and administer plans, programs and services that result in thriving, livable neighborhoods, connected communities, enhanced human potential, and safe and efficient buildings. He led the creation of the city’s Office of Comprehensive Planning, which developed the Memphis 3.0 growth plan. Also, as administrator for the Memphis- Shelby County Office of Sustainability, John led the development of the Mid-South Regional Greeenprint and Sustainability Plan, a vision for a regional network of connected green spaces. He also led the development of Shelby County’s Greenprint for Resilience initiative, which received over $60 million in HUD’s National Disaster Resilience Competition.

Vice President of Member Experience / REALTORS Property Resource® (RPR)

MAAR Past President; 2019 NAR Commercial & Business Liaison

EMILY LINE is passionate about conducting research studies and educating on data driven insight. In her role at Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), a wholly owned subsidiary of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), Emily works alongside local and state REALTOR® Associations, national real estate companies, colleges and universities, as well as a variety of technology companies to explain the role of technology and analytics within the real estate industry. Internally, Emily collaborates with the RPR Product and Development Team to execute business strategies and technology advancements based on REALTOR® feedback. Prior to joining the RPR team, she managed Development and Outreach for the Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Division of the NAR, where she provided national legislative updates, delivered CRE research and connected REALTOR® members with continuing education opportunities. Emily has been with NAR for twelve years. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for CommissionTrac, a cloud based CRE commission tracking application. Emily earned a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts
degree from Albion College.

BOB TURNER’s passion is the land business – whether it is farm land, development land, or hunting and recreation land. He has been involved in the acquisition, design and zoning of numerous tracts of development land over the past 15 years as an agent, partner and developer of residential and commercial properties. Bob holds the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation, which is the esteemed credential of the REALTORS® Land Institute. This designation is attained only by those land specialists that demonstrate the highest level of knowledge, experience, and professionalism. Bob and his business partner and wife Wendy own and operate several separate real estate investment businesses in addition to Southern Properties Real Estate. In 1986 he was instrumental in forming the first farmers market in Memphis at Agricenter International. He partnered with Shelby County Government to create a produce outlet for local and regional produce farmers that has been the most successful farmers market in Memphis for 32 years. Bob and his family also run a small farm operation with cows, pigs, horses, and chickens to educate his two daughters on the importance of living off of the land, how to produce your own food and learn the farm way of life. Bob has held numerous leadership positions, including MAAR President (2004), MAAR Commercial Council President (2015), and RLI National President (2016).

MAAR Commercial Council President

SHAWN MASSEY joined The Shopping Center Group Memphis office in 2003 and became a partner in 2008 to focus on shopping center leasing and tenant representation. He has 35+ years combined experience in the commercial real estate industry and he has been involved in every phase of an asset’s life cycle. In the urban and rural markets, Shawn has led the retail leasing effort on a variety of retail projects from large power centers, mixed- use developments (including; Crosstown Concourse, The Lake District, Binghampton Gateway), to single tenant buildings. He works with tenant clients looking for high-performing retail sites and landlords in providing a dynamic leasing program for their properties. Shawn has a BBA in Marketing and an MBA in Finance and Real Estate from The University of Memphis. Shawn is an adjunct professor at The University of Memphis where he teaches a Master’s level class in Real Estate Development, Sustainability and Investment. He has served on various Boards in Memphis, including Habitat for Humanity, the Binghampton Development CDC Retail Committee and the Fogelman College of Business and Economics Advisory Board. Shawn is a founding Board member and past Chairman of the Board for the Memphis Business Academy Charter Schools (K – 12th grade) in the Frayser area.