Location, location, location. Even the most reliable mantra of real estate has been scrambled by the pandemic, which has made our living spaces, in many ways, even more important than location. How else are things changing? Today’s Daily Dose is a deep dive into property markets, with an eye to who’s winning and losing right now and what’s on the horizon. Read on for more about the floating city of the future, how vacant shopping malls could make a comeback and a surprisingly in-demand side hustle. Hint: It involves a pen.
There’s never been a better time to borrow. Thanks in large part to the Federal Reserve’s actions to prop up the economy, the 30-year mortgage rate in America has in recent weeks plunged below 3 percent — the lowest level in history. The low rates are fueling a frenzy of new home sales and mortgage refinancing, even amid the pandemic economic downturn. This is sending home prices to their highest levels ever, beating even the housing bubble’s peak in 2006.
2. Losers: Landlords; Winners: Renters
The opposite effect is playing out in the rental market. From New York to San Francisco and Austin to Orlando, rents are sinking across the country, with a national multifamily rent decline of 8 percent expected for the year. Job losses mean more vacancies — or delinquent rents — and newly remote workers have more freedom to leave high-cost cities. European rents have been dropping slightly in major capitals like London, Paris, Berlin and Rome, while Sydney and Melbourne have seen a plunge.
With in-person tours not advisable, apartment seekers are increasingly doing their scouting virtually. In this video series, follow Chicago fashionista Rachel Mooreland as she looks for her next home from afar, and gives the scoop on how to embark on a different kind of search.
The pandemic is accelerating an existing trend among younger workers: the migration out of America’s priciest cities and toward second-tier cities like Houston, Austin and Denver. The proliferation of remote work is also driving them to even farther-flung suburbs and smaller towns.
China’s stunning real estate boom continues soaring in the country’s megacities, pandemic be damned. Last year, Chinese homes and developers’ inventory added up to $52 trillion — double the size of the American residential property market. With borrowing also skyrocketing, though, it’s raising concerns about a supersize bubble.
Office space is so 2019. With pandemic restrictions supercharging remote work and online shopping, office towers and shopping malls are looking lonelier than ever. And that’s bad news for the banks that hold the loans on them. Criticized loans — the equivalent of debt rated CCC or lower by a ratings agency — in commercial real estate rose 144 percent in the second quarter among 10 key banks, a sign of rocky roads ahead. The banks, though, say not all those loans will go bad, and the property values will hold up in either case.
This new series from our friends at CuriosityStream, narrated by Nick Offerman, explores the history of homes. From the treetop nests of our 2 million-year-old ancestors to 3D-printed houses on Mars, get insider access to some of the world’s most iconic locations.
Who needs the shore when you’ve got a pool? And when you want to cool off while keeping 6 feet apart from everyone, a neighborhood splash just won’t cut it. So homeowners spent the summer shelling out for pools and hot tubs. Problem is, given the crush of demand, they may not get to enjoy them anytime soon. One pool saleswoman in Illinois recently told a client she’d have to wait until spring … 2022.
You’ve probably heard of this civil servant. Former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush pulls back the curtain on the Bush family and shares his thoughts on the current political climate. He discusses his uncommon love story, America’s “mediocre” education system and his surprising opinion about Andrew Yang. Will he endorse Biden? Watch today to find out. And be sure to subscribe to the OZY YouTube channel to be notified each time a new episode drops — and be entered for a chance to win an invitation to a Zoom taping with a celebrity guest!
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Property values can be tied directly to the quality of local public schools, which derive funding from property taxes. This can lead to vast inequality in education that is particularly damaging for Black and brown children, a problem intertwined with America’s systemic racism. One possible fix proposed by the nonprofit EdBuild? Create more state- or countywide funding mechanisms for schools, rather than each district funding itself, to better spread the wealth. The jurisdictions that do this already, EdBuild found, have far more equitable student funding.
From Pasadena to Dallas, accessory dwelling units — also known as granny flats — are emerging as the solution that cities and communities are increasingly turning to, as they try to create more affordable housing while at the same time help elderly individuals or families gain a support system.
Imagine a new era in which all people have equal access to the future. This is why we bring you ASU+GSV Virtual Summit 2020 — free of charge. The summit will provide deep industry insights into the digital learning space, interactive networking opportunities and a star-studded group of speakers including Malcom Gladwell, Gloria Steinem, Bill Nye, Gen. Colin Powell and many more.
Rapper Akon is building a $6 billion sustainable futuristic city in Senegal that he’s pitching as a real-life Wakanda. Saudi Arabia is planning a $500 billion smart megacity called Neom on the Red Sea, described as a hub for diverse globalists. And with an eye to climate change, the design firm Bjarke Ingels Group recently unveiled a floating city concept called Oceanix City, a collection of hexagonal islands that grow their own food and purify their own water. It’s an innovative, utopian vision of what happens after we’ve ruined the planet.
2. Mud Houses Are Back
Turns out, our ancestors knew what they were doing.Sun-dried bricks made of mud and cow dung are increasingly being put to use in home construction in India, as builders turn away from cement because of its brutal impact on the climate. And the costs are about the same.
The notion of packing all your stuff into a van and hitting the road for good has long appealed to restless millennials, and #vanlife is now its own subculture. But what if your life won’t fit in a van? The pandemic is driving an increasing number of people to convert old school buses into homes. Known as “skoolies,” they can make for a pretty cost-effective abode: Used school buses can be had for $3,500, and the conversion into a living space can cost about $10,000.
4. Treetop Getaways
If you’re dying for an emblem of childhood but don’t want to live there permanently, how about a trip to a treehouse? From Bali to Norway to Ohio, you can plan your next vacation in the most luxurious tree you can imagine.