DID YOU KNOW? Retail sales rose 1.2% in July, according to the Commerce Department. That marked the 3rd consecutive monthly gain as the U.S. strived to reopen its economy as much as possible despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. After accounting for seasonal factors, sales were 1.7% higher compared to February, the month before the pandemic shut down much of the economy. In the depths of the 2008/9 recession retail was around $325 billion…..today it’s over $525 billion, over 60% higher in a little over a decade….. Many economists expect the economy to rebound this quarter after GDP fell 9.5% (32.9% at an annual rate) in the 2nd quarter. Economists expect output to grow at an 18.3% annual rate in the 3rd quarter. 1.8 million jobs returned in July. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Amy Webb, an author and CEO of the research and consulting firm Future Today Institute, said smaller cities that are desirable to tech workers would be smart to plan for issues like increased traffic, parking problems, more waste and wealth disparities from new clusters of higher-wage earners. (WSJ)
“Crises spark human ingenuity,” – Nora Fehlbaum
DID YOU KNOW? Just 47% of Americans got a flu shot in 2019….. the flu has seen between 140,000 and 810,000 people hospitalized each year since 2010. Wear that mask!
DID YOU KNOW? Hollywood EAST? Steiner Studios, a film and television company with operations in Brooklyn Navy Yard, is planning a major 500,000sf expansion, signing a pre-development deal to build a new studio at Bush Terminal in Sunset Park. The multi-million dollar deal at the city-owned site includes a 49-year ground lease with five 10-year extensions available. New York is the largest media market in North America (followed by Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto), including CNN (WMN&S), the Hearst Corporation, NBCUniversal, The New York Times, Fox and News Corp, Thomson Reuters, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS. Seven of the world’s top eight global advertising agency networks are headquartered in New York. Three of the “Big Four” record labels are also headquartered or co-headquartered in the city. One-third of all American independent films are produced in New York. More than 200 newspapers and 350 consumer magazines have an office in the city and the book-publishing industry employs about 25,000 people. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? U.S. unemployment claims fell below one million last week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March, as the deeply wounded labor market continues to regain some footing. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? The number of new leases signed in July in Manhattan increased by 56% from June. (Reuters)
DID YOU KNOW? Don’t you miss those days when you used to visit your local Blockbuster store to rent a movie, standing in line forever and then being treated rudely at the front desk?……well, you may not be able to get that full experience anymore, but you CAN stay at the last remaining Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon between September 18th through 20th…..via Airbnb. But only Deschutes County residents, sorry!
DID YOU KNOW? 75% of the new diseases afflicting humans since 1960 have originated in animals. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Federal money to help U.S. states and cities prepare for pandemics and other emergencies fell 35% between fiscal 2003 and fiscal 2020. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? For taxpayers concerned about how estate taxes will impact their family businesses and heirs it may be the perfect time to plan your estate. The majority of popular business succession/wealth transfer strategies thrive in environments where asset values have been decreased, and interest rates are low. Both of these elements are present right now at historical levels. Estate planning at this moment in time can dramatically reduce the estate taxes that could be owed in connection with your estate.
DID YOU KNOW? The U.S. marriage rate fell 6% in 2018, with 6.5 new unions formed for every 1,000 people, according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics, the lowest rate since the federal government began keeping data in 1867. Many Americans are opting to form households without tying the knot, and strained finances have been a top reason. Just over 50% of American adults were living with a spouse in 2019, down from about 70% in 1970. About 7% lived with a partner last year, up from less than 1% in 1970.
DID YOU KNOW? Singapore and Hong Kong are denser than New York City, yet they were able to contain the pandemic much more effectively. We will have to look to them to learn.
DID YOU KNOW? The US now has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world. You wouldn’t think that was the case looking at the currency market. While the new coronavirus has spread quickly across the U.S. and wreaked havoc in global markets, the U.S. dollar has been viewed as a safe asset to invest in. The U.S. is considered largely politically and economically stable and the dollar’s value isn’t likely to drastically fluctuate the way, for instance, the Turkish lira and Argentinian peso have in recent years. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? So far about one third of all Coronavirus infections have been cured, about 1.16 million. Progress!
“The world has turbocharged the growth of
the internet and catapulted us into the
future. In the space of March 2020, many
businesses fast-forwarded to 2025.”
DID YOU KNOW? The coronavirus shutdowns are giving scientists an opportunity they never thought they would have: to see what would happen to the planet if the world’s economy went on hiatus.The result has been drops in air pollutants to levels not seen in at least 70 years, easier breathing for people with respiratory ailments and consistently clear views of landmarks often obscured by smog, such as the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles and the Manhattan skyline. Nitrogen Dioxide levels in the Northeastern U.S. dropped 30% during March from the previous 4-year average for the month.(WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? The fastest improving solar technology is called perovskites. These have a particular crystal structure that is good for solar absorption. Thin films, around 300 nanometres (much thinner than a human hair) can be made inexpensively from solutions – allowing them to be easily applied as a coating to buildings, cars or even clothing. Perovskites also work better than silicon at lower lighting intensities, on cloudy days or for indoors. (BBC)
DID YOU KNOW? Jared Klein from Miami reminded me how a personal touch can go a long way: Bea Citron and Jenna Citron Pinchuk of COMPASS Miami recently closed a sale that was made possible by a series of handwritten notes. When their buyers found the home of their dreams, they noticed that the current owner had left a note on their kitchen bulletin board (along with freshly baked cookies!) detailing all the things she and her family loved about the home. The previous owner had done the same thing for her. Team Citron’s buyers were impressed and quite moved by the gesture so when they learned another offer was brewing, Team Citron suggested their buyer write a personal note of their own to submit along with the offer. The contract was executed in less than 12 hours and the sellers’ agent told Team Citron, “the sellers did not counter the offer because of the sweet note your buyers sent. It was a lovely touch!” Yes, we are in the business of closing deals, but we also need to remember that a person’s home is their most personal possession – now more than ever – and honoring that goes a long way. After all, home is where the heart is.
DID YOU KNOW? France, Spain, the US, and the UK are all projected to end 2020 with public debt levels of more than 100% of gross domestic product, while Goldman Sachs predicts that Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio will soar above 160%. While most see big deficits as a price worth paying to combat the crisis, many worry about a debt overhang in a post-pandemic world. Some fear that investors will grow weary of lending to cash-strapped governments, forcing countries to borrow at higher interest rates. Others worry governments will need to impose painful austerity in the years ahead, requiring the private sector to tighten its belt to pay down public debt. The US budget deficit is set to reach nearly $4 trillion this year. Of 45 episodes of deleveraging in mature economies since 1930, showed that half involved sustained periods of austerity, slow credit growth and higher savings.
Policymakers therefore need to think about how to incentivise savings: trimming every unproductive debt and leverage loophole from the tax code is a good place to start. In time, the Fed will also have to explain how it will shrink all that debt off its balance sheet. And everyone will have to think about thrift. Enter the new age of American austerity?
DID YOU KNOW? Governments have an inherent bias towards inflation, especially under adverse conditions such as wars and revolutions. The Covid-19 lockdown is another such condition. Tomorrow’s inflation will alleviate some of today’s financial problems: debt levels will come down and inequalities of wealth will be mitigated. Once excessive debt has been inflated away, interest rates can return to normal. When that happens, homes should be more affordable and returns on savings will rise. How to pay for the fathomless costs of fighting a pandemic? All the state’s expenses, whether a Green New Deal, jobs-for-all or the economic lockdowns, can be met simply by printing money…..according to the opinion of Edward Chancellor. (FT)
DID YOU KNOW? Investment bankers are rethinking their pre-coronavirus lifestyle of exhausting global travel, interrupted family time and all-nighters in the office as they plan an eventual return to the workplace. Many bankers are finding they can do their jobs without the cost of frequent flying or time wasted in airports thanks to videoconferencing and other technology that has become ubiquitous during the lockdowns resulting from coronavirus pandemic. Once the threat of the virus is gone, the cost-saving realization will remain and add pure profit to the bottom line. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Comparing February 2020 to 2007 – just as the GREAT RECESSION was beginning – today only 6.6% of home owners have less than 10% equity in their homes: in 2007 that figure was more than DOUBLE at 14.5%. The average loan-to-value ratio is around 53% where it was about 62% in 2007. Almost 10% fewer homeowners have a mortgage too. (Black Knight/Urban Institute)
DID YOU KNOW? VIRTUAL REAL ESTATE BUYING is not a new thing at all……in fact, John and Yoko never actually looked at properties. That would freak people out and drive up the price. Instead, they dispatched a servant to take Polaroid pictures. The servant would tell the real-estate agent that he represented a businessman who preferred to remain anonymous. Yoko would then study the pictures with her Council of Seers. Maybe a new song is in the making: “Imagine all the Virtual Real Estate Sales”?
DID YOU KNOW? Michigan’s construction, real estate and other “low-risk” industries restart business today. They’ll now reemerge with new safety rules and guidelines in place. These are the protocols set by the state’s Executive Order:
1. All in-person meetings with sellers and showings must be done by appointment.
2. No more than four persons may be at the property at one time. No in-person open houses are permitted.
3. All persons must maintain a 6-foot social distance at all times.
4. Landlords/property managers may not arrange in-person showings of a rental unit until after the current tenant has vacated.
Additional mitigation measures to consider:
1. Consider limiting in-person showings to potential buyers who have been pre approved for financing. Use photographs, virtual showings and floorplans to help buyer clients narrow down their housing needs and wants prior to any in-person showings.
2. Realtors® are encouraged to work together to avoid consecutive multiple showings in order to avoid overlapping appointments.
3. Consider providing marketing materials and other information relevant to the home electronically in advance of the showing.
4. Encourage sellers not to be present during the showing. Ask sellers to turn on all of the lights and leave interior doors, drapes and blinds open. This will ensure that anyone entering the home will not need to touch the light switches and door knobs throughout the home.
5. Ask sellers to clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces prior to and after the showing.
6. Agents conducting a showing are encouraged to meet their clients at the home rather than drive their clients to the showing. If you are meeting your clients at a home, ask them to wait in the car for your arrival.
7. Discourage anyone who does not need to view the home from attending a showing.
8. Encourage the use of masks and gloves while viewing a home.
9. Ask buyers to refrain from touching any surfaces in a home (including light switches and interior door knobs). Do not share phones, pens or tablets.
10. Minimize the time physically present at the home. After a showing, rather than engaging in a discussion with your clients while still at the property, consider waiting to discuss the home
via email or phone. (Mlive)
DID YOU KNOW? Manhattan has literally been shut down for the past two months and starved of any showing capacity. This has caused many to hold off on listing new properties, but this past week new listings surged by 39% compared to the previous week a possible sign of optimism that we are heading to a path of showing in the not-too-distant future. 82 listings came on in the past week….compared to 59 the prior week…..yet a fraction of the 506 listings during the same period in 2019. (Urban Digs)
DID YOU KNOW? Compass Development Marketing Group (New Developments), launched a new video series called Stay Home with Compass Collaborators. In this first video you’ll meet Britt and Damian Zunino, the husband and wife team behind Studio DB, and see the incredible home they’ve built for themselves in Dutchess County. Because we’re all staying home these days, the entire video was filmed on a couple of iPhones and directed remotely! Studio DB is the design team responsible for The Symon, a boutique condo building in downtown Brooklyn being sold by Compass agents Sean Turner and Cornelia Van Amburg. Watch the video on Instagram and follow our New Development team, @compassdmg! https://www.instagram.com/p/B_5aRWcg87A/
Here is the full interview and I loved it! https://drive.google.com/file/d/11UGiVrWS2oQlYeK630SrPxK07exB1hw7/view?usp=sharing
DID YOU KNOW? Matterport is now available for iPhones to create 3D Tours. Could be a really helpful (and cost effective) tool for agents! Thanks DJ Gerrish from COMPASS DC!
DID YOU KNOW? The Nasdaq Composite Index turned green for the year yesterday, after a record closing high Feb. 19. It hit a closing low for the year on March 23, when it was down 23.5% for 2020. But after rising 1.4% on May 7, the Nasdaq was up slightly for 2020, while the Dow was down 16.3% and the S&P 500 Index was down 10.8%. Does this send a message about panic-selling at market lows?
DID YOU KNOW? Realogy – the parent company of the Corcoran Group, Sotheby’s and Coldwell Banker – reported a net loss of $462 million during the first quarter as coronavirus began to freeze the housing market. First quarter revenue rose to $1.1 billion, up 6% year-over-year and transactions rose 8% before the pandemic took hold. Realogy’s transaction volume slid 20 – 25%, with New York and California each experiencing a 30% decline. Contract volume dropped 50% at its company-owned brokerages in April, and 40% among franchises. Realogy suspended its TurnKey pilot with Amazon, through which buyers could get up to $5,000 in Amazon smart-home products.
DID YOU KNOW? Elizabeth Ballin of COMPASS Chicago reminded me yesterday of some things that have NOT been cancelled due to CORONAVIRUS: sunshine, spring, love, relationships, reading, naps, devotion, music, dancing, imagination, kindness, conversations, hope…..
DID YOU KNOW? Last night was the last Super Moon of 2020 (Perigree Moon – point of the orbit when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth and therefore much brighter and much larger than an average full moon!). The next one won’t occur again until April of 2021. Thanks to Shannah Hall Franckum of COMPASS Cambridge MA for the insight!
“Hotels, they will recover. I personally don’t think Americans are going to change their habits forever.” – Barry Sternlicht, Starwood. Maybe a good message about being careful not to make massive changes for long term systems/plans for needs that may be relatively short-term?
DID YOU KNOW? Regional President of Texas and Colorado Danielle WIlkie shared that COMPASS Colorado Agents wanted to show their support for our employees so they organized a “Virtual Family Meal” for all of them last night! They raised more than $4,000 to buy dinner for employees & their families across the state. Colorado Agent Martin Anderson spearheaded this project & coordinated with a local restaurant group to make it happen. It is going to provide a meaningful Compass community moment while also supporting local businesses. A touching gesture and amazing idea!
DID YOU KNOW? MAY is skin cancer awareness month…..and since I’m a Melanoma survivor, I thought I’d remind you of the ABCDE of skin cancer when evaluating a spot:
A symmetry – one half does not match the other
B order – uneven borders
C olor – variety of colors
D iameter – grows larger than the size of a pencil eraser
E volution – changes in color, size, shape and other traits
DID YOU KNOW? We send our very best to all our COMPASS Florida colleagues and friends who are experiencing a rather awful wildfire that has forced hundreds of residents from their homes along a stretch of Interstate 75. A 20-mile stretch of the interstate, also known as Alligator Alley, that had been closed overnight was reopened about 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The blaze had consumed about 13 square miles and was 10% contained as of 7 p.m. last night. This fire grew from two large wildfires that were burning Thursday morning on either side of the interstate about 14 miles east of Naples that merged into one large fire.
DID YOU KNOW? New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC and Dallas are the TOP 10 cities with the most wealthy residents ($5m+ net worth) in the world. The fastest growing wealth markets are Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, USA, Pakistan and Ireland. (WEALTH-X)
DID YOU KNOW? Congress’ stimulus package gave US homeowners with a mortgage backed by the government the right to pause their monthly payments if they experience hardship. Through early May, the Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that almost 4 million U.S. borrowers (nearly 8% of residential mortgages in a weekly survey) are in forbearance, meaning that they still owe the payments eventually but can skip them for now without penalty. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Diane Cannon Vogt from COMPASS Laguna Beach, CA received a call the other day from TD Canada Trust that her mortgage in Vancouver was up for renewal. It took 5 minutes on the phone to refinance, one follow up email and signatures on a hard copy mail to do this…..maybe we need to explore how Canada has made this process so much quicker and simpler?
DID YOU KNOW? Miami-Dade’s proposed re-opening starts this Monday…..guidelines suggest that bars, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, and breweries; movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms and fitness studios, pools and hot tubs, tattoo shops and massage parlors will open at a later date. Hotels are expected to reopen in June, though no date has been provided. Though real estate offices and certain services are considered essential, showings would be allowed to resume under the yellow section in the county’s plan, along with retail and office.
DID YOU KNOW? Austin is launching the first-ever Austin Homes Live, a virtual tour event for prospective home buyers. Austin Homes Live will take place on TUESDAY, May 19th and will feature interactive home tours throughout Austin’s real estate markets, including Central Austin, East Austin, West Austin, Lakeway and South Austin. The inaugural event is designed to simulate a music festival atmosphere, and will take place in live videos through Compass agent’s Instagram accounts. The lineup can be found on the Austin Homes Live website here. Those who tune in will be privy to live tours of Austin listings as well as advice from Compass agents leading sessions on buying historic homes, pricing strategies for sellers, waterfront properties and more.
DID YOU KNOW? A New York City couple filing jointly with $5 million in taxable income would save $394,931 in state and local taxes by moving to Florida, according to Taryn Goldstein, head of Florida’s state and local tax practice for BDO. If they had moved from Boston, they’d save $252,500; from Greenwich, Conn., they’d save $342,700. A New Yorker earning $500k per year would save around $31k per year. While saving on state taxes, home insurance on a house valued at $2 million in Florida can range from about $11,000 to $20,000. (A $2 million home in Westchester costs around $ 5,000 to insure annually). A $5 million house in Palm Beach has annual real estate taxes of around $48,000 per year whereas a $5 million home in Tribeca is closer to $36,000/year. It appears no-tax states are often more beneficial to the highest earners when all costs are considered. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Population counts released by the Census Bureau showed that 6 of the 7 states with no income tax – Florida, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota and Texas – had population increases from July 2018 to July 2019. Only Alaska, the seventh state, saw population decline, by 0.5%.
DID YOU KNOW? In 2018, global debt climbed to a record high of about 230% of gross domestic product (GDP), the World Bank said. While total debt from emerging and developing economies reached an all-time high of almost 170% of GDP. That marked an increase of 54 percentage points of GDP since 2010. China accounted for the bulk of this build-up, partly due to its size, but the World Bank emphasized that the accumulation of borrowing has been broad-based since 2010. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? The world’s first smart high-speed railway – a new 108-mile high-speed railway line in China connecting the capital with Olympic host city Zhangjiakou – has just entered service, cutting the travel time between the two cities from three hours to 47 minutes. The carriages are equipped with 5G signals, intelligent lighting, and 2,718 sensors to collect real-time data and detect any operational abnormalities. Each individual seat has its own touch-screen control panel and wireless charging docks. Though the high-speed trains on the route are autonomous, a monitoring driver will be on board at all times. The trains can automatically start, stop and adjust to the different speed limits between stations. Today, China is home to the world’s largest high-speed rail network – about 22,000 miles – and the fastest commercially operating train — the Shanghai maglev. Running at the top speed of 267 mph, the train links Shanghai Pudong Airport and Longyang Road in the eastern side of Shanghai. (CNN)
“Real estate agents must always bear in mind that real estate is color blind and neutral.” – Michael Romer, Romer, Debbas. Please be extra vigilant about FAIR HOUSING LAW: The recent Newsday Expose has triggered a new wave of spotters and inspectors seeking out agents who discriminate or break these laws.
DID YOU KNOW? Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to return more money to shareholders through dividends than ever this year, continuing a streak of record payouts dating back to 2012. Dividend payments in 2020 could top $500 billion for the first time. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? The number of late credit-card payments has risen 22% since 2015. (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? Buying a median-priced, three-bedroom home was more affordable than renting in only 53% of the 855 counties analyzed across the U.S., making renting in the other counties the more affordable option…..according to a recent report by Attom Data Solutions. While it may be true that total out-of-pocket monthly costs are sometimes cheaper when renting, often these reports omit one tiny – but important – detail: EQUITY BUILDING. At the end of a 30-year period of renting you have zero to show for your money. The same is not true once you’ve paid off your mortgage. (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? Do you want to know the value of public transportation access in a big city? Apartment rents in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg area have jumped to a record high since Governor Cuomo canceled a plan to shutter a major train line for repairs. The median asking rent was $3,675/month in November, making the neighborhood one of the most expensive in the borough. When a major subway line shutdown was announced connecting Williamsburg to Manhattan, sales and rent volume and pricing had dropped notably. (Bloomberg)
DID YOU KNOW? New York had more than 264,000 tech workers in 2018, a 20% jump from 2013. There are around 330,000 financial services workers in New York. San Francisco employs around 220,000 people in the financial services industry and 387,000 in tech. (BLOOMBERG)
DID YOU KNOW? A 2018 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey found half of 6,372 workers polled don’t expect to retire at 65, and 13% plan never to retire. The number of people who plan to retire after 65 has increased threefold since 1995, according to Gallup. America’s average retirement age has increased in the past 25 years to 66 or older. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Megxit? Brexit? London property markets are showing signs of new life! Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu is close to breaking London’s house-price record with the purchase of a 45-room mansion in Knightsbridge overlooking Hyde Park for more than $262 million, shattering the New York penthouse sale price at 220 Central Park South.
DID YOU KNOW? While soaring retail rents in cities has helped damage retail – aside from the onslaught of digital commerce – farmers are experiencing similar woes where lots of farmland have become too expensive to run a profitable farm. It’s not easy anywhere! (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? In 1975, the median age at first marriage was 23.5 for men and 21.1 for women, according to the Census Bureau. In 2018, it was almost 30 and 28, respectively.
“We only have a limited amount of square footage here. In South Florida, someone could develop a new golf course 2 miles away from an old golf course. It’s not that way in Aspen; we only have X amount of developable square feet. For the most part, it’s all been developed.” – Steven Shane, Compass, Aspen. The average price of a single-family house in Aspen was $7.4 million through October, compared to $6.9 million for the first 10 months of 2018. Strict zoning limits on future expansion and development keep valuations up, up, up. (Aspen Times)
“Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.” – Warren Buffet, who is sitting on almost $130 billion of cash….
DID YOU KNOW? Eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, maintaining healthy body weight, not drinking excessively and never smoking could prevent Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. To be the best at what you do, never underestimate the importance of your HEALTH. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? More U.S. homeowners refinanced their properties in 2019 than at any time since 2016; volumes in 2019 were $678 billion, up from $458 billion in 2018.
DID YOU KNOW? Around 36% of workers are part of the “gig economy”, working multiple or freelance jobs. The standard mortgage application process doesn’t make it easy for these workers, which requires W2 forms that these individuals may not have. The Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act would enable lenders to accept alternative forms of income and job verifications. The enactment of this law would be a boon to millions of Americans who want to take part in the American Dream of owning a home. (Marketwatch)
CORRECTION: Yesterday I referred to the earth’s area as 197 square miles……when in actuality its 197 MILLION square miles!
DID YOU KNOW? Metro areas with populations of 100,000 or more represent 85% of the U.S. population.
DID YOU KNOW? An additional 371,000 new rental units are expected to hit the U.S. market in 2020, a 50% percent increase over the number of new units completed in 2019. Developers want you to rent instead of buying. If rentals are supposed to combat the unaffordability of the housing market one has to wonder why 80% of these rentals are LUXURY rentals. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? A new bill is circulating in Washington would ease some new restrictions on the EB-5 program, which governs visas that grant permanent U.S. residency to foreigners who invest in qualifying real-estate projects and other businesses that create jobs in the U.S. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Package theft is at an all-time high, with 1.7 million packages stolen or lost every day in the U.S., according to researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Maybe the best building/home amenity is secured package drop-off? Amazon has installed secure locker locations in 900 U.S. cities and now offers Amazon Key, which allows customers to give remote access to delivery drivers so they can leave packages inside the home, garage or car trunk.
DID YOU KNOW? Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the wealthiest areas of the USA, 50 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, saw an 11% sales volume decline in 2019. Only 13% of all sales were above $4 million. The average sales price was $2.4 million, dispelling the myth that all homes in Greenwich are for billionaires alone! Off-market sales accounted for 9% of all transactions.
DID YOU KNOW? New York, Miami, Houston, and Chicago have the highest percentage of mortgages 30 days past due for the ten largest metro areas. (Corelogic)
DID YOU KNOW? A new report from Experian found that the average FICO Score in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2019 of 703, up from 701 a year earlier and 14 points higher than back in 2010. Altogether, 59% of Americans have a FICO Score of 700 or higher, the largest percentage ever at that threshold.
DID YOU KNOW? New York was identified as the 8th most affordable large city in the USA in a report evaluating the TOP 20 largest city economies in the USA: Miami, Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Atlanta were the TOP 5. While New Yorkers spend a significant portion of their incomes on housing and transportation, the city’s low transportation costs help offset high housing costs. Transportation costs in New York City are the least expensive among the peer cities analyzed, with the median household spending $832 a month, or 14.4% of total income on transportation. (Citizens Budget Commission)
“The decade that just ended is clearly the warmest decade on record. Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before.” – Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The past decade had eight of the 10 hottest years on record.
DID YOU KNOW? The U.S. economy’s two most interest-sensitive sectors, construction, and durable goods manufacturing fell to 10% of national output in 2018 from 20% in 1967. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? A penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street in Boston fetched $34 million, coming in just shy of the most expensive home sale in the city’s history: a penthouse at the Millennium Tower that sold for $35 million in 2016. (Mansion)
DID YOU KNOW? Borrowers over 65 account for roughly 10% of all mortgages originated annually, according to reports by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? If you want to get a better idea of the value of some home improvement items, check THIS out. (Thanks Peter Monti for sending!)
DID YOU KNOW? Lower interest rates, and especially a flat yield curve – short-term rates similar to long-term rates – are very tough for banks because they cannot make that interest rate spread on mortgages. Riskier loans may or may not be a source of alternative profits. Banks could take the “easy road” by restricting lending as margins are squeezed. Some could even follow the lead of JPMorgan, which is now selling loans at a profit instead of lending. In the year through August, JP Morgan slashed its loan portfolio by $27.7 billion. (NY POST)
DID YOU KNOW? Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase over the past year have restarted or expanded the business of spinning fresh pools of mortgages into securities. They are adding a jolt of energy to efforts to revive the so-called private-label market for mortgage bonds, which virtually disappeared after it blew up during the financial crisis of 2008. Smaller operators have long tried, but mostly failed, to rebuild what was once among the most significant businesses on Wall Street. In 2018 around $70 billion of mortgages ended up in private-label mortgage bonds, according to the Urban Institute. Though that is far below a peak of more than $1 trillion in pre-crisis years, it is the most since 2007. (WSJ)
“Now we have a new data revolution that is much bigger. Google Ngrams is one part of this explosion of big data that gives analysts, researchers and quantitative hedge funds the ability to see nearly real-time data about foot traffic in high-street retailers or mentions of a certain brand on social media.” – Robert Shiller (FN)
DID YOU KNOW? Oil prices surged close to 10% after a major attack on Saudi Arabian refineries over the weekend. Why does this matter? The USA is still highly reliant oil. The average American spends about $2,000 per year on gas. A surge in oil and gas prices is the equivalent of a tax on the US consumer.
DID YOU KNOW? The Solar Energy Industries Association forecast 17% growth this year to 12.6 gigawatts in its quarterly joint report with consultants Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. That’s down from a forecast of 25% growth earlier this year. However, the report raised the 5-year growth forecast by 6.7 gigawatts, citing strong solar commitment from utilities. The pipeline of contracted large-scale installations for utilities stands at a record 37.9 gigawatts or roughly half the level of solar currently installed in the USA. Compared with 2018, residential system prices this year are 6.8% lower while utility systems are between 10 – 11.4% cheaper. If utility companies see value in solar, homeowners should too? (Reuters)
DID YOU KNOW? As of yesterday afternoon, there is a 65.8% chance that the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75% to 2% tomorrow.
‘I’m bullish on U.S. businesses, global businesses. We’re not in some defensive posture where we’re mostly in cash or anything like that. The strategy that has been used on the investments is to be over 60% in equities.’ – Bill Gates.
DID YOU KNOW? How will real estate adjust to this new-ish phenomenon: A recent survey of retirees and pre-retirees (ages 55 to 71) who’ve retired within the past 2 years or plan to retire in the next 2 years and had at least $100,000 in assets revealed 27% said they plan to work part-time in retirement and 17% said they expect to gradually reduce their hours before stopping work entirely. Among the retirees, 19% are working part-time and 17% have reduced their working hours. (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? The rise of e-commerce has pushed up warehouse rents and made industrial buildings one of the hottest sectors in real estate. Now, a slowing economy and trade dispute between the U.S. and China threaten that boom. In a new report, trade group NAIOP forecasts that less new industrial space will be occupied over the next two years, compared to the past two years. The group says the difference between new space being occupied and old space being vacated will drop to 37 million square feet per quarter over the next two years, down from 60 million over the past 2 years. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? The dollar volume of industrial properties sold in the U.S. is on track to break its 2017 record this year, according to a July report from Real Capital Analytics. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? 65% of CFOs say the U.S. economy will not experience a recession in 2020, and they hold this belief even though they do not support the view that more interest-rate cuts are needed from the Federal Reserve to keep the economic expansion going. The majority of CFOs say that the current level of interest rates are “appropriate.” (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? ESG – environmental, social and governance matters – is a hot topic amongst the wealthy: Super-rich families are increasingly including sustainability and ethics in founding principles of their private investment firms, according to Fabrizio Campelli of Deutsche Bank. Family offices are now putting ESG in their investment charters. There are some family offices in California that can’t invest less than 40% of their assets in ESG, he said. Demographic shifts are encouraging a surge of activity designed around investments to combat climate change, address inequality or simply to encourage companies to operate in a more sustainable fashion. Assets managed using a broad definition of the approach reached $30.7 trillion at the start of 2018, about a third more than two years before, according to a report funded by a group of financial companies.
DID YOU KNOW? Millennials, those born from 1978 to 1992, will be responsible for 50% of spending in the personal luxury market by 2025. 73% of consumers under age 34 reported being more willing to spend extra on a brand they consider to be environmentally and socially sustainable, according to Nielsen’s research.
DID YOU KNOW? The global economy is set to grow at the slowest pace since the financial crisis, with business investment and trade hampered by an escalating dispute between the U.S. and China that could inflict even more damage over coming years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Thursday. The Paris-based research body said it now expects world output of goods and services to increase by 2.9% this year, the smallest annual rise since 2009. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Have I mentioned once or twice that real estate loves low interest rates? Well, rates were lowered further by the Fed yesterday as expected (cut interest rates by a quarter-point to a target range of 1.75% to 2%, along with a 30-basis-point cut to the interest paid on so-called excess reserves), but as importantly, home building in the U.S. increased in August to the highest level since June 2007, according to Commerce Department. The report cues a positive note for the American housing industry in what has been a year marked by lagging home sales and sluggish single-family construction. Housing starts, a measure of new-home construction, climbed 12.3% in August from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.364 million. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Residential building permits, which can signal how much construction is in the pipeline, rose 7.7% from July to an annual pace of 1.419 million. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? More than 40% of homeowners have experienced damage to their home from drastic weather changes in the fall and winter, according to new research. The survey of 2,000 homeowners found that extreme weather has caused issues for 45% of homeowners. The average cost per year for those who experience weather-related damage is $3,497. Some routine maintenance can prevent this damage: what about messaging doing routine maintenance to prepare for winter to your clients now? (NY POST)
DID YOU KNOW? US-China trade talks have apparently hit an impass after several weeks of solid hope that a deal was about to be struck. This deal is a critical factor for the US economy right now and one we need to watch closely. Markets don’t like uncertainty. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Roughly 25% of millennials say they receive financial support from their parents for rent, mortgage and student loan payments.13% say their parents pay all of their rent or mortgage. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? The number of households with student loan debt doubled from 1998 to 2016 (Pew). The median amount of loan debt millennials carried was $19,000, significantly higher than Gen-Xers’ balance of $12,800 at the same age. Middle-class life is now 30% more expensive than it was 20 years ago (That’s about 1.35% annual inflation). (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? IRS data for 2016 show that the so-called 1% of taxpayers earning more than $500,000 in adjusted gross income included 1.3 million of the total 150.3 million returns filed that year. (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? What was the job most billionaires had before making their billions? SALES. Sales is the driver of ALL business. Sales is the fundamental aspect to all businesses and without it, businesses could not and would survive. Sales are the oxygen of business. No great leader doesn’t understand this. Few – if any – super-successful entrepreneurs are bad at sales or don’t fully appreciate the role sales play in every organization. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose to a near 1-1/2-year high in March, boosted by lower mortgage rates and house prices. New home sales increased 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units last month, the highest level since November 2017. February’s sales pace was revised down to 662,000 units from the previously reported 667,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for 11.7% of housing market sales, decreasing 2.5% to a pace of 650,000 units in March. The median new house price dropped 9.7% to $302,700 in March from a year ago, the lowest level since February 2017. The drop was because of an increase in the share of homes sold in the $200,000-$300,000 price range.(Reuters)
DID YOU KNOW? While many people retiring might fantasize about a big move, most stay within their own state. The Census Bureau estimates that only 348,000 people moved last year for retirement reasons. These are the 10 most popular retirement cities…
1. Henderson, Nev. 2. San Antonio, Texas 3. Scottsdale, Ariz. 4. Mesa, Ariz. 5. Las Vegas, Nev. 6. Gilbert, Ariz. 7. Surprise, Ariz. 8. Raleigh, N.C. 9. Eugene, Ore. 10. Peoria, Ariz.
DID YOU KNOW? The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record highs yesterday as strong earnings and Wall Street optimism bolstered retail and health-care companies. The Dow also ended the day with healthy gains. In earnings news, almost 80% of companies to report so far have beaten expectations. (Barrons)
DID YOU KNOW? NIkla Ahola from Compass Naples sent us news that Naples has been voted again the HAPPIEST, HEALTHIEST CITY IN THE USA for the 4th year in a row by Gallup! Salinas, Santa Rosa, Boulder and Ann Arbor came in second through fifth respectively.