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House Prices BOOM, Financials Fizzle; Hotels BOMB 🎇

By December 29, 2020 No Comments

House prices break records! Financial centers losing out

Welcome to the last Rise&Shred of 2020! There will be no emails (unless news breaks!) on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. We start the next round of Rise&Shred on Monday; a fresh start to a fresh year. Happy New Year, everyone!

U.S. home prices jumped in October by the most in more than six years as a pandemic-fueled buying rush drives the number of available properties for sale to record lows.

That combination of strong demand and limited supply pushed home prices up 7.9% in October compared with 12 months ago, according to Tuesday’s S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. That’s the largest annual increase since June 2014.

But you know who isn’t concerned with home prices? The residents of the private Miami island, Indian Creek.

Tom Brady is building there, as are the Kushners, adding to the list of high profile NorthEaster types moving down to Florida.

But the shift isn’t just with people. Goldman Sachs is said to be slowly abandoning operations (Bloomberg, metered paywall) in NYC in favor of places down south, such as Miami. Dallas is also attracting more financial services providers.

The success in operating remotely during the pandemic persuaded members of its financial leadership teams to consider relocations, which could dramatically alter NYC’s and San Franciso’s status as the national financial services centers.

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A billion unsold hotel rooms will “get much worse”

In yesterday’s Rise&Shred we discussed the return of the conference circuit to mortgages. While we may be getting back to it by the second half of 2021, it will still take the hotel industry YEARS to recover from COVID-19, judging by the latest numbers.

For the first time on record, the hotel industry had one billion unsold room nights as Americans stayed home and avoided hotels.

According to STR, a hotel industry market data firm, the US hotel occupancy rate plunged 26.4% to 36.8% during the week of 13 to 19 December, compared over the same period in 2019.

An article in Zero Hedge adds that, given the uninspiring rebound in national occupancy rates for mid-December, S&P Global Ratings warned in a report last month that the hotel industry's recovery may not occur until 2023.

With that being said, Best Western CEO David Kong recently told CNN that “If we don't get a vaccine soon and business doesn't return, it's going to get much worse.”

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With Josh Pitts

CNBC provides two very different 2021 outlooks less than a week apart

What a difference a week makes.

Last week on CNBC, the Michael Medler, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate indicated a strong housing market in 2021.

“You got alot of household formations coming out,” he said about 2021. “They’re tired of renting and they’re looking for more space, moving out to suburban and even rural communities… I expect it to conintue into 2021.”

However, this week, Matthew Pointon, Capital Economics property economist went on the same network, but carried with him a much darker outlook.

“If you want to buy a house, it’s going to be a struggl next year,” Pointon said, pointing to headwinds such as increasing interest rates, and continued


supply problems, with single-family suffering in particular. “People are going to start to come bank into cities,” to take advantage of massive rent cuts in the big metros.

Who will prove to be correct? Medler or Pointon? We aren’t sure, but we’re routing for Medler’s rosier outlook and side with his real estate view… for now.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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