I have mentioned in the past, that the WTS has a lot of their net/gross worth in property,etc. Now cash, especially available cash, not so much. Cash flowing is a necessary thing, using property as collateral is an iffy situation when applying for loans
Indeed. Not only that, but property is not as useful for covering your current debts and keeping you afloat if you're not earning some kind of income from it.
Historically, the org has bought property (or land to build on) for their own personal use. That's fine as a "locked-in" asset which you can sell later (particularly the land itself), but it's not earning you anything in the meantime unless you either 1) lease it to others if it's land, or 2) rent it out if it's property, and to my knowledge the org has never really done either until now.
As a result, they only get financial value from a property when they sell it, and when they do that it's just one-time revenue and they lose the asset. Also, in the meantime, as long as they hold that property it is costing money to maintain. That wasn't a problem when it was all on the shoulders of the local congregations to pay for maintenance, but since the org centralised all repairs under the WDC/RDC/LDC arrangement, that means any major repairs to halls would also have to come from their central pot of money, so it's in their interests to just flog off any halls that are looking like money sinks, or where the value of the land is much greater than that of the building on it.
I think you're right that individuals are not donating as they used to, and as the org has calculated they 'should', and so it's looking at other methods to improve immediate liquidity. That would explain things that look like penny-pinching, like the sell-offs of surplus Bethel hardware, and attempts to cut overheads, at the same time as still making large property deals.
Remember when they first formed the WDC/RDC/LDCs, they were trumpeting that many halls needed repairs and hundreds of new ones would be built across the USA - but pretty soon after that number dropped drastically and suddenly all the talk was about consolidating congregations to make more 'efficient' use of existing halls. They must have crunched the numbers and realised they couldn't possibly fund that level of repair and construction up front, so instead they are now concentrating on a smaller number of large projects, like assembly halls (for example, that one in Woodbury, NY, mentioned earlier).
Eventually, moving all assemblies and conventions to their own assembly halls would be an obvious money-saver. First, cutting out any cost to external companies for rental of facilities (and venue staffing). Second, they can generate income by charging publishers for convention 'overheads' at a rate greater than the actual cost (something which many suspect they have already been doing in certain areas for some time). And of course they have the benefit of total control over how the buildings are used and what dates they schedule events.