Force Majeure: The Effect of COVID-19 on Contracts

As we roll into a second month of stay-at-home orders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout Texas, the commercial real estate industry is beginning to fully feel the impact. Non-essential retailers have been forced to shut their doors, in some cases eliminating all potential for revenue. Those employees, furloughed or laid off, face a similar dilemma: how do you pay your mortgage or rent when no money is coming in? The answer for some is to turn to the “force majeure” clause of their contract if they negotiated one. “Typically a force majeure clause has been something that people don’t pay much attention to. It’s one of the boilerplate paragraphs toward the end of the contract,” said David Groff, a shareholder with Wilson Cribbs + Goren, a 20-attorney law firm that focuses on commercial real estate. “That doesn’t mean it’s any less important than any other provisions in the lease, but it sometimes doesn’t get the attention it requires because people get so comfortable for so long.” First, have a conversation with tenants about the state of their business and review their
contract. “Not every lease is going to be the same. Not every interaction between landlord and tenant will be Joined by senior partner Scot Clinton, the pair offered insight into what force majeure is, how courts have responded to it and how both tenants and landlords can respond during REDNews’ April 9 webinar on the topic. “The gist to identify specific types or categories of events that will relieve parties of their duty to perform. In Texas, the general approach to interpreting a force majeure clause, if there is one, really does boil down to the actual terms of the clause,” Clinton explained. Click to read more at

Dr. Mark G. Dotzour, Real Estate Economist Presents “Economic Rollercoaster: Finding Opportunity During a Bumpy Ride” April 7th

Complimentary REDnews Webinar: Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 1 PM – 2 PM CST

Fed Stimulus – -The Boost We Needed?
Does Printing Money Mean Inflation?
COVID-19 and Stimulus Effect On Interest Rates
Where Are Cap Rates Headed?
Will This Be Another Jobless Recovery?
COVID-19 Effect On GDP in US and Globally

Dr. Dotzour is a real estate economist who served for 18 years as Chief Economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. He has given more than 1,600 presentations to more than 295,000 people and has written over 90 articles for magazines and journals. His research findings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, and Business Week. Todd Phillips, CFO, RE Journals will moderate, bringing his experience with the commercial real estate to the table. Complimentary Registration.

This webinar is one of the 2020 National Series Webinars hosted by REDnews / RE Journals.

Global Market Perspective – 2019

1. Real estate market momentum slowing

The world economy has moved into a synchronised slowdown and geopolitical issues still abound. This is now filtering through to real estate markets; however, fundamentals remain healthy with momentum only easing gradually.

2. In a low-yield environment real estate still offers value

Returns for private real estate have remained stable during 2019 while public real estate continues to outperform other major asset classes at the global level. Government bond yields have declined further throughout the year, and real estate continues to offer a premium to most other asset classes despite yields being at record lows in many markets. The volume of capital held by funds that is yet to be deployed is near all-time highs and investors, though cautious and selective, remain keen to access the sector.

Click to

Real Estate Lures Investors as Safe Haven Among Trade War

Amid the stock market volatility fueled by the drama of U.S.-China trade negotiations, real-estate stocks and ETFs beckon investors as a relatively safe haven. The Vanguard Real Estate ETF (VNQ +0.9%) has risen 16% YTD, outperforming the S&P 500’s 13% increase during the same time period; and in the past month, the ETF is up 1.3% while the S&P 500 has declined 2.2%. Click to read more at

Austin’s economy outshines almost every other U.S. city across 25 key factors

Provo, Utah, has a decidedly low profile, though it deserves to be better known.

Provo is just the 92nd-biggest metropolitan area in America and only the third-largest in its own state (trailing Salt Lake City and Ogden). Yet it boasts the strongest economy in the nation, as determined by this year’s ACBJ Economic Index.

Provo jumped to first place in ACBJ’s updated standings for 2017, up from fourth in 2015 and second last year, based on a formula that measures the nation’s 100 biggest metros against 25 statistical benchmarks.

Click to read more at Austin Business Journal.