Here is your monthly “Gladstone Gazette” update – a quick summary of what I’m working on, learning about, and interested by in the world of real estate.
- National rent collection tracked by the NMHC through August 13th came in at 86.9%. This is down slightly from 87.6% last month (July 2020) and down from 88.9% last year (August 2019).
- Refinancing is getting more expensive. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac came out of nowhere and announced they will impose a new “adverse market fee” of 0.5% on most refinanced mortgages starting 9/1.
- The NHMC argues that extended eviction moratoriums are doing more harm than good, and everyone (renters, owners, bankers) would all be better off if we funded direct rent relief for those affected by COVID.
- Volatile times are a good reminder that vague commentary on “the real estate market” is meaningless. Every market and asset class have wildly different dynamics… for example: apartment vacancies in New York are at an all time high. The Boston for sale market is uber competitive, but Boston renters actually have some leverage. Suburban homes are going through the roof… but so are urban homes.
- The “YIMBY” movement in Minneapolis and ban on single-family zoning will be interesting to follow, but without changes to parking requirements and building size, it’s doubtful we’ll see much of an impact on density.
Gladstone Capital updates
- Spencer ave (Chelsea) is flying along. Mechanical connections are wrapping up by the end of August, and the floodgates will open to potential buyers starting mid-September. Broker open houses went great and we have armies of agents ready to send buyers through as soon as the units are patched and plastered.
- Saratoga St (East Boston) is flying along. The highlight so far is seeing how nice the rooftop view will be!
Waiting for: The next round of COVID stimulus. I understand the need to balance action and thoroughness… but I’m surprised there wasn’t at least a temporary extension on the bonus unemployment benefit. The loss of the $600/week bonus payments is expected to result in a 44% reduction of spending, according to the NBER. I was concerned about the bonus payments dampening incentives for people to get back to work (when jobs come back), but this WSJ article made me second guess that assumption.
Reading: “Why Real Estate Will Always Be More Desirable Than Stocks.” The Financial Samurai is one of my favorite personal finance blogs, and I’ve noticed a push towards more real estate related blogs over the past year or two. See also his 30/30/3 rule for buying your first (or next) home.
Surprised by: Apparently Blockbuster has a Twitter account? They came out of nowhere and tweeted for the first time since 2014. Why? The last remaining Blockbuster – located in Bend, Oregon – is offering up three, one-night stays on Airbnb. Bananas.
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