Friends, Clients, and Colleagues,
As we live through unprecedented times, our team wanted to update you regularly with thoughts and resources as we work our way forward through the new realities of how COVID-19 is affecting the commercial real estate markets in North Carolina, particularly in the markets where we work. We will be emailing these updates and adding them to our blog (www.svntcr.com/blog) in an effort to keep real estate owners, investors, tenants and operators up to date. We want to be a resource for you.
First and foremost, we are open for business. While we are definitely feeling the impacts of COVID-19 in our transactions in process, we are also seeing continued activity in the marketplace as of today.
Second, there is a LOT of information out there. Our commentary and links will be focused on the effects of coronavirus on commercial real estate only. We strongly recommend that you rely on reliable sources for your other information regarding the spread of this virus.
We are in the early innings of this game. Much continues to change on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Many things are happening at both the state and federal level and the voice of commercial real estate through our many associations, led by NAR®, is strong. At the end of this post is an excellent summary of legislation and advocacy that was disseminated by the CEO of The CCIM Institute, Greg Fine, last week. It is lengthy but worth your time.
Items of particular emphasis--please note that these are only advocacy positions at this point and that no legislation or regulations have been enacted – are as follows:
- Extension of time for 1031 Exchanges
- Extension of time for Opportunity Zone Investment
- Rental Assistance and Mortgage Forbearance. (In our opinion, this is going to be one of the most important issues to address as we move forward through this market disruption—more to come on this subject as the April 1 rent due date is nearing.)
We will continue to follow these and other issues that are of vital importance to the commercial real estate market over the weeks and months to come. If any of you have specific questions or if we can be of service, we are here. Please email or call and keep any eye out for updates to the blog and via email.
We will get through this together.
Wishing you all health and safety,
Legislative Update: There are 2 coronavirus legislative packages currently working through Congress. These packages are in addition to the first legislative package which provided $8.3 billion in emergency relief and was signed into law on March 6. The Senate just passed a second multi-billion dollar emergency aid package entitled the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” , clearing the way for negotiations on a third, even larger stimulus package. Here is a summary NAR put together on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s impact on NAR members.
The larger stimulus bill is a massive $750 billion/$1 trillion economic bailout package. Measures being discussed for this larger stimulus package include:
- $50 billion airline industry loans
- $150 billion in loans to other impacted sectors of the economy
- Individual payments to all adults
- Dramatic increase in small business loans to cover 6 weeks of payroll for employees making up to $80K
Advocacy Actions: CCIM has joined NAR on multiple letters addressing issues we would like to see addressed either legislatively or through administrative action:
- Extension on 1031 Exchanges:NAR sent a letter to both the Treasury Department and IRS to provide deadline relief for 1031 like-kind exchanges. This would include relief on the 180-day deadline and the 45-day period for identifying possible properties as exchange candidates. It is our understanding that this extension can be made through administrative action.
- Extension on Opportunity Zone Deadlines:NAR sent a second letter urging the extension of certain deadlines for the opportunity zone program.
- Rental Assistance and Mortgage Forbearance:A coalition of national associations is sending a letter to congressional leaders to provide an emergency rental assistance fund, to urge the use of caution when issuing blanket moratoriums on evictions and to allow for mortgage forbearance for rental property owners. CCIM signed onto this letter consistent with our policy position to protect and support investors during this time of disruption.
- Main Street Response to COVID-19: NAR is organizing the signing on of a letter from industry organizations to both congressional leaders and the Trump administration to broadly address the economic hit businesses are taking with so many businesses currently shut down. The letter requests immediate relief by: 1) providing immediate and readily accessible unsecured creditto businesses of all sizes; 2) suspending the filing of business returns and the payment of all business taxes to the federal government for the duration of the pandemic; and 3) Amending the Tax Code to restore the ability of businesses to carry-back any net operating losses against previous year tax payments; suspend the application of the Section 163(j) limitation on interest expense deductions for tax year 2020 to avoid penalizing businesses for borrowing during this crisis; and suspend the Section 461(l) loss limitation on pass-through businesses to allow businesses to fully deduct any losses they incur this year.
Federal Administrative Actions: The Treasury Department and IRS have also announced the following administrative actions:
- IRS Tax Payment Extension: The Treasury Department issued a tax payment 3-month extension. Individuals will be able to defer up to $1 million without interest or penalties and corporations can defer up to $10 million. NOTE, this has since been updated to reflect a delay in the filing date on Federal taxes until July 15, 2020.
- Commercial Paper Funding Facility: The Federal Reserve announced it would establish a lending facility to support short-term commercial debt markets. I wanted to share these details from the Wall Street Journal : “In launching the Commercial Paper Funding Facility, the Fed is trying to encourage investors to return to that market to ensure that eligible issuers can roll over maturing obligations. The central bank’s facility will purchase three-month debt from firms with high credit ratings. The Fed deployed a version of the tool between 2008 and 2010, during and after the financial crisis.”