Small-business sentiment slips, but still near all-time high

By Mindy Tan Optimism amongst small-business owners slipped in February and fell short of analyst expectations, even as it remained at one of its highest readings in 43 years, according to the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index. The index fell 0.6 points in February to 105.3; this is short of analysts’ […]

Japan banking on tourism as economic driver

Tourists at Asakusa in Tokyo, Japan

By Mindy Tan Tourism has emerged as a driving force in Japan’s economy and the government is banking on it to boost the world’s third largest economy. In 2016, an estimated 24 million foreigners visited Japan, an increase of 21.8 percent over the 2015’s 19.7 million visitors, according to data from the Japan National Tourism […]

“Affordable” Housing Goes Mainstream

Evergreen Tower

By Mindy Tan From the outside, Evergreen Tower 1 looks no different from any other apartment building. Located in the high-rent River North neighborhood of Chicago, it is within easy walking distance of groceries and other amenities. Inside, a bank of computers and a couple of exercise machines line one wall of a sprawling community […]

VIDEO: Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market waits for green light

By Karen Lentz and Mindy Tan Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market is widely regarded as a must-visit tourist destination. The market has been doing business on this site since 1935 but a possible move has the market’s future in question. Photo at top: Customers buy fish at Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. (Karen Lentz/MEDILL)

Corporate tax cut would hit financing of low-income housing

Emerson Square

By Mindy Tan As the price of low-income housing tax credits, or LIHTC, comes under pressure, market watchers fret over the future of these housing projects. “It’s a real problem and it’s significant enough of a problem that people are trying to figure out different ways to accommodate and plan and prepare,” said Kevin Jackson, […]

Tokyo’s pachinko parlors look to next generation of players

Entrance to Pachinko Parlor

By Mindy Tan Pachinko, a uniquely Japanese form of gambling, is a popular sport in Japan. But interest in the game has been waning, particularly amongst younger players. Parlor operators are trying to revive interest by rolling out luxurious, air-conditioned parlors with uniformed staff, and the industry endeavors to introduce new games on a regular […]

Equity Residential says tough markets ahead

2 North Riverside Plaza

By Mindy Tan Despite fourth quarter results that beat expectations, Equity Residential is expecting weaker growth in 2017 due to softness in its portfolio in New York City. The real estate investment trust expects a 3.5 percent decline in rent on new leases and 2.1 increase for renewal rents. The REIT has budgeted $4 million […]

Wall Street cheers fourth quarter results for mall operators GGP and Simon Property

Water Tower Place

By Mindy Tan Mall operators are brushing off the troubles facing retailers as “business-as-usual.” The message from top executives of real estate investment trusts GGP Inc. and Simon Property Group Inc. Tuesday following the release of quarterly financial reports, was consistent in that retailer bankruptcies and anchor department store closures are nothing new, said Paul […]

Existing-Home Sales slide in December

Row of suburban homes

By Mindy Tan Existing-home sales decreased 2.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million in December from an upwardly revised 5.65 million in November, even as 2016 marked the best year of sales in a decade, said the National Association of Realtors Tuesday. The report covers sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums […]

Road ahead bumpy for CBRE

A property in Evanston leased by CBRE

By Mindy Tan Analysts warn that the road ahead for CBRE Group Inc. could be bumpy, pointing to uneasiness in certain global economies, unfavorable foreign currency movement, and stiff competition from international, regional, and local players. This is translating into pressure on its stock price. The closing price of the real estate firm, which is […]