“It’s amazing what people don’t know about mortgages” – MARKETWATCH. Another reminder to have your buyers and clients meet with a smart mortgage broker/banker to better understand ALL their financing options.
The inventory of available homes relative to sales pace increased to three months for the first time since August 2020. Total housing inventory rose 9.6% in June from the prior month but is still historically low. (BARRONS)
In the past decade, the TOP 10 lottery wins collectively handed about $9 BILLION to those with the winning tickets…..new wealth is created in many different ways….. Americans spend over $70 billion per year on lottery tickets…close to $1 billion in lottery wins are unclaimed every year…
What is the #1 purchase of most lottery winners? Homes!
By 2030, the consultancy Vivid Economics has estimated, the US alone could lose an average of $200bn annually from reduced worker productivity due to heat stress. Nearly 30% of U.S. corn production and 26% of soybean production are in areas experiencing drought. Hopefully this heatwave passes soon and rains fuel crops.
294 homes worth £5mn or more sold in the first half of 2022 in London, a total spend of almost £3 billion. The record outlay included 89 homes that sold for £10mn or more with the bulk of the investment coming from domestic buyers. Sales in the first half have almost matched the 308 £5mn-plus deals struck in ALL of 2019 — the last period to be unaffected by the pandemic. The rush to buy high-end homes contrasts with signs of a cool-down in the wider market, with a growing number of analysts predicting that house sales will slow as interest rates rise and the UK faces the prospect of a recession. (FT)
Here are a few easy steps to cool a house in scorching heat and reduce energy bills:
1. Insulate the home thoroughly, and seal windows and doors that let in heat.
2. Position shade trees that block out the harshest sunlight.
3. Use indoor and outdoor blinds and shutters/canopies.
4. Use fans. They can make you feel 3-4 degrees cooler.
5. Cook outdoors and avoid running dryers at peak heat.
6. Keep windows and doors shut tight.
7. Use LED and fluorescent light bulbs that emit very little heat.
The national median rent rose for the 16th straight month and reached $1,876 in June, a new high, yet still 29.9% (or $561) lower than monthly starter homeownership costs. That’s due to higher mortgage rates pushing borrowing costs up. (MARKETWATCH)
Between May 2022 and May 2023, CoreLogic predicts U.S. home prices are poised to rise another 5%. That’s nationally. Regionally, it’ll vary—a lot. Among the 392 regional housing markets it looked at, CoreLogic found 98 markets have a greater than 50% chance of seeing local home prices decline over the next 12 months.
Higher interest rates won’t end skyrocketing energy prices caused by Putin’s war on Ukraine, won’t fix supply chains still reeling from the pandemic, and they won’t break up the corporate monopolies that Fed Chief Jerome Powell admitted in January could be “raising prices because they can.” (WSJ)
Walmart cut its quarterly and full-year profit guidance, saying inflation is causing shoppers to spend more on necessities such as food and less on items like clothing and electronics….leaving more items on store shelves and warehouses. A good time to shop sales if you have cash?
Forbes named Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut as the three states with the best public school systems in the USA. All three states have high local taxes.
– Massachusetts has a flat 5% individual income tax rate. Massachusetts has an 8% corporate income tax rate and a 6.25% state sales tax rate and does not levy local sales taxes.
– New Jersey has a 6.5-11.5% corporate income tax rate and a 6.625% state sales tax rate, a max local sales tax rate of 3.313%, and an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 6.60%.
– Connecticut has a graduated individual income tax, with rates ranging from 3-6.99%. It also has a 7.5% corporate income tax rate. Connecticut has a 6.35% state sales tax rate and levies no local sales taxes.
A rise in Covid-19 absences in recent weeks amid the spread of the BA.5 subvariant, combined with planned vacations has left restaurants, hotel chains, manufacturers and other workplaces struggling to keep operations running this summer. Staffing is harder now than at any previous stage in the pandemic. UGH! From June 29 to July 11, 3.9 million Americans said they didn’t work because they were sick with Covid-19 or were caring for someone with it. In the comparable period in 2021, 1.8 million people missed work for those reasons. Many workers also are taking vacations that they put off over the prior 2 years. About 29% more workers took vacation or personal days during the week of the Census Bureau’s June household survey this year. Covid is significantly less deadly in 2022, but still highly disruptive to commerce. (WSJ)
Dubai-based billionaire businessman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk is building a $500 million state-of-the-art mixed-use high-tech complex in Mt Hampden, a few kilometres north of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare….the tallest building in Africa! The cyber city will be spread over 2.5 million square metres of land and is expected to have a shopping mall, luxury villas and apartments, cyber technology offices and other social facilities. (BLOOMBERG)
Dream of owning a home in Turks and Caicos? The Sandy Point Resort and Marina, marketed by Hyleri Katzenberg and the Luxe Latitudes Team of COMPASS Connecticut, will be the groundbreaking frontier of development on North Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands, incorporating exquisite design, impeccable service, and an authentic island experience. There are Two waterfront living options: ocean or marina front. Amenities include a rooftop restaurant inspired by celebrity chef Todd English, and a spa overlooking the Sandy Point Beach with views of Parrot Cay. Click here to check out the flipbook with more information about the available properties!
A good barometer of the luxury markets is LVMH where overall revenues rose 19% in the second quarter, mostly fueled by Europe (with a strong dollar and lots of tourists) and the US. Growth was down from 23% in the first quarter. Most notably, LVMH profits rose by 34% in the first half which clearly demonstrates how many companies are charging much, much higher prices than their higher costs fueled by overall inflation…….because their audience is willing to pay the prices….and has the money to pay them.
CoreLogic’s home price index shows US home prices were up over 19% in the past 12 months…..on average….which varies from place to place. Anyone thinking that level of escalation keeps going forever has to be nuts!
Lumber Price Insanity? Before 2018, the all-time high in the lumber futures market was in 1993 at $493.50 per 1,000 board feet. By May 2020, the price reached a record $1,711.20 high (still the all-time peak). After falling to $488 5 short months later, in August 2021, lumber futures took off on the upside, rising to $1,477.40. Today it’s trading closer to $550…..down over 62% in 4 short months.
In the US natural gas costs about $9.10……in Europe that cost has soared past $60 as Russia cut supply. This is almost certain to cause a recession in Europe…..which could impact global GDP and many US companies reliant on Europe. A stronger dollar could be harmful to US companies selling goods too. While heating homes and cooking are impacted, most industry needs power which will impact production and production costs. Becoming reliant on tyrants is never a good idea!
Resort ‘fees’ at hotels? Yup, shockingly we are used to paying a ‘fee’ to use many amenities at many hotels around the globe. Now these extra ‘fees’ are being charged to car owners (BMW started charging owners a monthly ‘fee’ to use their heated seats and steering wheels)……and apartment buildings are charging additional fees to RENTERS to use certain amenities in their buildings….. maybe we should charge additional fees for making beds in our messier listings? (WSJ)
A CNBC FED survey estimates a 75 basis points rate hike this week with a terminal rate at 3.83% by March 2023…….BUT…..then it estimates that rate will be DROPPED by the end of 2024 to about 2.85%….almost a 100 basis points drop. This is critically important to factor in when obtaining a mortgage: getting an adjustable rate shorter term mortgage now with the plans of refinancing in a few years may be wisest… Yes, prices may come down a bit, but when the economic recovery happens (combined with lower building due to economic pullback) you could expect prices to SOAR again… (CNBC)
China property sales are estimated to drop 30% over the next year. In the UK they were down 13% in May. It’s amazing how global most issues are! Inflation is high in energy powerhouse Canada (8.1%), Europe (8.6%), the UK (9.4%), and even Australia (6.1%). France – a nuclear energy powerhouse producing 70% of its energy needs – has inflation of around 5.8%.
Energy efficient homes, like those with solar panels, fetch, on average, a premium of over 17% in Australia – though that figure grows to 28.9% in Queensland and 24% in Victoria. (PV Magazine)
The carried interest loophole allows investment managers to pay the lower 20% long-term capital gains tax rate on income received as compensation, rather than the ordinary income tax rates of up to 37% that they would pay for the same amount of wage income…..this loophole could end if new tax legislation is passed….
Mortgage applications are down 18% compared to a year ago. A conforming loan dipped slightly to 5.74%. Inventory/active listings are up 18.7%. Re-Financing is down 83% compared to a year ago. While FED rates rise, mortgage lenders’ fixed interest rates are closely tied to bond rates. Low yields on government bonds mean low rates on fixed rate mortgages and vice versa. When bond yields decline, fixed mortgage rates also come down – a direct relationship. Pending home sales declined by 20%. (CNBC)
Akron, Ohio has the lowest chance of a housing downturn with an overall risk score of 29.6 followed by Philadelphia, (30.4), Montgomery County, Penn. (31.4), El Paso, Texas (32.2) and Cleveland (32.4). Cincinnati (32.6), Boston (32.6), Buffalo, NY (33.1), Kansas City, Mo. (33.4) and Rochester, NY (34). The median home price in Boise exploded from $330,000 to $550,000 from May 2020 to May 2022(Inman)
Builders are experiencing rising cancellation rates…..possibly a direct result of prices rising too far too fast and maybe a signal that the ‘because-you-can’ pricing premium over and above inflating commodities and labor costs is coming to an end? (CNBC)
Even with dramatically higher fuel costs, SOUTHWEST Airlines was more profitable than expected in the second quarter, further showcasing that raised pricing is adding a bit extra on top of inflation-driven costs.
Walmart results revealed that currently, general merchandise stores are overstocked, but the good news is that excess inventories could put downward pressure on inflation as big box retailers mark down their prices to entice consumers as they shift their spending habits. (YAHOO)
The US economy’s GDP shrank 0.9% in the second quarter after falling 1.6% in the first quarter…..two quarters in a row usually implies we are in a recession, yet some say with close to peak employment, healthy consumer finances, this is more of a rebalancing than a recession? If it is a recession, then we’ve done rather well so far all things considered! Over the past 5 years, US GDP grew 2.3% in 2017, 2.9% in 2018, 2.3% in 2019, shrank 3.4% in 2020 due to the pandemic, and grew 5.7% in 2021 as the economy roared back to life playing catch-up….which averages about 2% per year.
Demand for apartment rentals is anticipated to be so high by 2035 that the U.S. will need to build a total of 4.3 million more apartments by then, according to a study commissioned by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).
Bill Gates’ clean tech investment fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, is leading a $20 million investment round in an air conditioning startup, Blue Frontier whose air conditioner uses a salt solution as a liquid desiccant to do both the cooling and dehumidification work that is done by refrigerants in conventional air conditioner units. That’s key because refrigerants are bad for the environment and also the salt solution can be a store of energy, which evens out peak energy demand in the hottest days of summer. (cnbc)
The bond market and, by implication, mortgage rates, hate nothing more than high inflation because when inflation is running hot, it limits demand for bonds which, in turn, forces the interest rate payable on bonds to rise and this pushes mortgage rates higher. Over the past weeks, rates have actually been dropping which is certainly counterintuitive given where inflation is today. And the only reason for this may be that bond traders think that inflation might be topping out……as inflation starts to slow this could push bond prices higher, and yields will start to — if not drop — then certainly pause — and that will allow mortgage rates to hold at, or close to their current levels for the time being. Thanks Cindy Gorsica from Team JK, COMPASS Fort Lauderdale! (INMAN)
COMPASS California’s Aaron Kirman and Weston Littlefield just listed what may be the most expensive house on the Newport Coast, possibly the most expensive in Orange County.
The Fed rose rates but……the market wasn’t simply already expecting a 0.75% rate hike. It was a 100% foregone conclusion. Some thought a 1.00% rate hike was coming, but Fed speakers themselves had already dismissed the idea 2 weeks ago. Powell said that the Fed Funds Rate was now at neutral levels and the pace of rate hikes may need to slow down in response to economic strain. While he did specify that the shift would depend on data, it was nonetheless notable for being the first time in 2022 that the Fed explicitly discussed the light at the end of the rate hike tunnel.
As labor shortages plague many companies, at the Hyatt Regency Boston Cambridge, two robots navigate the banquet space and guest room corridors by scanning QR codes that have been installed around the building. A robot, which doesn’t have to unplug and replug its power cord as it moves or respond to guest requests, can vacuum a floor in 45 minutes compared with the 90 minutes that it takes human housekeepers.
Property tycoon Christian Candy has sold his luxury estate just west of London for about £125mn, one of the biggest housing deals this year, according to people briefed on the transaction. Christian and his brother Nick Candy made their names selling expensive apartments in London to the super-wealthy in the years after the 2008 financial crisis.
SHARKS!!!! JAWS!!! We see this scary headline rather often. However, in 2021 there were just 137 reported shark bites globally…..which when compared to mosquito bites is rather interesting: Globally, Mosquito borne diseases kill at least 700,000 people annually…..West Nile Virus kills about 130 people per year in the US… “MOSQUITO’S!!!!!!!”
After selling two homes in Manhattan for $101 million, the estate of Paul Allen just sold 6 houses and 2 additional parcels of land on Mercer Island for a total of $67 million. Three of the homes were mansions with at least 10,000 sf of space on or near the island’s western coast.
Construction spending fell 1.1% in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.76 trillion. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.4% increase. (Marketwatch)
Gas stoves emit harmful levels of several pollutants, particularly asthma-risking nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Homes with gas stoves have average NO2 levels ranging from roughly 50% to 400% higher than homes with electric stoves, which require venting. Turn vents on before using your gas stove.
In Switzerland close to where my brother lives in the canton of Valais high in the Alps, a giant water battery began operations last month: Nant de Drance, is a pumped storage hydropower plant that provides the same energy storage capacity as 400,000 electric car batteries. The plant is equipped with agile, reversible turbines that offer new levels of flexibility. With the flick of a switch, the plant can go from storing energy to providing electricity. The massive project took 14 years to complete. Around 10.5 miles of subterranean tunnels were excavated through the Alps while the 6 turbines are stored 600 meters (1,970 feet) below ground, in a giant cavern the length of two football fields. (CNN)
Pella – one of the US’s largest window manufacturers – is having a tough time attracting workers. The Kuyper family and its descendants have spent tens of millions of dollars in the past 3 years on housing, child-care centers, restaurants and an indoor entertainment center, among other things, to retain and attract new workers. More spending is on the way. Located 45 miles outside of DesMoines Iowa, attracting talent can be tough! (WSJ)
As we order more online, we also deliver more…..and that emits more carbon dioxide…..Amazon said its activities emitted the equivalent of 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021, up 18% from 2020, and an increase of nearly 40% from 2019. Amazon lowered its carbon intensity (emissions per dollar in sales) by 1.9% in 2021, compared with a 16% decline in 2020. Now Amazon is increasing same-day delivery, ‘warehousing’ in more local ‘bricks and mortar’ retail outlets.(CNBC)
Affordability and Outdoorsy are two of the most sought after attributes of places to live these days and are in the shortest supply…..
Elon Musk is planning to build a new private airport on 73 Acres near Austin. (CNBC)
Over the past year, 40% of home sales on Hilton Head Island have been $1 million-plus properties, up from 25% of total sales before the pandemic. (WSJ)
Walmart sells about $400 billion annually… 140 million Americans visit a Walmart store or online every week, a good barometer of the US economy. Walmart confirmed yesterday that it has begun to lay off corporate employees about a week after the company slashed its profit outlook and warned consumers had pulled back on discretionary spending due to inflation. The average Walmart shopper has an income of $80k per year. The headlines appear scarier than reality as 200 jobs seem to be involved ….out of the total employee count of…..1.6 million! Over the next few weeks and months jobs are an area to watch.
The ASPEN real estate markets are a great barometer of the ultra-luxury markets: COMPASS’ Steven Shane sent through some interesting insights:
-Year to date, transactions are down 38%
-However, Dollar volume is only down 4%
-Sold price per sqft is …..up 33%!
The change in sales is weighted heavily to recent transactions, June and July.
-Transactions June/July 2021 vs. 2022 are down 51%
-Dollar volume June/July 2021 vs. 2022 is down 46%
-Sold price per sqft is up 18%
Yesterday Monterey Park CA, Manhattan NY and Miami Beach, FL all had almost the exact same high temperature of 87 degrees! Las Vegas, Dallas and Phoenix were all well over 100 degrees. It’s a hot Summer!
Marty Green, a principal at mortgage law firm Polunsky Beitel Green, said it remains unclear whether the recent housing market slowdown is a result of “most consumers simply pausing a purchase decision while they see where interest rates and home prices settle or whether they are having to delay a purchase decision indefinitely because of affordability concerns.” How much the market rebounds as mortgage rates begin to cool should help answer that question. (forbes) (Thanks Nicole Ji COMPASS PNW for sending)
Kathleen Phelan of COMPASS Massachusetts has a daughter and son in law fundraising for the Dana Faber Cancer Institute, an institution near and dear to my heart. The Pan Mass Challenge is taking place this weekend on Cape Cod and is Dana Faber’s largest source of income and supporter of cancer research. Dana Farber’s fight against cancer benefits all of us.
Mortgage applications increased 1.2% as the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate made the largest weekly drop since 2020. Applications to refinance a home rose 2% weekly, and applications to purchase a home increased 1%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 5.43% from 5.74%. (CNBC)
Transactions on homes priced at $10 million or higher jumped 112% in 2021! Los Angeles led in transactions, followed by Manhattan and Palm Beach, as reported by Bloomberg citing COMPASS’ Ultra-Luxury Report. The Ultra Luxury Report was also featured by major national news outlets including The Street, WealthX, Barron’s and Mansion Global. These stories are packed with fascinating market data…I encourage you to take a moment to read and share this with your network! If you don’t sell this price point, know the COMPASS brand is being featured prominently to millions of people associated with luxury real estate…..
– Bloomberg gets 76.4 million website visits per month
– Barron’s 13.8 million per month
– The Street 8.4 million visits per month.
– Mansion Global 1.6 million per month
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased 14 basis points to 3.69% this week, its highest point since the first week of 2020. The US economy – and inflation – is over-heating and higher interest rates are designed to reduce demand and moderate unsustainable asset price escalation, a global issue. (Barrons)
The average price per square foot in Westchester was up 9.3%. Inventory plunged with just 1,824 Westchester homes on the market in the 4th quarter of 2021, down 29% from a year before. (THE REAL DEAL)
Almost a third of home buyers experienced two buying regrets the most: the home was not large enough and they did not account for the amount of maintenance a home requires. In this lies enormous opportunity and insight for real estate agents to help assist and guide their clients. Do you provide your home buyers with a list of vendors and a calendar of ‘things to do’ throughout the year’ to maintain their home? Do you label all those shut off valves and mechanicals for your home buyers….maybe on a laminated card with your name and contact info? Opportunity knocks….
Is Palm Beach the MONACO of the US? 2021 Palm Beach residential home sales volume reached $4 billion, up 67% from last year and more than the 2019 and 2020 dollar volumes……combined! Aspen, another top luxury market, reported $2.5 billion in sales in 2020 and $2.6 billion in 2021. The median price for a home on Palm Beach Island reached $7.9m, up 44% from last year. We also saw Palm Beach waterfront sale prices double, with an entry-level price for a Palm Beach waterfront home now approximately $20m. Thanks Elizabeth DeWoody of COMPASS Palm Beach for these insights!
While solar and wind sources, along with electric vehicles, attract the most attention right now it may be LED lighting, insulation and other practical fixes that will help flip buildings green that may be more immediately effective. Energy efficiencies that reduce consumption (and operating costs!) is an area that unites both the free markets community and those seeking a carbon neutral world. (Marketwatch)
The Meta-Mansion? Playboy has plans to reboot its brand in the digital world through NFTs, digital subscriptions and a new mansion in the metaverse. The average real estate parcel in The Sandbox metaverse platform was worth $2,620 in mid-October, according to nonfungible.com. A month later, after Facebook’s announcement, that price skyrocketed to $11,042……no comment. (CNBC)
Sweethearts, the conversation heart candy, was missing from shelves in 2019. Necco, the candy’s original producer, went out of business in 2018. The candy’s new owner, Spangler Candy Company, re-introduced the conversation hearts with modest changes in 2020. After production changes the candy is back in it’s previous form.
One upside to rising food prices? Maybe we can take a closer look at all the food that is thrown away every day to see how easy it might be – via simple efficiencies – to cut grocery bills AND be healthier? Between 30-40% of all US food is wasted in the…..
“We are big believers in New York City and continue to deploy capital in the market with our recent acquisitions. The city was hit hard during the pandemic, but as we’ve emerged, it has been amazing to see young people coming back to the city, and they’ve come back in droves, even while office utilization is still only around 35%. That speaks to the power of New York, the power of urbanization and the desire for young people to be around each other, to be around entertainment and culture. If there’s one thing that we’ve come to learn over the last 30 years in our business, it is to not bet against New York.” – Nadeem Meghji, BLACKSTONE
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
again.” – 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…..ie: 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…..today it’s over $525 billion, over 60% higher in a little over a decade….. Many economists expect the economy to rebound this quarter after GDP fell 9.5% (32.9% at an annual rate) in the 2nd quarter. Economists expect output to grow at an 18.3% annual rate in the 3rd quarter. 1.8 million jobs returned in July. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Amy Webb, an author and CEO of the research and consulting firm Future Today Institute, said smaller cities that are desirable to tech workers would be smart to plan for issues like increased traffic, parking problems, more waste and wealth disparities from new clusters of higher-wage earners. (WSJ)
“Crises spark human ingenuity,” – Nora Fehlbaum
DID YOU KNOW? Just 47% of Americans got a flu shot in 2019….. the flu has seen between 140,000 and 810,000 people hospitalized each year since 2010. Wear that mask!
DID YOU KNOW? 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! https://www.instagram.com/p/B_5aRWcg87A/
Here is the full interview and I loved it! https://drive.google.com/file/d/11UGiVrWS2oQlYeK630SrPxK07exB1hw7/view?usp=sharing
DID YOU KNOW? Matterport is now available for iPhones to create 3D Tours. Could be a really helpful (and cost effective) tool for agents! Thanks DJ Gerrish from COMPASS DC!
DID YOU KNOW? The Nasdaq Composite Index turned green for the year yesterday, after a record closing high Feb. 19. It hit a closing low for the year on March 23, when it was down 23.5% for 2020. But after rising 1.4% on May 7, the Nasdaq was up slightly for 2020, while the Dow was down 16.3% and the S&P 500 Index was down 10.8%. Does this send a message about panic-selling at market lows?
DID YOU KNOW? Realogy – the parent company of the Corcoran Group, Sotheby’s and Coldwell Banker – reported a net loss of $462 million during the first quarter as coronavirus began to freeze the housing market. First quarter revenue rose to $1.1 billion, up 6% year-over-year and transactions rose 8% before the pandemic took hold. Realogy’s transaction volume slid 20 – 25%, with New York and California each experiencing a 30% decline. Contract volume dropped 50% at its company-owned brokerages in April, and 40% among franchises. Realogy suspended its TurnKey pilot with Amazon, through which buyers could get up to $5,000 in Amazon smart-home products.
DID YOU KNOW? Elizabeth Ballin of COMPASS Chicago reminded me yesterday of some things that have NOT been cancelled due to CORONAVIRUS: sunshine, spring, love, relationships, reading, naps, devotion, music, dancing, imagination, kindness, conversations, hope…..
DID YOU KNOW? Last night was the last Super Moon of 2020 (Perigree Moon – point of the orbit when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth and therefore much brighter and much larger than an average full moon!). The next one won’t occur again until April of 2021. Thanks to Shannah Hall Franckum of COMPASS Cambridge MA for the insight!
“Hotels, they will recover. I personally don’t think Americans are going to change their habits forever.” – Barry Sternlicht, Starwood. Maybe a good message about being careful not to make massive changes for long term systems/plans for needs that may be relatively short-term?
DID YOU KNOW? Regional President of Texas and Colorado Danielle WIlkie shared that COMPASS Colorado Agents wanted to show their support for our employees so they organized a “Virtual Family Meal” for all of them last night! They raised more than $4,000 to buy dinner for employees & their families across the state. Colorado Agent Martin Anderson spearheaded this project & coordinated with a local restaurant group to make it happen. It is going to provide a meaningful Compass community moment while also supporting local businesses. A touching gesture and amazing idea!
DID YOU KNOW? MAY is skin cancer awareness month…..and since I’m a Melanoma survivor, I thought I’d remind you of the ABCDE of skin cancer when evaluating a spot:
A symmetry – one half does not match the other
B order – uneven borders
C olor – variety of colors
D iameter – grows larger than the size of a pencil eraser
E volution – changes in color, size, shape and other traits
DID YOU KNOW? We send our very best to all our COMPASS Florida colleagues and friends who are experiencing a rather awful wildfire that has forced hundreds of residents from their homes along a stretch of Interstate 75. A 20-mile stretch of the interstate, also known as Alligator Alley, that had been closed overnight was reopened about 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The blaze had consumed about 13 square miles and was 10% contained as of 7 p.m. last night. This fire grew from two large wildfires that were burning Thursday morning on either side of the interstate about 14 miles east of Naples that merged into one large fire.
DID YOU KNOW? New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington DC and Dallas are the TOP 10 cities with the most wealthy residents ($5m+ net worth) in the world. The fastest growing wealth markets are Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, New Zealand, USA, Pakistan and Ireland. (WEALTH-X)
DID YOU KNOW? Congress’ stimulus package gave US homeowners with a mortgage backed by the government the right to pause their monthly payments if they experience hardship. Through early May, the Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that almost 4 million U.S. borrowers (nearly 8% of residential mortgages in a weekly survey) are in forbearance, meaning that they still owe the payments eventually but can skip them for now without penalty. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Diane Cannon Vogt from COMPASS Laguna Beach, CA received a call the other day from TD Canada Trust that her mortgage in Vancouver was up for renewal. It took 5 minutes on the phone to refinance, one follow up email and signatures on a hard copy mail to do this…..maybe we need to explore how Canada has made this process so much quicker and simpler?
DID YOU KNOW? Miami-Dade’s proposed re-opening starts this Monday…..guidelines suggest that bars, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, and breweries; movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms and fitness studios, pools and hot tubs, tattoo shops and massage parlors will open at a later date. Hotels are expected to reopen in June, though no date has been provided. Though real estate offices and certain services are considered essential, showings would be allowed to resume under the yellow section in the county’s plan, along with retail and office.
DID YOU KNOW? Austin is launching the first-ever Austin Homes Live, a virtual tour event for prospective home buyers. Austin Homes Live will take place on TUESDAY, May 19th and will feature interactive home tours throughout Austin’s real estate markets, including Central Austin, East Austin, West Austin, Lakeway and South Austin. The inaugural event is designed to simulate a music festival atmosphere, and will take place in live videos through Compass agent’s Instagram accounts. The lineup can be found on the Austin Homes Live website here. Those who tune in will be privy to live tours of Austin listings as well as advice from Compass agents leading sessions on buying historic homes, pricing strategies for sellers, waterfront properties and more.
DID YOU KNOW? A New York City couple filing jointly with $5 million in taxable income would save $394,931 in state and local taxes by moving to Florida, according to Taryn Goldstein, head of Florida’s state and local tax practice for BDO. If they had moved from Boston, they’d save $252,500; from Greenwich, Conn., they’d save $342,700. A New Yorker earning $500k per year would save around $31k per year. While saving on state taxes, home insurance on a house valued at $2 million in Florida can range from about $11,000 to $20,000. (A $2 million home in Westchester costs around $ 5,000 to insure annually). A $5 million house in Palm Beach has annual real estate taxes of around $48,000 per year whereas a $5 million home in Tribeca is closer to $36,000/year. It appears no-tax states are often more beneficial to the highest earners when all costs are considered. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Population counts released by the Census Bureau showed that 6 of the 7 states with no income tax – Florida, Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota and Texas – had population increases from July 2018 to July 2019. Only Alaska, the seventh state, saw population decline, by 0.5%.
DID YOU KNOW? In 2018, global debt climbed to a record high of about 230% of gross domestic product (GDP), the World Bank said. While total debt from emerging and developing economies reached an all-time high of almost 170% of GDP. That marked an increase of 54 percentage points of GDP since 2010. China accounted for the bulk of this build-up, partly due to its size, but the World Bank emphasized that the accumulation of borrowing has been broad-based since 2010. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? The world’s first smart high-speed railway – a new 108-mile high-speed railway line in China connecting the capital with Olympic host city Zhangjiakou – has just entered service, cutting the travel time between the two cities from three hours to 47 minutes. The carriages are equipped with 5G signals, intelligent lighting, and 2,718 sensors to collect real-time data and detect any operational abnormalities. Each individual seat has its own touch-screen control panel and wireless charging docks. Though the high-speed trains on the route are autonomous, a monitoring driver will be on board at all times. The trains can automatically start, stop and adjust to the different speed limits between stations. Today, China is home to the world’s largest high-speed rail network – about 22,000 miles – and the fastest commercially operating train — the Shanghai maglev. Running at the top speed of 267 mph, the train links Shanghai Pudong Airport and Longyang Road in the eastern side of Shanghai. (CNN)
“Real estate agents must always bear in mind that real estate is color blind and neutral.” – Michael Romer, Romer, Debbas. Please be extra vigilant about FAIR HOUSING LAW: The recent Newsday Expose has triggered a new wave of spotters and inspectors seeking out agents who discriminate or break these laws.
DID YOU KNOW? Companies in the S&P 500 are expected to return more money to shareholders through dividends than ever this year, continuing a streak of record payouts dating back to 2012. Dividend payments in 2020 could top $500 billion for the first time. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? The number of late credit-card payments has risen 22% since 2015. (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? Buying a median-priced, three-bedroom home was more affordable than renting in only 53% of the 855 counties analyzed across the U.S., making renting in the other counties the more affordable option…..according to a recent report by Attom Data Solutions. While it may be true that total out-of-pocket monthly costs are sometimes cheaper when renting, often these reports omit one tiny – but important – detail: EQUITY BUILDING. At the end of a 30-year period of renting you have zero to show for your money. The same is not true once you’ve paid off your mortgage. (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? Do you want to know the value of public transportation access in a big city? Apartment rents in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg area have jumped to a record high since Governor Cuomo canceled a plan to shutter a major train line for repairs. The median asking rent was $3,675/month in November, making the neighborhood one of the most expensive in the borough. When a major subway line shutdown was announced connecting Williamsburg to Manhattan, sales and rent volume and pricing had dropped notably. (Bloomberg)
DID YOU KNOW? New York had more than 264,000 tech workers in 2018, a 20% jump from 2013. There are around 330,000 financial services workers in New York. San Francisco employs around 220,000 people in the financial services industry and 387,000 in tech. (BLOOMBERG)
DID YOU KNOW? A 2018 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey found half of 6,372 workers polled don’t expect to retire at 65, and 13% plan never to retire. The number of people who plan to retire after 65 has increased threefold since 1995, according to Gallup. America’s average retirement age has increased in the past 25 years to 66 or older. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Megxit? Brexit? London property markets are showing signs of new life! Chinese property magnate Cheung Chung Kiu is close to breaking London’s house-price record with the purchase of a 45-room mansion in Knightsbridge overlooking Hyde Park for more than $262 million, shattering the New York penthouse sale price at 220 Central Park South.
DID YOU KNOW? While soaring retail rents in cities has helped damage retail – aside from the onslaught of digital commerce – farmers are experiencing similar woes where lots of farmland have become too expensive to run a profitable farm. It’s not easy anywhere! (Marketwatch)
DID YOU KNOW? In 1975, the median age at first marriage was 23.5 for men and 21.1 for women, according to the Census Bureau. In 2018, it was almost 30 and 28, respectively.
“We only have a limited amount of square footage here. In South Florida, someone could develop a new golf course 2 miles away from an old golf course. It’s not that way in Aspen; we only have X amount of developable square feet. For the most part, it’s all been developed.” – Steven Shane, Compass, Aspen. The average price of a single-family house in Aspen was $7.4 million through October, compared to $6.9 million for the first 10 months of 2018. Strict zoning limits on future expansion and development keep valuations up, up, up. (Aspen Times)
“Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.” – Warren Buffet, who is sitting on almost $130 billion of cash….
DID YOU KNOW? Eating a healthy diet, regularly exercising, maintaining healthy body weight, not drinking excessively and never smoking could prevent Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. To be the best at what you do, never underestimate the importance of your HEALTH. (CNBC)
DID YOU KNOW? More U.S. homeowners refinanced their properties in 2019 than at any time since 2016; volumes in 2019 were $678 billion, up from $458 billion in 2018.
DID YOU KNOW? Around 36% of workers are part of the “gig economy”, working multiple or freelance jobs. The standard mortgage application process doesn’t make it easy for these workers, which requires W2 forms that these individuals may not have. The Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act would enable lenders to accept alternative forms of income and job verifications. The enactment of this law would be a boon to millions of Americans who want to take part in the American Dream of owning a home. (Marketwatch)
CORRECTION: Yesterday I referred to the earth’s area as 197 square miles……when in actuality its 197 MILLION square miles!
DID YOU KNOW? Metro areas with populations of 100,000 or more represent 85% of the U.S. population.
DID YOU KNOW? An additional 371,000 new rental units are expected to hit the U.S. market in 2020, a 50% percent increase over the number of new units completed in 2019. Developers want you to rent instead of buying. If rentals are supposed to combat the unaffordability of the housing market one has to wonder why 80% of these rentals are LUXURY rentals. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? A new bill is circulating in Washington would ease some new restrictions on the EB-5 program, which governs visas that grant permanent U.S. residency to foreigners who invest in qualifying real-estate projects and other businesses that create jobs in the U.S. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Package theft is at an all-time high, with 1.7 million packages stolen or lost every day in the U.S., according to researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Maybe the best building/home amenity is secured package drop-off? Amazon has installed secure locker locations in 900 U.S. cities and now offers Amazon Key, which allows customers to give remote access to delivery drivers so they can leave packages inside the home, garage or car trunk.
DID YOU KNOW? Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the wealthiest areas of the USA, 50 minutes from Midtown Manhattan, saw an 11% sales volume decline in 2019. Only 13% of all sales were above $4 million. The average sales price was $2.4 million, dispelling the myth that all homes in Greenwich are for billionaires alone! Off-market sales accounted for 9% of all transactions.
DID YOU KNOW? New York, Miami, Houston, and Chicago have the highest percentage of mortgages 30 days past due for the ten largest metro areas. (Corelogic)
DID YOU KNOW? A new report from Experian found that the average FICO Score in the U.S. reached an all-time high in 2019 of 703, up from 701 a year earlier and 14 points higher than back in 2010. Altogether, 59% of Americans have a FICO Score of 700 or higher, the largest percentage ever at that threshold.
DID YOU KNOW? New York was identified as the 8th most affordable large city in the USA in a report evaluating the TOP 20 largest city economies in the USA: Miami, Detroit, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Atlanta were the TOP 5. While New Yorkers spend a significant portion of their incomes on housing and transportation, the city’s low transportation costs help offset high housing costs. Transportation costs in New York City are the least expensive among the peer cities analyzed, with the median household spending $832 a month, or 14.4% of total income on transportation. (Citizens Budget Commission)
“The decade that just ended is clearly the warmest decade on record. Every decade since the 1960s clearly has been warmer than the one before.” – Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The past decade had eight of the 10 hottest years on record.
DID YOU KNOW? The U.S. economy’s two most interest-sensitive sectors, construction, and durable goods manufacturing fell to 10% of national output in 2018 from 20% in 1967. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? A penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences One Dalton Street in Boston fetched $34 million, coming in just shy of the most expensive home sale in the city’s history: a penthouse at the Millennium Tower that sold for $35 million in 2016. (Mansion)
DID YOU KNOW? Borrowers over 65 account for roughly 10% of all mortgages originated annually, according to reports by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? If you want to get a better idea of the value of some home improvement items, check THIS out. (Thanks Peter Monti for sending!)
DID YOU KNOW? 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. Bankrate.com 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:
- More price reductions not only on unrealistic asking prices.
- Longer time to sell.
- Growing inventory.
- Fewer bidding wars.
- Notably reduced sales volume.
- 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.