The Coester Real Estate News Weekly Real Estate round-up summarizes the happens in real estate from across the globe.
The country is looking for a plan to re-open, and both the Governors of various stats and President Trump realize it’s not going to be an easy task and a lot longer than expected. The question between re-opening and having the virus and deaths spread vs. continuing the at-home orders and having businesses continue to close and job losses become unbearable.
Companies need to re-open, but with dire projections like “in June we should see 3,000 COVID related deaths per day,” it’s hard not to question if we should wait a little longer. It’s been over 40 days since quarantine orders were in effect in most states, and the general population of the United States is fed up with being ordered to stay at home. Throughout the country, citizens are venturing out regardless of the orders of state Governors. This slow and steady civil upheaval might be signs that it is time to weather the storm together and re-open effectively. You cannot prevent an idea that time has come, and regardless of orders in place, people are ready to open up and get back to a relative sense of routine. The real estate market is no different, and around the globe, buyers, sellers, and real estate companies are ready to keep things moving.
Week Real Estate and Business Highlights:
- Airbnb hosts saw $1.5 billion in bookings vanish in mid-March as the travel industry froze. The Coronavirus’s spread has exposed swaths of the U.S. economy that were ill-suited for a crisis—great for offering inexpensive goods and services quickly, terrible in an economic disaster. Airbnb spawned a cottage industry of homeowners running their property empires. Hosts also brought with them cleaning services, interior designers, and maintenance workers—so their plight has ripple effects that go beyond their listings.
- Online Stock brokerages are seeing record spikes in new accounts and trading activity, with individual investors wading into the market to try to seize on this year’s erratic stock swings. Enticed by an industrywide move to zero-commission trading—and with more time on their hands as many works from home—investors have flocked to online platforms. Many are young and first-time traders. Yet with free trading at their fingertips and massive online communities with which to discuss trading ideas, many figures they have little to lose.
- Consumer spending, the U.S. economy’s key driver, posted its steepest monthly decline in records tracing back to 1959. The Commerce Department said consumer spending fell 7.5% in March. It also said personal income fell by 2%. The declines occurred primarily in the second half of March, as business shutdowns and stay-at-home government orders took effect.
- The Federal Reserve said it would expand loan offerings and qualification rules for its $600 billion effort designed to reach small and mid-size businesses.
- SoftBank announced a loss of around $6.6 billion for its fiscal year ended March on the portion of its WeWork investment held outside the Vision Fund. The Japanese conglomerate has poured more than $13.5 billion into the co-working company.
- As some U.S. states began to re-open, parts of Asia where the coronavirus pandemic has waned moved closer to normalcy. However, governments warned people to stay vigilant because of the risk of a resurgence.
- Globally, reported coronavirus cases totaled more than 3.2 million, and the death toll exceeded 233,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In the U.S., total infections approached 1.1 million, with more than 63,000 dead, according to Johns Hopkins data.
- The spring selling season is a wash, and the recovery the National Association of Realtors (NAR) sees coming won’t be enough to make up ground lost this year to the coronavirus pandemic. The trade group said Wednesday, April 29, that its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) for existing single-family houses fell 20.8% year over year in March and that contract signings year over year were down 16.3% nationwide. At March’s end, the PHSI stood at 88.2, the NAR says, with 100 representing the level of contract activity in 2001.
- Millions of Americans aren’t able to pay because of mass coronavirus-related layoffs, hour reductions, and pay cuts. In the past six weeks, over 30 million people have filed for unemployment, a figure that makes this the worst joblLuxury homes values from Beijing and Hong Kong to Singapore and Bangkok declined in the first quarter of 2020, reflecting fallout at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report Friday from global property consultant Knight Frank. The virus, which spread swiftly from China to other parts of Asia and the Middle East during January and February, had yet to meaningfully impact the U.K., the U.S. and much of Europe during the first quarter of the year. But the declines registered in Asian cities first affected by the outbreak foretell the likely impact of the disease on luxury housing hubs in the U.S. and Europe.
- Australian property prices have slowed for the second consecutive month, as the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic begins to weigh heavily on the market. Property data analyst CoreLogic’s April Home Value Index revealed on Friday; national dwelling prices increased by 0.3 percent during April to a median of $557,739, down from 0.7 percent in March. The figures continue the property market’s recovery that stretches back to June 2019, with the annual national increase in housing prices hovering at a heady 12.3 percent.
- Amazon deliveries may be delayed for some folks because of the Coronavirus, but the construction of Amazon’s Virginia headquarters is moving right along, with piledriving work so loud it’s driving the stuck-at-home neighbors crazy. For weeks on end, the relentless clang and bang from construction equipment preparing foundations for the online giant’s new headquarters have reverberated throughout Arlington County’s Pentagon City neighborhood.
- Macy’s announced an ambitious plan on Thursday to re-open all of its 775 locations, including Bloomingdales and Bluemercury, in the next six to eight weeks. The re-opening system will start on Monday with 68 stores in Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Macy’s hopes to re-open another 50 locations on May 11. The company expects that its re-opened stores will only bring in about 15 to 20 percent of their typical business at first and “slowly build” from there. Macy’s has been offering curbside pick up at about 20 stores for the past week. (NYTimes)
- The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® was shocked that Gov. Tom Wolf today announced the majority of the state is still closed for in-person real estate transactions. Real estate services are being conducted safely in nearly every state across the country, yet Pennsylvanians are being denied the ability to purchase shelter. Bordering states have all adopted safe procedures to ensure that their citizens can work with real estate professionals to buy and sell the property.
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer of the great state of Michigan has signed an executive order allowing construction and real estate across the country to re-open.
People are ready to re-open and get back out in the market and back to work. Nobody planned on a 2020 shutdown, and the longer it goes, citizens across the globe are weighing health risk vs. economic and general sanity. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has become top of conversations as the strategy to move forward, maybe something we all learn to live with as we proceed with caution.