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Did you know??

I was especially pleased to note that COMPASS still has zero debt and almost $1 billion in cash and cash equivalents, positioning us with great strength for the coming years. (When interest rates rise carrying massive debt becomes more expensive.) These two rather important aspects of our quarterly results were omitted/forgotten/negligently un-reported by some. Beware of those fueling false/incomplete narratives: they almost ALWAYS have an agenda…..

As of this past December, 61% of the population in the United States was living paycheck to paycheck, according to a collaborative report from PYMNTS and LendingClub.

Cape Town is to source electricity from independent producers, the first South African city to do so and a sign of increased frustration with the government’s inability to reform the blackout-prone state-owned Eskom power monopoly. Denton and Georgetown – in Texas – as two US cities that are almost 100% self sufficient, creating their own energy from Wind Power.  Burlington, VT, a city of 42,000 citizens is not large by US standards, gets 100% of the city electricity from renewable sources. Not only is its electricity clean, but it’s affordable too. The city hasn’t raised energy rates in eight years. Iceland is a country running on 100% renewable energy.  99.62% of the Costa Rica’s electricity comes from renewable energy as of 2019. (FT)

Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. So if you want to cut back on your driving expenses a wee bit, try slowing it down a wee bit too. (I suffer from lead-foot too!)

Data shows that an estimated 25% of internet users use ad-blockers. Marketers need to provide consumers with something that communicates their brand values in a way that truly resonates with them. Consumers like branded content because it’s less about selling products and more about providing value. 70% of consumers wanted to learn about products through content and responded positively to brands that provided them with thoughtful subject matter expertise. Branded content is the new way to build relationships. It intentionally serves the reader without interrupting them. It aims to communicate what the brand stands for, the kinds of stories it likes to champion and the kinds of ideas it wants to stand next to. It’s marketing for the 21st century.  (Ascend Integrated Media)
A snack before bedtime to promote sleep and weight loss? Tryptophan isn’t naturally found in the body, but foods that are rich in it include beans, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, and nuts. Fruits such as bananas, cherries, and tomatoes, plus walnuts and oats contain melatonin. Peanut butter, apples, and even avocado toast can help promote healthy sleep. Fruits, nuts, and oatmeal double as nutrient-rich foods that can help promote healthy blood sugar levels. Stay away from fried, fatty, high-carb, and sugary foods before bed. As well as spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine.
Over the past 54 years, long-term U.S. annual home price appreciation has remained around 4%. We’ve been well above the 4% trend line since 2012. Over the past 3 years, annual home price appreciation has reached 17% and more in some areas.
TRILLIONS of dollars were pumped into the US economy in 2020 and 2021 to avoid a recession/depression. It worked, but it has also fueled rising inflation. Now comes the challenge of taming that inflation by cooling excessive demand and consumer spending AND averting a recession by raising interest rates. Getting a party started with lots of free-flowing booze is the fun easy part….getting drunk guests calmly off the dance floor and denying them more booze at 3am is never easy….sometimes they have to fall over, exhausted! 😂🤔
 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are asking questions about the safety and soundness of condos and co-op buildings after the Surfside, Fla., tower collapse. There is little agreement on how to answer them. Only a structural engineer can answer many of these questions AFTER they have conducted a thorough, detailed inspection/evaluation of a building. Anyone living in a building today should check to see that their building is being effectively and regularly maintained and evaluated by an efficient board and managing agent. Join the board and get involved and be part of the process. Regular inspections and engineering evaluations make a big difference to keep buildings in tip-top shape. In the buildings I have owned we have performed engineering audits of all the building’s systems and structure to budget for immediate and future repairs and maintenance. Painful, expensive, but valuable. (WSJ)
Russia is the world’s top wheat exporter. Together with Ukraine, both account for roughly 29% of the global wheat export market. Will the world go GLUTEN-FREE now?
No, neither New York nor Palm Beach, nor Los Angeles just had a massive home sale…..Paris, France did!  $227 million for a 43,000sf historic mansion close to Notre Dame, the Hotel Lambert! 
What is a Russian Oligarch to do when sanctions hit? Live on a floating mansion? Billionaire Alisher Usmanov owns the largest super-yacht in the world – 512-feet in length with over 40,000sf living space – with an 82ft indoor swimming pool that costs roughly $60 million to maintain annually. It pays to be close to Putin…..
Overall in Russia, oil and gas provided 39% of the federal budget revenue and made up 60% of Russian exports in 2019. Russia’s economy is roughly the size of New York or Texas’ GDP or Florida and Georgia’s combined…..
COMPASS’ Ultra-Luxury Report was shared with The Luxury Division’s global wealth database of 35,000+ luxury consumers, a database that includes billionaire art and wine collectors, yacht owners, hedge fund managers, the richest tech peeps, the world’s top wealth advisors, and the leading brokers around the globe…putting COMPASS’ ultra-luxury insights into the hands of the world’s wealthiest consumers. Maybe they never remember the properties, but they WILL remember the brand COMPASS associated with the most faaaabulous real estate! That’s good for all of us.

Today in 1962 the first satellite telephone and television relays were established through the communications satellite Echo 1. The satellite was basically a big metallic balloon that simply bounced microwaves off its surface. Simple, but effective.

Tomer Fridman is selling a house/mansion in Beverly Hills that is so exceptional – at $88 million it ought to be! – but you really need to see it. It blew me away! And so too did it impress the editors of the Wall Street Journal….Here is a link to their story on the show-stopper! Every now and then when I want to dream, I log onto and browse the California meg-properties COMPASS has listed…..WOW!!!!!

The suburbs are back in a big way – globally – and Mark Pruner from COMPASS Greenwich was featured in this BLOOMBERG article on the subject. Inventory is at all-time lows and buyers working with a connected, likable agent have the advantage of knowing about the inventory that barely makes it to market first.

In select neighborhoods of Maryland, Virginia and New York, Black households produced children who went on to out-earn the national median as they matured into adulthood. Neighborhoods in Houston and Atlanta have results that show where targeted improvements are having a big impact too. Neighborhood qualities such as income and safety influence life outcomes, according to the Census Bureau. Residential areas with low levels of incarceration and more relaxed racial attitudes produce more upwardly mobile Black children. (CNBC)

Some economists expect 30-year fixed mortgage rates to increase to 4.3% by the end of 2022 and home sales to decline 5% …..and price growth to fall to 5%. (Barron’s)

 I’d expect inflation to rise in the next few months: OPEC’s purposeful oil under-production (to raise pricing) combined with the Russia-Ukraine conflict will fuel pricing on many commodities and food. The Ukraine is a massive wheat producer….pricing soared 5% overnight. Owning hard assets – like real estate – in these times may be extremely wise…..

Agents drive LOTS in a day. Spiking fuel costs will add to your cost of doing business, but here are some tips to cut back fuel consumption:
– Drive only when needed. Plan your trips. Could you walk shorter trips?
– Make sure the gas cap is on tight. 147 million gallons of gas were lost last year due to evaporation due to gas caps not fully tightened.
– Avoid idling. But only do this when it is safe to do so
– Accelerate and break steadily. A heavy foot will always result in reduced gas mileage and poor fuel consumption
– Drive the speed limit. Always try to drive at or near the speed limit. The faster you drive, the worse your gas mileage and fuel consumption will be.
– Coast when possible. Constantly accelerating and braking only wastes fuel and reduces your car’s fuel consumption. So, whenever possible, coast and avoid burning excess fuel.
– Use cruise control on the highways. 55 miles per hour is the perfect speed for maximum fuel efficiency
– Make your car more aerodynamic. Remove the roof racks, etc.
– Keep the windows closed. The more aerodynamic your vehicle remains, the better your car’s fuel efficiency especially at higher speeds.
– Minimize air conditioning. Summer heat of course makes air conditioning essential. Air conditioning on a low setting is still more efficient than open windows.
– Replace dirty air filters that cause your car’s engine to work much harder than it has to and always results in poor fuel economy.
– Maintain proper tire inflation. Improperly inflated tires can reduce your car’s fuel economy by up to 5% in some cases.
– Reduce weight in the vehicle. Get rid of any unnecessary items in your car’s trunk or other areas of the vehicle. For every 100 pounds of weight in the vehicle, your car’s fuel economy decreases by about 1-2%
The above can save you 10-15% in fuel consumption. For some lead-footers like myself, even more!

Home heating bills are up: for every 1 degree you reduce your thermostat, you can save 1-3% on your heating oil – for the average New England house a 5 degree temperature reduction could save about $100. Programmable smart thermostats can save you even more! (

Huge corporate profits would seem impossible if all profits were being eaten up by rising costs and supply chain issues…..yet Q4 profits of most US companies soared. Profits for S&P 500 companies rose 22% in the 4th quarter and nearly 50% in 2021, estimates show…..a wee bit higher than inflation I’d say! Berkshire Hathaway’s net earnings were up around 11%, about $90 billion in 2021. Big profits may be at the expense of consumers being charged a wee bit more than those rising cost arguments, but some of that profit comes back to the US treasury in the form of taxes. Berkshire pays the U.S. Treasury about $9 million a day in income taxes.  (CNBC)

The federal government sold a record $4.37 billion sale of 6 offshore wind leases off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. Once the sites are fully developed, the sale of more than 488,000 acres is expected to produce up to 7 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. Texas’ total wind capacity now stands over 32 GW:  nearly 20% of its electricity now comes from wind. Iowa produces 11GW, Kansas 7GW and Oklahoma 9GW. As of the end of 2020, the US produces over 122 GW of wind energy capable of powering around 35 million homes. Nuclear energy produces over 95 GW.

New Home sales were down 4.5% in January. Annualized that’s about 801,000 homes per year. (CNBC)


For some perspective on the potential impact on world economies from the Russian-Ukraine conflict, here are some notes about the Russia-Ukraine conflict and how it MAY impact markets:

– Russia is a marginal player in the global economy outside of commodities.

– Russia’s economy is about the size of New York or Texas’ economy.

– European economies could be most impacted with potential soaring energy costs.

– Russia is a marginal player in the global economy playing a tiny role in global supply chains. Even countries in Central and Eastern Europe only send 1-3% of their exports to Russia.

– The US is close to energy independent (and this will fuel more energy independence investment!)

– Only 0.1% of sales by S&P 500 companies go to Russia.

– The US and global economies have strong momentum entering this crisis with forecasts of 3.6% US growth and 3.5% Euro Area growth in 2022, Global growth of 4.3%. (BoFa Research)


Europe installed 17.4 gigawatts of wind power capacity in 2021, a record amount and an 18% increase compared to 2020, yet not enough to meet energy and climate goals. 


Agents drive LOTS in a day. Spiking fuel costs will add to your cost of doing business, but here are some tips to cut back fuel consumption:
– Drive only when needed. Plan your trips. Could you walk shorter trips?
– Make sure the gas cap is on tight. 147 million gallons of gas were lost last year due to evaporation due to gas caps not fully tightened.
– Avoid idling. But only do this when it is safe to do so
– Accelerate and break steadily. A heavy foot will always result in reduced gas mileage and poor fuel consumption
– Drive the speed limit. Always try to drive at or near the speed limit. The faster you drive, the worse your gas mileage and fuel consumption will be.
– Coast when possible. Constantly accelerating and braking only wastes fuel and reduces your car’s fuel consumption. So, whenever possible, coast and avoid burning excess fuel.
– Use cruise control on the highways. 55 miles per hour is the perfect speed for maximum fuel efficiency
– Make your car more aerodynamic. Remove the roof racks, etc.
– Keep the windows closed. The more aerodynamic your vehicle remains, the better your car’s fuel efficiency especially at higher speeds.
– Minimize air conditioning. Summer heat of course makes air conditioning essential. Air conditioning on a low setting is still more efficient than open windows.
– Replace dirty air filters that cause your car’s engine to work much harder than it has to and always results in poor fuel economy.
– Maintain proper tire inflation. Improperly inflated tires can reduce your car’s fuel economy by up to 5% in some cases.
– Reduce weight in the vehicle. Get rid of any unnecessary items in your car’s trunk or other areas of the vehicle. For every 100 pounds of weight in the vehicle, your car’s fuel economy decreases by about 1-2%
The above can save you 10-15% in fuel consumption. For some lead-footers like myself, even more!

Home heating bills are up: for every 1 degree you reduce your thermostat, you can save 1-3% on your heating oil – for the average New England house a 5 degree temperature reduction could save about $100. Programmable smart thermostats can save you even more! (

I love a good CATCH story….Bill Andruss of COMPASS Greenwich’s listing which appeared last week in Compass Catch, has already gone to contract — an indicator of how fast well-priced homes are moving in Greenwich.  Within 7 days, there were 40 showings, 5 offers and now it has a signed contract.  Colleague Julie Grace Burke brought the buyer, win-win for the Compass Greenwich office.

Huge corporate profits would seem impossible if all profits were being eaten up by rising costs and supply chain issues…..yet Q4 profits of most US companies soared. Profits for S&P 500 companies rose 22% in the 4th quarter and nearly 50% in 2021, estimates show…..a wee bit higher than inflation I’d say! Berkshire Hathaway’s net earnings were up around 11%, about $90 billion in 2021. Big profits may be at the expense of consumers being charged a wee bit more than those rising cost arguments, but some of that profit comes back to the US treasury in the form of taxes. Berkshire pays the U.S. Treasury about $9 million a day in income taxes.  (CNBC)

Thanks to Meg Wood of COMPASS Chicago for pointing out the importance of interior and EXTERIOR virtual staging. I have attached a before and after……no words!

The federal government sold a record $4.37 billion sale of 6 offshore wind leases off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. Once the sites are fully developed, the sale of more than 488,000 acres is expected to produce up to 7 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power nearly 2 million homes. Texas’ total wind capacity now stands over 32 GW:  nearly 20% of its electricity now comes from wind. Iowa produces 11GW, Kansas 7GW and Oklahoma 9GW. As of the end of 2020, the US produces over 122 GW of wind energy capable of powering around 35 million homes. Nuclear energy produces over 95 GW.

Housing has made a smaller contribution to inflation so far—0.6 of the 5.5 points of excess inflation—but given the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures them, housing prices are likely to rise sharply this year. This is a problem. But, it was also a big problem before the pandemic, when rents were rising by nearly 4% annually. Housing affordability is a serious issue in the U.S.  Over the past year, prices overall have risen by 7.5%, far above the usual 2% inflation target set by the Federal Reserve. But 70% of that 5.5 points of excess inflation has come from two categories that make up just 15% of the consumption basket: energy (2 points) and new and used cars (1.9 points). Used cars alone make up barely 4% of the consumption basket, but accounted for a third of the excess inflation. Pricing should correct the moment car production is corrected and energy prices come down once geopolitical instability settles. Home/rent prices could remain high and head higher and become the lead driver of painful inflation. Constraining monetary supply may make this worse, not better. (Barrons)

DID YOU KNOW? Wealthy Russians who parked money in Florida’s ‘Little Moscow’ – Sunny Isles – worry they’ll be blacklisted from buying or owning luxury real estate in the US and other parts of the world. The extent of sanctions against Russians is uncertain at this moment. Russia’s elite are estimated to have more than $1 trillion in offshore accounts and lots of that money is invested in Florida real estate, although they own property around the globe, including New York, London and Paris. (Business Insider)

Have you ever built a successful and impactful habit? It’s not easy…but with a couple minutes of daily effort, we can establish new habits in just 21 days! As we close out Black History Month, our COMPASS New England Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Council is launching a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. To join the challenge, all you have to do is dedicate 2 or so minutes a day to learning about inequity in our world, and how we can all create positive and lasting change together. Here is a list of resources you can read, watch, or listen…find the method that works best for you! Knowledge of facts, awareness, taking accurate inventory, understanding and learning almost always lead to improvement.

The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage had risen close to a full percentage point from the start of this year up until last Friday, when it hit 4.18%. It is headed below 4% Tuesday. (CNBC)

The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals – those with $30 million or more in net assets – increased 9.3% annually, to total 610,568 last year. The 5 countries that had the largest increase in the ultra-wealthy populations were the U.S. (13%), U.K. (11%), France (10%), Japan (8%), and Chinese mainland (6%). Scott Dancer of COMPASS is listing the most expensive property in the area….asking $110 million! Aaron Kirman of COMPASS Los Angeles is listing the most expensive home in the USA….$300 million! COMPASS sells luxury! (Barrons)

Opendoor – the i-buying entity –  told investors on Tuesday that it has $5.7 billion in unsold real estate inventory. (Housingwire)

DID YOU KNOW?  If you do not have a budget for a fully produced video, learning to take quality footage yourself can be a major marketing asset and skill worth exploring…..and then send it in to be professionally edited. A professional edit can make all the difference. This is one company we use that also helps train budding Steven Spielbergs:

DID YOU KNOW?  I have been chatting to many agents in the suburbs and most tell me that the “2020 rush” was not just a blip. The suburbs are back and it looks like these markets have legs for sustained strength after a few years of some unfair de-valuation in areas. Now the cities are coming back strong too, with record-setting activity after many months of hybernation.

DID YOU KNOW? Smart mattresses keep us comfortable also collect reams of data about our sleep quality, heart rate, and respiration.

DID YOU KNOW? Some smart thermostats are monitoring the air quality in our homes.

DID YOU KNOW? Some companies now sell smart pill bottles that light up, chime, or fire off text messages when patients miss a scheduled dose.

DID YOU KNOW? Google has patented an optical sensor that enables smart mirrors to monitor our cardiovascular health by detecting subtle changes in skin color. And you thought home health tech was filtered fresh air!

DID YOU KNOW? Amazon has patented a system that could prompt our smart speakers to order cough drops when they overhear a sniffle…..

DID YOU KNOW? As the U.S. housing market booms, a parallel rise in residential real-estate prices across the world from Amsterdam to Auckland is raising fears of possible bubbles and prompting some governments to intervene to prevent their markets from overheating. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW?  Everyone can agree that the USA is long overdue for a major infrastructure effort. Few can agree on how to pay for it…. Will increased taxes pay for it? Here are some items on the table:
* Payroll tax increase on high-income households $740bn
* Corporate income tax increase from 21 to 28 per cent $730bn
* Minimum tax on foreign earnings of US companies $440bn
* Higher capital gains and dividend taxes for ultra-wealthy $370bn
* Individual income tax increase for high earners $310bn
Will these increased taxes on the wealthier cool the high end of the real estate markets or will a booming economy and equity markets offset this? Will higher federal taxes further fuel the desire to live in low and no-state-income-taxes?

“Given the incredible amount of stimulus that has been unleashed, there is a possibility we see a real surge in inflation. The question is whether it is transitory or becomes permanent and structural, and there is a much higher chance that it becomes entrenched than any other time over the past 12 years.” – Ken Griffin

DID YOU KNOW? About 94,000 new in-ground residential pools were built in 2020, based on permit data through September, according to Janay Rickwalder, a spokesperson for the industry research group Pool & Hot Tub Alliance. This represents a 21% jump from 2019, and states such as Arizona, Texas and Florida saw permits rise by 30%. Pools add value to a home, and especially rental value. But this has to be weighed up against the additional maintenance and insurance costs.

DID YOU KNOW?  If I was a PREMIER PARTNER of yours and paid you lots of money every year, would you ever say something bad about me?  Note how some of the ‘press’ have paying ‘premier partners’….. who never seem to get anything less than glowing press…..and lots of it. 🤔

DID YOU KNOW?  Is earning $400,000/year rich? Most would say yes….except many of those who earn $400k and more! And much depends on where you live and what that money buys. Federal tax thinking almost ignores cost-of-living. $400k is what the Federal government is now using as its benchmark to define ‘wealthy’….. But the REALLY wealthy pay lower EFFECTIVE tax rates than the ‘merely wealthy’…..For example, in 2015 the effective tax rate peaked at:
* 29.3% for taxpayers who earned $2-$5 million
* 28.8% for taxpayers who earned $5-$10 million
* 25.9% for taxpayers who earned $10 million or more
If all were treated equally, could you bring tax rates DOWN? 🤔

DID YOU KNOW? Billionaire mortgage mogul Dan Gilbert will fund his $500 million Detroit-focused philanthropic initiative with the proceeds from a stock sale earlier this week. Gilbert’s new philanthropic initiative was unveiled on March 25 and includes $350 million from the Gilbert Family Foundation and $150 million from the Rocket Community Fund. The initial $15 million announced last week will be used to pay back-due property taxes for about 20,000 low-income residents in the city of Detroit. (CRAINS)

DID YOU KNOW? March 25, 2021, will be remembered as a tragic day across Alabama and Georgia: one of the high-impact, exceptionally long-tracked tornadoes resulting in 5 lives lost and an estimated excess of 9,000 properties damaged. (CORELOGIC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Is the trend growing whereby you list a property for a ridiculous, attention-grabbing, headline-garnering price and then auction it later to make the buyer feel like they bought a bargain? Another property sold at auction for $60 million that was originally asking $165 million….a 63.6% discount….hmmmmm…. 🤔

DID YOU KNOW? All of us are constantly exhaling moisture-laden air. Whenever we breathe, speak, cough or sneeze, we expel saliva and respiratory fluids that can potentially carry the COVID virus to a new host. Masks reduce risk by forming a barrier to these, but we can’t wear them while eating and drinking. A quiet restaurant is probably safer than a really loud one as it relates to spreading droplets: when people shout they likely emit far greater amounts of aerosol droplets. 35% or over have been vaccinated in Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Maine. 62% of US states are over 30%…..and the death rate has dropped by 31% over the past 2 weeks. Yet new cases are UP 20%….. please remain careful…..getting closer every day….

DID YOU KNOW? From individuals with smartphones and a few thousand dollars to pensions and private-equity firms with billions, yield-chasing investors are snapping up single-family houses to rent out or flip. They are competing for houses with ordinary Americans, who are armed with the cheapest mortgage financing ever and driving up home prices. 
“You now have permanent capital competing with a young couple trying to buy a house,” said John Burns
DID YOU KNOW? GREENWICH Connecticut market’s 1st Quarter had a 93% increase in single-family sales over the 1st Quarter of 2020, with a total of 199 homes sold.
* For the same period, the dollar volume increased an amazing 169% to more than $591 million.
* There were 10 sales over $7,500,000 in the 1st Quarter vs. ZERO last year.

* Homes pricedt from $2,000,000 – $2,999,999 had the largest number of transactions: 49.
* The average price rose by 39% to $2,973,021 and the Median price rose 31% to $2,250,000.
Thanks, Bill Andruss for these insights!

DID YOU KNOW? The infrastructure plan being evaluated in DC aims to incentivize zoning for multi-family homes, which could increase the supply of affordable homes and provide even more people a path to homeownership, but there is no guarantee the incentives would be enough for local governments to change their zoning practices. Restrictive zoning has always been an issue with building affordable housing…..yet good zoning maintains the quality and character of neighborhoods too. Getting the balance right is the key! Affordable also should not be ugly – which is often the case – and governments should tap into local starchitects, many of whom would love to design more affordable housing options.

DID YOU KNOW? The pandemic has led to a surge of hobbies. This surge mirrors what happened during the Great Depression. Deprivation fuels creativity! (CNN)

DID YOU KNOW?  New Hampshire and New Mexico have vaccinated over 40% of their population already with at least one dose…..Maine, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Connecticut have over 23% of their populations fully vaccinated!

DID YOU KNOW?  When the 2.5 million homes come out of forbearance, we may see some real relief to the inventory shortages around the country…..thanks Steve Nasralla of COMPASS Chicago for pointing out this important point!

DID YOU KNOW?  Technology giant AMAZON has 589 bricks-and-mortar retail stores employing 100,000 people. Amazon’s e-commerce warehouses, package distribution centers and hubs for back-end computing gear occupied more than 190 million square feet of space in North America at the end of 2019, bigger than the footprint of Kroger’s nearly 2,800 traditional bricks-and-mortar supermarkets.

DID YOU KNOW?  In the USA – even during the pandemic – only about 14% of the stuff we buy is spent online. In some categories, like books and electronics, online shopping is well over 50% of all purchases.  (NY TIMES)

DID YOU KNOW?  Signed contracts for single-family houses in Palm beach priced at $10 million or more surged 306% in March compared to 2020, a lockdown month, so a somewhat skewered datapoint, yet the biggest gain since the pandemic started. For condos priced at $5 million or more, deals jumped 392%. (Bloomberg)

DID YOU KNOW? Robust home price growth, which averaged 5.7% nationally over the last year, drove equity of America’s homeowners with a mortgage up by more than $1.5 trillion. Added together across all homeowners in the U.S., home equity has grown more than $12 trillion since its low point during the Great Recession. (CORELOGIC)

“I don’t think the rich mind paying a bit more but I don’t think they want to pay more if they’re being told they’re terrible
 – Terry Liftin speaking about the proposed new taxes on the wealthy in New York.

DID YOU KNOW? Rent proposals made during the first quarter suggest that many companies in the biggest markets—including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Los Angeles—are embracing an emerging hybrid model: maintaining a shrunken office presence while allowing employees to work remotely at least part-time. Leases are cheaper too…..up to 13% lower! (WSJ) 

DID YOU KNOW? The median household net worth in the U.S. is $121,700, but it’s almost double that for those in their late 50s and early 60s. The average net worth, which tends to skew higher due to high-earning outliers, is $1,175,900. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? Lance Pendleton, Head of Agent Development, has asked me to share a message from him that seems like a great opportunity.  Lance speaks to hundreds of agents every week and the one question he gets above all others… “What are you hearing other agents saying or doing that is having the biggest impact on their business.” The next most common thing he hear is agents tell him that they are too busy to attend training or coaching sessions. Lance has now started his Inner Circle Community where he collects the best tips from your colleagues and industry experts across the country and shares them with you – all in under 60 seconds – once a week….every Monday morning via a text. Every Monday morning you’ll receive a ‘top tip’ Lance heard from one of your peers and some of his coaching best practices crafted to help you. To join, simply text Lance’s personal cell number, and you’re in! Just text (203) 350-7011 and say hello, or if you are reading this on a mobile device, you can click this link to text me and join!
“Taxes are going to have to go up; you can’t run a 10% to 15% deficit forever,” – Jamie Dimon, JP MORGAN CHASE

DID YOU KNOW? The average tax on a single-family home climbed 4.4% to $3,719, double the rate of increase in 2019. Nationwide, property taxes levied by counties rose to $323 billion from $306.4 billion. In 10 states the effective property tax rate is over 1.5% including New Jersey, Illinois, Nebraska, Connecticut, Texas, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Cities with the largest increase in property taxes include Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Atlanta, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Raleigh, and Columbus. (Attom Data Solutions)

DID YOU KNOW?  Because of the volatility tied to the industry-wide semiconductor shortage, Ford won’t take a traditional summer shutdown at most of its assembly plants in the U.S. to catch up for lost production. It’s planning to operate more U.S. assembly plants during more weeks this summer than it has in more than 15 years.  No one succeeds alone? 😉

DID YOU KNOW? The MacArthur Foundation is awarding Community Solutions with a $100 million grant, selecting the nonprofit out of 6 finalists in its global 100&Change competition. Community Solutions, based in New York City, will use the funds to expand its mission of ending homelessness to 75 U.S. communities in the next 5 years through its “Built for Zero” initiative. This data-based approach has been successful at ending chronic and veteran homelessness in 15 communities and reducing its prevalence in 50 others. The organization also has secured homes for 235,000 homeless individuals since 2010.

DID YOU KNOW? A recent survey found that 52% of listing agents reported an increase on the dollar value offered by buyers on staged homes in comparison to similar, unstaged homes with the biggest chunk reporting an increase of 1- 5%. 19% thought staging a home had no impact on its dollar value while 28% were not sure. (NAR)

DID YOU KNOW?  On last night’s CLUBHOUSE Compass Happy Hour, COMPASS Vail super-star Tye Stockton spoke about the Vail markets and how the need-for-speed and efficiency amongst the luxury market consumer has evolved. Experiential marketing is critical in differentiating yourself.

DID YOU KNOW?  The world is now home to 2,755 billionaires – a world record – and a startling 30% increase compared to a year ago (a moment when world markets had crashed due to COVID). 86% are richer than they were a year ago….and their combined net worth rose over $5 trillion from a year ago… Should high earners and companies that prospered in the coronavirus crisis pay additional tax to show solidarity with those who were hit hardest by the pandemic? The  IMF thinks a temporary tax would help to reduce social inequalities that have been exacerbated by the economic and health crisis of the past year….  McKenzie Scott already voluntarily donated $5.7 billion in 2020 and her ex Jeff Bezos over $10 billion!  Only $92 million in total was donated towards housing and homelessness (FT)

DID YOU KNOW?  Tech giant AMAZON plans to open 4 bricks-and-mortar grocery stores on the East Coast, based in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. They will mirror Amazon’s Fresh grocery chain. Amazon opened its first bricks-and-mortar Fresh grocery store in California in September and it has since expanded rapidly. APPLE has over 500 retail bricks-and-mortar outlets too. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Maine, and New Hampshire are US states with at least 40% of their entire population with at least one vaccine shot…..and 21%-25% are fully vaccinated! Florida and New York have the highest number of new cases, although Florida’s testing per capita is half that of New York’s.

DID YOU KNOW? U.K. fintech firm Revolut is expanding its definition of remote work to include overseas….. allowing its 2,000 employees to work from a different country for two months a year.

DID YOU KNOW? More money has gone into stock-based funds over the past five months than the previous 12 years combined, according to Bank of America. In raw numbers, $569 billion has flowed into global equity funds since November, compared to $452 billion going back to the beginning of the 2009-2020 bull market. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.13% for the week ending Apr. 8, 2021, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac. This is down five basis points from 3.18% last week, and down from 3.33% last year.

DID YOU KNOW? The economy is just starting a boom period, where 2nd quarter growth could top 10%, and 2021 could be the strongest year since 1984. The 2nd quarter is expected to be the strongest, but the boom is not expected to fizzle, and growth is expected to be stronger than during the pre-pandemic into 2022. A period of supercharged growth is just starting, and it’s showing up in surging consumer spending and in an increasing shortage of skilled workers. With surging demand could come inflation, something the economy has avoided for more than two decades…..real estate is considered a good hedge against inflation. Already replacement/building costs are surging…..

DID YOU KNOW? Bank of America estimates Americans have $3.5 trillion in bank accounts they didn’t have before the pandemic, both from government checks and savings….. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? ‘Regenerative’ and ‘regenerated’ are replacing ‘sustainable’ as the marketing words du jour in fashion circles…. (FT)

DID YOU KNOW?  Ever dream of escaping the rat race for an island in the Caribbean? La Soufriere volcano on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted yesterday after decades of inactivity, sending dark plumes of ash and smoke billowing into the sky and forcing thousands from surrounding villages to evacuate. It’s perfect nowhere!

DID YOU KNOW? Apple is considering making an Apple TV streaming device that would have a built-in speaker and a camera for video conferencing. Its trying to jazz up its home offerings given its more limited traction in the category relative to Amazon which offer cheaper home speakers and streaming sticks. Apple is also contemplating a product that would combine a HomePod speaker with an iPad and also have a camera for video calls, according to the Bloomberg report. The touch-screen device may have a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room. (Bloomberg)

DID YOU KNOW? Big foreign investment firms that buy office buildings, hotels and shopping centers around the world have a new favorite real-estate play: single-family homes in American suburbs. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? About 4.8 million millennials are turning 30 in 2021, and many are expected to enter the home-buying game if they haven’t already. Many are clearly aware that their first home will not be their dream home. The oldest millennials turn 40 this year…..and may be seeking their second or third home already! 
43% of first-time millennial homebuyers have been looking for more than a year. 44% say they still need more money for a down payment and other closing costs. 34% say they can’t find a house in their budget…..causing them to leave larger urban centers. Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Florida and Washington are the US states attracting the majority of them.

DID YOU KNOW? Of those Americans 65 and older, 78% have received at least one COVID dose, and 61% are fully vaccinated. Over 120 million vaccines have been administered. 8.2 million shots this past weekend alone!

DID YOU KNOW?  In 2020 Last year global lenders were hit with $10.4bn in penalties for money-laundering violations, an increase of more than 80% in 2019, according to Fenergo, a compliance software firm. Money laundering globally is around $1.6 trillion per year or 2.7% of global GDP. (Economist)

DID YOU KNOW? The consumer-price index—which measures what consumers pay for everyday items including groceries, clothing, recreational activities, and vehicles—jumped 2.6% in the year ended March, the biggest 12-month increase since August 2018, and rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in March from February. Nearly 50% of the monthly increase was due to a 9.1% jump in gasoline prices, which have climbed partly due to production problems following severe winter storms and OPEC production cuts. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Members of the wealthy baby boom generation are meticulously planning their golden years, from first-floor Primary suites to who their neighbors will be. Groups of friends—many of them empty-nesters—are increasingly buying properties in the same housing developments, preserving or re-creating their social circles from back home. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? In January 2021, 5.6% of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), a small decrease from December 2020, and the fifth consecutive monthly decrease. While this is good news, the overall delinquency rate remained high and was 2.1 percentage points above the year-ago level. (CORELOGIC)

DID YOU KNOW? Google reported that the search “When is the housing market going to crash?” had spiked 2,450% in the past month. At the start of April, 42% of homes were selling for more than their list price, 16 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier. Nearly 75% of the 100 largest U.S. housing markets saw annual home price growth of 10% or higher, according to Black Knight. Markets with the strongest price appreciation could be most at risk. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Over 70% of the damage that occurs from floods is uninsured. Every one of the approximately 125 million occupied homes in the U.S. has some degree of risk of flooding. While over 7 million U.S. homes have the potential to flood from hurricane storm surge, over 10 million additional homes are exposed to flood risk caused by overflow flooding of rivers and flash floods.

DID YOU KNOW? A bipartisan group of House lawmakers is trying to repeal the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions passed as part of the 2017 tax law that was especially brutal on suburban markets in higher state tax states. The ability to deduct nearly all state and local taxes was part of the 1913 federal income tax code. Some high-income households, however — about 5 million — are required to pay the alternative minimum tax, which reduces or eliminates the SALT deduction. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?’s monthly web traffic rose 19.17% to March 21st, 2021. (Similarweb)

DID YOU KNOW? Jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, fell to 576,000 last week from 769,000 a week earlier. That is the lowest weekly figure since March 2020. Claims remain higher than the pre-pandemic levels of around 220,000, but economists expect they will continue to drop as the recovery accelerates. The DOW closed at another record, above 34,000.

DID YOU KNOW? Mortgage rates fell this week, suggesting that the market isn’t too concerned about inflation just yet. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.04% for the week ending April 15, down nine basis points from the previous week and the second consecutive week in which benchmark mortgage rates declined. Last week was the first time since February that the interest rates on the 30-year home loan moved lower.

DID YOU KNOW?  Want to see into our future? China’s economy – which entered and exited the COVID-19 lockdowns first in 2020 – surged 18.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, a record rate of growth that reflected the recovery from a deep coronavirus-induced trough in early 2020. Anyone doubt what’s coming our way economically? Brace yourself for the ROAR of the roaring 20’s in the second quarter in the US…… (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? This year, the federal government’s publicly held debt is projected to hit 102% of the US’s GDP—the monetary value of all finished goods and services made in the country in a year, the highest debt-to-GDP ratio since 1946, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The annual deficit is expected to reach $2.3 trillion, or 10.3% of GDP, the 2nd-largest shortfall since 1945, behind last year’s record high of $3.1 trillion, or 14.9% of GDP. In 2019, Japan’s debt was equal to about 230% of its GDP. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW?  Of the 66 million fully vaccinated Americans, 5,800 – or 0.008% still caught COVID…..a remarkable success rate. 27% of these were asymptomatic.

DID YOU KNOW? The CDC has now authorized that mask-wearing is NOT required anymore outside where larger crowds are not present. YAY!!!!!  (PS: Everywhere I go it seems everyone I know has been vaccinated…..)
DID YOU KNOW?  It seems like just a few months ago we were blown away by the concept of a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR COMPANY……today we hear of the TWO Trillion-Dollar Company…..which may be a red flag about rapidly escalating asset valuations?

DID YOU KNOW?  Large tax increases are on the table for wealthier Americans……how could this impact real estate markets? Tough to tell at this moment, although some proposed laws could directly impact real estate investment. Maybe not as impactful on people’s homes. Massive new capital gains taxes are of deep concern to me. If someone earned $2 million in 2018 paid 50% in total taxes, how will it impact them paying 53%…..on $2.2 million in 2021 if their income rises? At the end of the day, most people may focus more on what they net……and until tax day most people don’t fully fathom the impact of taxation……we shall see…..

DID YOU KNOW? In the U.S. alone, the total value of owner-occupied real estate is roughly $32 trillion, nearly as much as the value of the entire U.S. stock market. And you can’t live in your stock portfolio. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? On average, Florida has 3,500 cloud-to-ground lightning flashes per day and 1.2 million flashes per year occur, during a recent 10-year study. Texas led the nation in lightning strikes in 2019, with 47,397,975 lightning strikes recorded. Oklahoma recorded 14,772,145 lightning strikes in 2019. The Top 5 cities with the highest lightning densities (out of cities with populations higher than 100,000) are not in Florida: #1 is Baton Rouge, LA, then Huntsville, AL, Shreveport, LA, Boise ID, and Abilene TX. Kansas has the loudest thunder!  (Vaisala)

DID YOU KNOW?  Violent crime in Arkansas (5.8/1,000) is triple that of Connecticut (1.8/1,000), and about 35% higher than New York (3.6/1,000) or Florida (3.8/1,000) ….and property crime in Arkansas (28.6/1,000)is double that of Connecticut (14.3/1,000)….AND New York (13.7/1,000). (SAFEWISE)


DID YOU KNOW?   You can now get real-time support right on Compass with Live Chat! Connect with your support team instantly to ask a question, find relevant help and Compass Academy content, provide feedback, and learn about the latest updates all without leaving the platform. Available for desktop, iOS, and Android!

DID YOU KNOW? Another Compass agent/manager Jennifer Branchini was elected as President-Elect of the California Association of Realtors for 2022 and will become President of the Association in 2023 – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!  (I believe the California Association of Realtors is the largest state Realtor association in the nation)….thanks, Michael Johnson for letting us know!

DID YOU KNOW? There were about 2,000 companies that entered the auto business in the USA in the 1900′s because investors and entrepreneurs expected the industry to have an amazing future. In 2009, there were four automakers left and two went bankrupt… (CNBC)

“The US economy has been resurrected in an extraordinarily effective way by monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and fiscal stimulus from the U.S.Congress.”
 – Warren Buffet. $5 trillion worth of Federal stimulus has fueled a rapid economic rebound.

DID YOU KNOW? The top 1 percent of New York City earners — a group that combined made about $133 billion in 2018 — pay a little over 40% of the city’s taxes.

“We’re seeing very substantial inflation,” – Warren Buffet. Real estate has always been a great hedge against inflation.

DID YOU KNOW?  Pool season has arrived, but Chlorine supplies are running low due to a fire at a chemical plant in Louisiana last August that was damaged by Hurricane Laura. As a result, prices for tabs have skyrocketed. Maybe it’s time for a salt-water filtration system? Will chlorine be to 2021 what toilet paper was in 2020?

DID YOU KNOW? Compass stands with India. Across India, a devastating wave of COVID infections is ravaging the nation. Compass is united in our commitment to stand together and lend strength to members of the Compass Community in India who are personally affected by COVID at home, and to those supporting loved ones in India during their time of need. If you’d like, please donate via this link to support immediate relief efforts helping India push back against the pandemic. Together, we’re hoping for a recovery for the people of India during these difficult times. #CompassCares
DID YOU KNOW? This fall, FEMA will roll out its Risk Rating 2.0, a flood-insurance overhaul that will increase rates for many high-end homeowners under the National Flood Insurance Program. Instead of relying on a property’s elevation within existing flood maps, the new methodology also incorporates variables such as flood frequency, flood types such as river overflow, and distance to a water source. (WSJ)
* The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell 2.7 points to 79 last month from a month earlier. One part of the 6-component index — buying conditions — turned negative for the first time in the survey’s history. In April, the net share of consumers who say it is a good time to buy fell 14 percentage points from a month earlier. Three other components of the index, (home price outlook, job loss concern, and change in household income), also decreased month-over-month, while selling conditions and mortgage rate outlook increased. (YAHOO)

* A recent study by the NAHB found that regulations imposed by all levels of government on new homes account for $93,870, or 23.8%, of the current average sales price ($397,300). Of that $93,870, $41,330 is attributable to regulation during development, and $52,540 is due to regulation during construction. The study was filed out by 2,071 NAHB members and 57 developers, and 98.9% reported experiencing some type of regulatory cost during construction. Added together, the average of these costs across all homes in the report accounted for 21.5% of the builder’s construction costs and 13.3% of the final house price. From 2016 to May 2021 regulatory costs in an average home built for sale went from $84,671 to $93,879, or a 10.9% increase. (Housingwire)

* Want to know another reason why lumber prices are way up? The U.S. and Canada in 2006 signed a trade pact, the Lumber Softwood Agreement, that expired in 2015 without a replacement.

The Manhattanization of Florida continues as cities such as Miami and Palm Beach attempt to emulate aspects of New York City by bringing many of its restaurants to the area including Pastis, Carbone, Sant Ambroeus, etc.  Carbone hopes to open 20 restaurants in Florida!

* Consumer credit card debt is down almost 18% from January, 2020, down over 5% since January 2021! Credit card spending was down 9% in 2020. This combined with dramatically higher savings is certain to fuel consumer spending……and almost 70% of the US GDP relies on consumer spending.

* This is a good time of the year to service Air conditioning systems. Regular filter changes are essential, but when last did you have your DUCTS cleaned?

* A cyber attack has shut down a gas pipeline to the Eastern parts of the USA…..this combined with an OPEC production cut from 2020 that was extended in 2021 is causing oil and gas prices to spike. (WSJ)

* The super-yacht business is a great barometer of the ultra-wealthy….and we hear that all yacht-builders are fully booked for many months/years ahead. Even the second-hand yacht market has soared in the past 12 months. The ultra-rich added almost $2 trillion in wealth since January 2020.

“There’s clearly some level of euphoria,” CEO David Simon of SIMON Malls talking about the renewed excitement about vaccinated people returning to malls (I visited a mall this past weekend and LOVED IT!!!!) US COVID cases are down 30% in the past 2 weeks alone…..over 115 million Americans are now fully vaccinated!

DID YOU KNOW? 60% of developers globally have delayed projects in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which also has many builders rethinking their future projects, according to new research.  Of those developers who’ve pressed pause, 44% are rethinking the design in light of the health crisis. The survey included 160 developers across 22 locations, many of which are major gateway cities, such as New York and London, and underscores how the pandemic is already reshaping future housing supply. 

DID YOU KNOW?  A US Trust study showed 77% of wealthy respondents said they grew up poor and a 2017 Fidelity study that found 86% of wealth is self-made. 80% of billionaires started out from zero (or close to zero).

DID YOU KNOW?  One Vanderbilt at Grand Central Station opened this week, the second tallest tower in New York City at 1,401 feet tall…..70% leased already too! And a swell new 11,000sf restaurant – Le Pavillon – by Daniel Boulud, will open on the second floor overlooking Grand Central Terminal next door……I like the promise of a “PC (Post-Covid) WORLD”!

DID YOU KNOW? AMAZON has grown its air cargo fleet to about 70 planes, up from a total of 50 last February……compared to FEDEX’s 463 planes….. yes, AMAZON is in the delivery business: it has been operating a fleet of roughly 200 pedal-assisted, e-cargo delivery bikes in New York City for the past 18 months. The bikes are being used by delivery service partners to make deliveries from three Whole Foods locations in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, with each bike carrying up to 45 packages. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Why has Germany been so much more successful than its neighbors at so much (not everything)? Many attribute it to good governance, high skills, solid public finances, regional strengths, social solidarity, and compassion. The Germans have shown the world how these attributes help deal with the crises they have faced, of which Covid-19 is only the latest. The measure of a country — or an institution or individual for that matter — is not the difficulties it faces, but how it surmounts them. On that test, contemporary Germany is a country to be envied. It has developed a maturity that few others can match. FT (Full disclosure: My family is German! 🙄)

HEALTH TIP OF THE DAY:  Contrary to what some say, the body needs fat. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish (such as sardines, tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, and herring), ground flax and flaxseed oil, soybeans, oysters, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. There’s debate about the inflammatory role of omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans consume more than enough of them. Consuming too many foods rich in omega-6 fats such as canola oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, corn oil may increase inflammation in your body and raise your risk for certain health conditions, including obesity.

DID YOU KNOW? Goldman Sachs economists said they recently raised their third quarter US GDP growth forecast to 35% from 30%, and they say consumer spending was a big reason for their above consensus forecast. Even with reduced unemployment benefits, consumers continued to spend in late summer, possibly because of second quarter savings. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Tragically, almost 3 million acres have burned in wildfires in California, Washington and Oregon destroying hundreds of homes and killing at least 17 people.

“When crises occur, what people expect
and deserve is a one-government approach:
federal, state and local officials working
together to protect the American people,” 
– Dr. Howard Koh. We witnessed this rather well during the 9/11 disaster. Today is the 19 Year Anniversary of this tragic event.

DID YOU KNOW?  More 2020 delights: Swarms of mosquitoes have killed cows, deer, horses and other livestock in Louisiana after rain from Hurricane Laura led to an explosion in the pests’ population. 2020: GIVE US A BREAK!

DID YOU KNOW? 39 Women run Fortune 500 companies, now including Jane Fraser of CitiGroup too, the first female to run a Wall Street Mega-bank!

“Remote working is nice but limited. I was
glad to go back to the office and see people
 – A Parisian Resident who bought a larger apartment post COVID lockdowns. Paris home sales are expected to be down 22-25% this year

DID YOU KNOW? The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.86% for the week ending Sept. 10, falling 13 basis points from the week prior, Freddie Mac FMCC, -0.48%   reported Thursday. The previous record low was set in early August at 2.88%. In comparison, these loans had an average rate of 3.56% a year ago. On a $1 million mortgage, that means you can afford about 10% more home…..or the home costs 10% more because more people can afford it?

DID YOU KNOW? An affiliate of IKEA Retail has made its first US real estate acquisition with the purchase of San Francisco’s troubled 6X6 mall.The vacant 250,000sf California shopping center located on the city’s bustling Market Street has not seen a customer in almost 5 years.
DID YOU KNOW? Amazon said it will create 10,000 jobs in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, on top of the 15,000 jobs it already planned to create there over the next few years.  It has leased two properties in downtown Bellevue, spanning 2 million square feet of office space, to house the additional employees. Amazon is also building a 43-story tower in the city, its tallest yet, referred to as the Bellevue 600 project. (CNBC)
“It was great to be in Houston. They didn’t want to know how many generations back you came from. It was an open society, and it was terrific.” – Gerald Hines – the Houston-based developer of nearly 900 hotel, tower and mall projects globally including the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, the Porta Nuova district in Milan, the Diagonal Mar complex in Barcelona and Midtown Manhattan’s Lipstick building – recently passed away. His mark will be felt on skylines around the globe, including Houston where he developed the Galleria and Pennzoil Place.

DID YOU KNOW?  Of the “World’s Ten Greatest Countries to Live in” in a recent show I watched – the USA being one of them, and rightfully so – the USA was the ONLY country without universal healthcare/insurance and really affordable education for all. Could technology and remote functionality change this? Imagine the possibilities….

DID YOU KNOW? Yesterday’s temperature in Denver soared to close to 100 degrees!  On Tuesday, snow is expected…..  In Tucson, AZ temperatures soared to 107 degrees while in Palm Springs it was ten degrees warmer! Today Los Angeles is approaching 110 degrees……please hydrate and be careful!

DID YOU KNOW? Denver metro area’s average single-family home price exceeded $600,000 for the first time—in August it saw average home prices rise even higher, to a new record of $606,330, and nearly 6,000 homes were sold. (Denver Magazine)

DID YOU KNOW? The number of homes listed for sale in the top 50 largest metros showed a year-over-year 38.1% decline in August, even higher than July’s 34.8 %. (Forbes)

DID YOU KNOW? After 25 years of recession-free growth, Australia’s economy will shrink 2.25% in 2020/21. If looking at the 2020 calendar year, the government is forecasting a 3.75% contraction in economic activity, before rising 2.5% in 2021. Still very impressive! All of Australia’s population is smaller than that of Texas…..

HEALTH TIP OF THE DAY: Improved posture when working from home.
1. Maintain a gentle sway in your lower back. Sit with your butt all the way up against the back of the seat and place a small, firm cushion in the hollow area of your lower spine where your back naturally sways.

2. Bend your elbows 90 degrees: your desk height should allow this.
3. Position your chin parallel to the ground. Position your screen directly in front of your natural eye level.
4. Drawn your chin back and tuck slightly. Draw your chin back so it’s right behind your collarbones. Then, tuck your chin slightly as if you’re holding a tennis ball with your chin.
5. Open your shoulders, don’t slouch. Gently roll your shoulders down and back, feeling muscles in your upper back engage.
6. Bend your knees 90 degrees, feet flat on the ground. Avoid propping legs up on anything as that can tighten your hamstrings and even irritate your sciatic nerve if you have existing spinal stiffness. (Greatist)

DID YOU KNOW? Some mortgage lenders are offering borrowers an unusually large per-point reduction on the rate of JUMBO mortgages. Lenders assume most borrowers will hold on to a 30-year fixed mortgage for about 6 years. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Upstate New York, 88% of electricity comes from zero-carbon sources such as the Moses dam. But fossil fuels generate more than 66% of the electricity lighting Manhattan skyscrapers, Brooklyn brownstones and other downstate customers. (FT)

DID YOU KNOW? In 2019 California temporarily banned insurers from canceling policies on some 800,000 homes in or near risky parts of the state. However, that ban is about to expire and can’t be renewed, and a recent plan to deal with the problem fell apart in a clash between insurers and consumer advocates. Around the world, climate change has made storms more powerful and frequent, increased the intensity of droughts and contributed to more extreme wildfires, and, as a result, many insurance companies say their premiums are now set too low to cover the growing losses. (NY TIMES)

DID YOU KNOW? What is less talked about is Tesla’s solar ambitions, which is understandable given the relatively small size of Tesla Solar. Despite this, Tesla Solar will likely be a significant component of Tesla’s overall business in the long term. The potential of solar and the sheer size of the electricity market make Tesla Solar extremely compelling. Do you know a single homeowner who would not prefer a quiet generator/power storage method… a Tesla power Wall?

DID YOU KNOW? While purchasing power rose by 6.9% year over year in July due to lower interest rates, home prices climbed 8.2% due to high demand and more limited supply in areas. Are super-low interest rates artificially inflating home values?
“People are moving from more tax, business and regulatory-unfriendly states to more tax, business and regulatory-friendly states where homes are more affordable,” Jonathan Woloshin, UBS Global Wealth Management 
DID YOU KNOW? Though condominium and single-family detached home sales have tracked relatively closely over the last few years, sales of condominium units started to accelerate at a faster rate than single-family detached homes in late 2019. In the first 10 weeks of 2020, condominium sales averaged about 8% above last year’s sales while single-family detached sales averaged about 5.5% higher compared to last year. While condominium sales took a larger dip during the peak of shelter-in-place orders, pending contracts have healthily rebounded to the same rate of annual growth as seen for single-family homes, with both averaging about 17% year-over-year increases in the first two weeks of July. (CORELOGIC)
DID YOU KNOW? Exceptionally strong demand, historically low supply, and record-low mortgage rates are combining to fuel the fastest home price growth since 2018. Nationally, home prices in July were 5.5% higher than in 2019. That is a marked increase from the 4.3% annual gain seen in June, according to CoreLogic. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? House prices in the U.K. surged to an all-time high in August, fueled by pent-up demand and record low mortgage rates, according to new figures from Nationwide. Britain’s biggest building society said prices jumped by 2% in August, following a 1.8% rise in July, marking the highest monthly increase since February 2004. Annual house price growth jumped to 3.7% last month from 1.5% in July.

DID YOU KNOW? New reported US COVID infections fell below 45,000 yesterday (it was below 34,000 on Monday), about 50% more than all of Europe that has more than double the US population, according to Johns Hopkins University.  It appears wearing masks and social distancing is helping stop/slow the spread. While Covid-19 cases remain elevated compared with the earliest days of the summer, they have been trending down in recent weeks. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Broadband access in more rural areas is akin to not having electricity or water these days….Being connected via the internet is directly associated with survival. Roughly half (157 million) of the US population has access to fast, reliable broadband. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Only 33% of Americans say they have traveled overnight for leisure or vacation since March, and only 38% say they are likely to do so by the end of the year. Just 16% of Americans plan to travel for Labor Day, 25% for Thanksgiving, and 29% for Christmas……I smell BARGAINS!

DID YOU KNOW? 70% of movie theaters could be open by the end of this week….YAY!

DID YOU KNOW? Overall retail rent collections have improved to 77% in July from around 54% in April, some tenants, particularly from the apparel, fitness, and theater categories, have continued to struggle with payments. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will invoke its authority to halt evictions through the end of the year in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Housing experts warn that barring landlords from evicting non-paying tenants without compensating them could have a massively destabilizing effect, felt first in the commercial housing market, and then in credit markets as both large and small-scale landlords default on mortgages. (CNBC)

DAILY HEALTH TIP:  Consider starting the day by drinking two glasses of room-temperature water with a squeezed lemon, possibly with a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar. This can be an outstanding immune system booster, boost your metabolism, fuel you with Vitamin C, lower blood sugar, help fat-burn, and hydrate your body. (Always check first with your healthcare professional to be sure this is right for you!)

DID YOU KNOW? Throughout history, the world has experienced more than 20 pandemics, collectively responsible for millions of deaths and likely to happen again in the future. Tracking design, technological, economic, and governance responses and in cities in buildings is a part of humanity’s way of developing survival mechanisms. The concept of a healthy building is not a new: Even the Romans made links between causes of disease and methods of prevention, leading to the construction of sewers, aqueducts, public toilets, and large public baths. (MIT)

DID YOU KNOW? The average American spends up to 90% of their time indoors: an office, school, or home. During this time indoors they’re exposed to the largest amount of pollutants. In the U.S, the savings and productivity gains from improved indoor environments are estimated anywhere between $25 – $150 billion per year. By 2030 there could be 52 million deaths from chronic diseases caused by poor lifestyle. There is also a direct correlation between poor ventilation rates and higher instances of short-term sick leave, asthma, and respiratory infection among building occupants.

DID YOU KNOW? The implementation of automation through an array of sensors, building management tools, touchless technologies, and robotic helpers will make buildings healthier and safer. This will become increasingly important as businesses return to a new normal. Design could shift its focus on touchless workplaces, increasing outside airflow, less condensed office environments, and scanning technologies that help monitor, detect, communicate, and forecast the wellness of its occupants.

DID YOU KNOW? There is pressure building across the commercial real estate sector — from small-town malls to sky-high office blocks and hotels – hitting one of its primary sources of financing; the $1.4tn market for commercial mortgage-backed securities. (FT)

DID YOU KNOW?  JLL said 27% of 100 firms surveyed in the MIDWEST are working from the office already and this is expected to increase to 60% by the end of 2020. 73% of the companies surveyed expect to occupy the exact same amount of space when they return, but the space will be re-purposed. (Crains)

DID YOU KNOW? By Friday, the world’s 500 wealthiest people were $209 billion richer than a week ago. August is proving to be a record month in the equity markets. The brunt of economic pain has been borne by young and lower-wage workers, whose jobs are typically more vulnerable to Covid-related layoffs. The pandemic will exacerbate inequality in incomes and wealth, both in the short term and in the longer term. The world’s 500 richest people have collectively grown their fortunes by $871 billion this year, a 15% increase. Is this sustainable? (BLOOMBERG)

DID YOU KNOW?  The US Government struck a $750 million deal to buy 150 million rapid Covid-19 tests from Abbott Laboratories, a move that would substantially expand the nation’s capacity for rapid testing. 50 million tests are expected to be produced in October. This could be one of the pivoting moments in the COVID battle…. imagine identifying and isolating anyone infected before they can spread the virus? (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Two banks have merged to form the country’s largest Black-led lender. The combination of Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles and City First Bank in Washington will focus on multifamily affordable housing. (Bloomberg)

DID YOU KNOW? Coresight Research estimates 25% of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next 3-5 years. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the demise that was already underway. According to Moody’s Analytics REIS, apartment development in the U.S. is expected to dip 15.6% in a post-Covid-19 world. Office development 10%, while retail falls 15.7%.  Industrial development, meantime, is expected to pick up 3.6%. (CNBC)

“Cities profit from agglomeration.

Cramming millions of people together

allows them to spark off one another, not

only helping productivity, innovation and

economic growth but also fun, creativity

and romance. For millions the pandemic has

also been a reminder of everything they

love about urban life.” – Financial Times Editorial

DID YOU KNOW? In a major policy pivot, the Federal Reserve said it will allow inflation to run “hotter than normal” to help the economy bounce back from the coronavirus crisis. So we can expect higher inflation and low interest rates for quite a while till the economy has fully recovered.  That could accelerate once a vaccine is approved……or a really effective treatment…. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? Block by Block, a company that provides cleaning, hospitality and security services to local business-improvement districts, said that just over 25% of the 88 business-improvement districts in major metro areas it surveyed still had boards on some businesses last week. Boarded-up windows were more common in the western half of the U.S. than in the East. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Global CFOs have a more positive outlook for China’s economy than they do for the economy of the US, the Q3 CNBC Global CFO Council Survey revealed, the first time in the survey’s history that this group of executives were more upbeat on China. CFOs gave an average outlook of “Stable” for China’s GDP, while seeing the U.S. economy as “Modestly Declining.” (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? Workers in JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank will cycle between days spent at the office and at home, keeping the ability to work remotely on a part-time basis. JPMorgan, the world’s biggest Wall Street bank by revenue, could pressure other financial firms to offer similar arrangements. JPMorgan could shutter backup trading floors located OUTSIDE New York and London as a result of the move. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? A new report found Seattle ranks No. 1 for the health of its real estate market among all large cities in the U.S., based on a wide variety of criteria. The study, by WalletHub, also singled out Bellevue, Wash., for being one of the fastest places in the nation to sell real estate, with the average home there remaining on the market for only a few days before it is sold. (KOMO News)

DID YOU KNOW? Instagram had its first wave of remote work requests come through. Out of the approx.1,200 engineers, guess how many requested remote working? Just eleven. Of those, seven were in New York, four from the Bay Area. More will come in the future, but it’s not like most of the company is up and leaving!

DID YOU KNOW? There is a much smaller pool of lenders willing to offer jumbo loans. Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a formula designed to gauge access to a variety of mortgage products, shows consumer access to jumbo loans was 60% lower in July than it was the year prior. The frozen landscape is thawing, but there are fewer jumbo lenders and options than there were pre-Covid. Relationship banking and community banks seem to offer the best rates. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Many around the globe are decrying the anonymous chic that makes homes, cafes, retail, etc in Budapest look the same as Brooklyn. The sameness in interior design right now is something to be very wary of.  Sooner or later people get bored with fashion and trends and move on to the next……and in interiors that can be very expensive!

“You only realize you are dehydrated once

it’s too late.” – a heroic California firefighter battling fires the size of the state of Rhode Island. Wishing all our California family well!

DID YOU KNOW? Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) were found in listings for 1.4m properties in 2019, roughly 7% of all for-sale listings. That proportion has grown from 1.6% in 2000. Right now the pandemic has fueled the desirability of standalone single-family houses, but in the long term, the ideal of one standalone home per family will probably need to give way. The growing prevalence of ADUs suggests that it already has. (FT)

DID YOU KNOW? A toxic combination of coronavirus and soaring online sales, the so-called Amazon effect, have rocked the commercial property market. Since property collapses frequently lead to banking crises, this should ring alarm bells. Have central banks and financial watchdogs underestimated the threat posed by collapsing real estate prices to the financial system?  There is less evidence of an imbalance of supply and demand. In the London office market, usually an excellent barometer of excessive risk taking, oversupply is not an obvious problem. Much of the space being built is under offer or pre-leased. The same is true across most of the developed world. Mike Prew, a Jefferies analyst, argues that Zoom will not do to offices what Amazon has done to shopping centres. In the post-coronavirus world, he foresees softer office rents and a shakeout in which the losers are older tall buildings with small lifts and creaking ventilation systems. Hardly the stuff of financial catastrophe.(FT)

DID YOU KNOW? By 2030 the population above age 60 will have grown so much that other generations like millennials and Gen-Z will be outnumbered by them in Europe, China, Japan and the USA. Each day, 12,000 Americans celebrate their 60th birthday; in China, 54,000; and in the world, about 210,000, according to the UN Population Division. The 60+ population own more than half of the net worth around the world, a proportion that reaches 80% in the USA, according to a study by the Federal Reserve. Second, the same study concluded that the net worth of seniors is more evenly distributed than among younger age groups, and poverty rates are also lower. There are 25% more women above the age of 60 than men. Many 70-year-olds today live the life of a 50-year-old in the 1980s.

DID YOU KNOW? U.S. homebuilding picked up for a third straight month in July in the latest sign the housing sector is emerging as one of the few areas of strength in an economy suffering a record slowdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Housing starts increased by 22.6% — far more than expected — to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.496 million units last month. Data for June was revised up to a 1.22 million-unit pace from the previously reported 1.186 million. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW?  Heating radiators that ‘overheat’ apartments in the Northeast also allowed homeowners to keep their windows open during and after the Spanish Flu of 1918…. The UK government is trialing a range of new, faster tests that can give instant results and hoped to roll them out towards the end of 2020. Imagine starting every day with a COVID test that provides results within 15 minutes? (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? In cities like Shanghai and Beijing air-quality monitors in buildings are standard. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? In one dire analysis, more than 29 million Americans in 13 million households across the U.S. could face eviction by the end of the year. The lapse of the federal moratorium leaves millions of renters — who occupy between 28% and 46% of rental units — newly exposed to eviction proceedings. A recent Census Bureau survey found that an estimated one-third of U.S. renters expected to miss their August rent payment. The federal eviction moratorium expired on July 25, but property owners that were subject to that law must still give 30 days’ notice before they can file against tenants. (Bloomberg)
DID YOU KNOW? An influx of wealthy buyers looking to snap up high-end homes in central London, ideally with terraces or gardens, has kicked off a surge of activity in the city’s prime real estate market, according to Dexters. Across the agency’s 12 central London offices, the number of deals on homes priced at more than £2 million (US$2.6 million) from mid-June to mid-August 2020 was up 85% compared to the same time in 2019. Post-COVID, Post-BREXIT….. (Mansion)

DID YOU KNOW? During the four months of business shutdowns, job losses — measured by a percent decline in payroll employment — were 5.7% in Phoenix, 6.1%, in Dallas-Fort Worth, 6.7% in Tampa-St. Petersburg, 6.9% in Atlanta, 7.2% in Austin-Round Rock, 7.7% in Houston, 8% in Miami, 8.3% in Denver, 8.8% in St. Louis, and 8.9% in Santa Clara County. All have recovered jobs at a solid clip since the shutdown.

DID YOU KNOW? Amazon is preparing to add 3,500 corporate jobs across hubs in New York, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Detroit and Dallas. The plans include 2,000 jobs at the Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan that they recently bought from WeWork. Amazon is adding more than 900,000sf across the six locations where it is expanding. The New York space alone totals 630,000sf. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? This is what a traditional ‘catch-up market’ looks like:  In July, after COVID-19 put a chill on the typically busy spring buying season, 62,355 homes changed hands, the most in a single month since record keeping began more than four decades ago, against the backdrop of one of the highest unemployment rates in the country’s history. Sales were up 30.5% compared to July 2019 and 26% compared to last month. The Greater Toronto Area was up 49.5%, Greater Vancouver was next at 43.9%, followed by 39.1% in Montreal.  Inventory was down 16% during COVID. (Reuters)

DID YOU KNOW? During the 1918 influenza pandemic, wealthier people had a better chance of survival: Individuals of moderate and higher economic status had a mortality rate of 0.38%, versus 0.52% for those of lower economic status and 1% for those who were “very poor.” With COVID-19, working-age adults are among the most likely to survive. It is thus unlikely that COVID-19 will generate a similarly sized negative labor supply shock.

DID YOU KNOW?  The dollar has fallen to a new 2-year low, down over 10% in the past 6 months……and already I’m hearing more from……international buyers! (FT)

DID YOU KNOW? Here are some tidbits of the chatter from The Hampton’s where wealthy New Yorkers who traditionally escape for the Summer have camped out far longer during COVID:
“Micro-schools” and “pandemic pods”, where small groups of parents club together to hire a teacher (or two) to homeschool their children, is a hot topic. For 6 children having 25 hours of teaching a week, costs $93,600 a year.
“Our infrastructure is on the verge of being completely overwhelmed.”  Hampton’s traffic can get bad in the Summer….this year that traffic may extend well into 2021. Many resort areas are experiencing similar traffic issues with much higher, extended stay residents/visitors.

“I came here for peace and tranquility not for thousands of people. If they weren’t so rude maybe it would be easier but the way they drive quite honestly it’s very uncivilized. They’re a different brand of people than we are here.” The culture clash between full time locals and the newbies/city peeps can be challenging!
“This idea of a second home, which was a luxury for those who could afford it, is now a necessity.” – Adam Miller, Hampton’s attorney

DID YOU KNOW? RealPage, a property analytics company, recorded a net loss of 6,786 households in the New York metro area (18.3 million population) in the 2nd quarter. It had gained 3,730 in the same period in 2019. Los Angeles (13,13 million population) lost 6,347 in the same period this year……per capita, LA’s loss is higher, yet its density is far lower. (FT)

DID YOU KNOW? At last the clunky antiquated window air conditioning unit is going through somewhat of a design revolution: check out the new, more stylish smart versions that can be remotely controlled. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW?  In an attempt to speed up building to meet the shortage of housing in the UK, land will be categorized as “growth”, “renewal” or “protection” in an effort to stimulate building. On land designated for growth by local councils, new developments that meet certain criteria will receive automatic permission. Once a zone had been designated for growth, local people would not be able to reject developments. Developments on so-called “renewal” land will receive “permission in principle”, while those on protected land will not. (FT)

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… 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? Brokers in the South Shore area of Boston affiliated with Free and Clear Realty, Century 21 Annex, Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty and Success! Real Estate Inc. violated state fair housing and consumer protection laws, according to an investigation and now have to pay fines of $110,000 as well as attend fair housing training. Please familiarize yourself with Fair Housing Laws. (Boston Herald)

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? Goldman Sachs said the first sectors to re-open will be manufacturing, professional services and agriculture. The riskiest and last are health care, education, retail, arts and entertainment and food service industries. Ferrari employees who are going back to work pass through a series of steps designed to keep the coronavirus out, including blood tests for antibodies. (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!

Here is the full interview and I loved it!

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? According to a 2018 report from the Pew Research Center, 19% of American adults live in “upper-income households.” The median income of that group was $187,872 in 2016. The share of U.S. adults considered upper-class varies depending on where you live, Pew noted: In affluent metropolitan areas, it’s much higher than 19%. The metropolitan areas with the largest shares of adults in upper-income households are mostly in the coastal areas of the Northeast and California and tend to be in high-tech corridors, such as Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, or in financial and commercial centers, such as Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT. The metro with the highest share was San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, where 32% of adults were considered upper-income. (CNBC)
“Narratives that can periodically surge into epidemics are capable of changing the economy’s direction or of turning small booms and recessions into big ones. The probability that a recession will come soon — or be severe when it does — depends in part on the state of ever-changing popular narratives about the economy. These are stories that provide a framework for piecing together the seemingly random bits of information that one picks up from friends, the news or social media.” – Robert Schiller, NYT 
DID YOU KNOW? Here are some interesting stats from the NAPLES, Florida area via NABOR (Naples Area Board of Realtors) (Thanks to Yasmin Saad).
* Collier County Florida 2017 Population: 372,880
* # of licensed brokers/agents who are members:  Brokers: 689, Agents: 6,375
* 96% of users logged in at least once to the SunshineMLS in the last 12 months.
* # of homessold in the last 12 months (buyer or seller side):  6,574 Single Family homes closed had a Naples agent on the Listing Side
914 Land sales closed that had a Naples agent on the Listing Side
* Total number of sales in the last 12 months: 14,130 closed.

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? About 24 US states don’t require sellers to disclose if a property has previously flooded, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Many around the US have been surprised to find their homes flooding in the past few months. Worse, many are not insured for flooding. Encourage your buyers, tenants (and owners) to investigate flood zones and flooding history…. and also to get flood insurance.  Most regular policies omit flooding.  A new Bill is in discussion that would end surcharges enacted by Congress in 2014, including premium increases of $250 for vacation homes. It would appropriate $500 million in annual funding for flood-zone mapping and expand mapping to all areas of the U.S. FEMA would be required to use new mapping technologies, such as a pulsed laser-based method called Lidar, or light detection and ranging. Private flood insurance is coming:  the plan would allow property owners to switch between public and private flood insurance without losing subsidies available to them under the federal plan. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Crude Oil Price futures have fallen more than 15% since the start of April. And gold just spiked above $1,350 …..two traditional signs of a slowing global economy. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Miami, Washington DC, Cambridge, MA, Hoboken, NJ and numerous towns and cities in California are amongst the TOP 20 cities that have experienced the largest value gain over the past 20 years. Gulfport, MS is the only city on the TOP 20 not on either coast to be on the list where gains have all been above 250% (on average). (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Around 8.2% of all homeowners in the USA owe more than their home is worth. (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW? Canadian Real Estate sales are improving: their Association indicates sales rose 1.9% in May from the previous month, to reach the highest level since January 2018. Actual sales, or not seasonally adjusted, climbed 6.7% from May a year ago, the largest 12-month advance since the summer of 2016. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? Small business loan applications rose again in May, hitting a record high of 27.7% of applications at big banks, versus under 10% in the same period in 2011, and jumping to 49.9% at small banks in 2019, compared with 42.5% in 2011. (NY POST)

DID YOU KNOW? Many home buyers can afford monthly mortgage payments but lack savings for a down payment, boosting the popularity of government-funded assistance programs. More than 13% of borrowers who used the FHA mortgage in the first 3 months of 2019 got government help with the down payment, up from 8.6% five years earlier, (FHA) The share of buyers who used one of the more than 2,500 down-payment-assistance programs across the country doubled to 10% between 2013 and 2016, according to a Freddie Mac analysis of the National Survey of Mortgage Originations.

DID YOU KNOW? Almost 100 million Americans (40% of U.S. adults) will take a family trip in 2019, according to AAA, up slightly from last year. found in a March 2019 survey of 2,577 adults that 52% are planning a summer holiday this year. Most plan to spend an average of 2-3 weeks income on their vacation/s. 83% will vacation within the USA.  (CNBC)

DID YOU KNOW?  Will the Fed announce lower interest rates at its meeting on Wednesday? Only 40% of the financial markets believe it will…. the jobs report came in significantly weaker than expected last month, so…. (Marketwatch)

DID YOU KNOW?  Was the first half of 2018 the PEAK of the US housing market?  For some – not all – areas it appears so. These are signs of a cooling market that we are witnessing in many areas:

  1. More price reductions not only on unrealistic asking prices.
  2. Longer time to sell.
  3. Growing inventory.
  4. Fewer bidding wars.
  5. Notably reduced sales volume.
  6. More lax lending standards

None of this necessarily predicates a ‘plunge’ as some naysayers continually warn, but these signs should not be ignored when planning, marketing, pricing and negotiating. Agents should re-adjust marketing strategies to allow more time to sell and set realistic expectations up front. We must always be the voice of calm, fact-based reality dealing with the markets as they are – whatever they may be – not what we would want or like them to be.

DID YOU KNOW? Naples was voted the best US beachtown to live in by WalletHub. Congrats! Of the top 25, 44% towns were in Florida and 44% in California. WalletHub compared 192 cities across 62 key indicators of livability….and attainability. Not every beach town is crazy-expensive. The study took into consideration 6 factors to reach its conclusion: Affordability, weather, safety, economy, education & health, and quality of life. Rye, NY was deemed the safest of all the towns and Merritt Island, FL the most affordable and Naples was #1 for quality of life. Using a saved search, YOU can create a Naples beachfront home Collection (or a town you know your clients may be interested in) and send to your network with a link to this story. There are amazing Compass agents in Naples as well as most other great beach towns! (NBC) 

“The launch of 5G will be similar to turning on your microwave, opening its door, and leaving it on for the rest of your life. There’s good reason why hundreds of scientists are taking action against the wireless industry.”

– Paul Wagner. Thanks, Maggie Sherman for reminding us that sometimes with great advancements in technology come great health risks too…. Here are a few tips that can protect you, in the best possible way, from 5G radiation:
1.  Keep your distance as much as possible. Keep phones out of bedrooms.
2.  Measure levels whenever possible.
3.  Buy an EMF shield. HERE are some ideas.
4.  Protect your home as much as possible. How close is your home to a cell tower?
5.  Eat a healthy diet to boost your immune system.
6.  Try earthing, eg: walking barefoot. There are some products that minimize radiation.
7.  Educate yourself, team, friends and family as much as possible.


DID YOU KNOW? Total U.S. consumer debt hit $14 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, surpassing the $13 trillion of leverage accumulated in credit cards, auto loans,mortgages and other debt back in 2008, at the beginning of the Great Recession. The US economy has also grown by 19% since 2008 and the US population has grown by almost 8% since 2008. Student loan debt has more than DOUBLED since then, one big negative for first-time homebuyers. (Marketwatch)


DID YOU KNOW? Big private-equity firms, real-estate speculators and other investors that buy properties comprised more than 11% of U.S. home purchasers in 2018.


DID YOU KNOW? Opendoor, Zillow and Offerpad bought nearly 5,000 houses in the Phoenix metro area, roughly 5% of existing homes sold. Big investors now own more than 22,000 rental houses in metro Phoenix. (WSJ)

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.

1133 Los Robles Dr

38194 Maracaibo Circle W

66773 San Remo

12 Canyon Creek

12 Clancy Lane South

448 Hermosa

40555 Sand Dune Rd

37152 Marber Drive

36483 Paseo Del Sol

8 Villaggio Place

81818 Via La Serena St

1 Rancho Clancy

383 Desert Lakes Dr

70230 Camino Del Cerro

421 S Monte Vista Drive

665 Cache Lane

70288 Pecos Rd

64725 Acanto Drive

36950 Marber Drive

535 N Belardo Rd

45 Dartmouth Dr

445 S Monte Vista Dr

2931 Twilight Lane

29 Avenida Andra

1650 Avenida Sevilla

46 Princeton Dr

1053 Bella Vista

5962 Fairway Circle

106 Netas Court

516 N Sunset Way

36989 Marber Drive

4929 Herzog Way

2379 Southridge Drive

1058 Bella Vista

460 W Canyon Pl

12 Evening Star Drive

12117 Troon Cir

0 Southridge

1650 Stonehedge Rd

138 Waterford Cir

40365 Sand Dune Road

362 W Chino Dr

1188 E Sierra Way

478 W Merito Pl

367 Tamarish Rd

2443 Paseo Del Rey

894 N Topaz Circle

71129 Patricia Park Pl

2212 Southridge Drive

2587 S Pequeno Cir

2301 S Skyview Dr #23

900 Island Dr #408

64725 Acento Dr

2175 Southridge Drive

2203 Southridge Drive

346 Tamarisk Rd

0 Southridge Drive

1233 N Via Monte Vista

74144 Pele Place

71355 WThunderbird Terrace

29 Evening Star Dr

250 Loch Lomond Rd

12 Evening Star Dr

172 Castellana

11 Silver Circle

2338 Tuscany Heights

279 Castellana

21 Ambassador

305 W El Portal

8651 Warwick Dr

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