RealCrowd’s Thoughts

What’s Happening Now

Another week, another mixed bag. Let’s start with some positive news, there were 661,000 new jobs added back to the tally in September, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7.9%, ticking in 50 basis points below the August rate. This marks the fifth monthly decrease in a row, which I dare say counts as a trend. Before we get too celebratory however, it’s important to note that number includes nearly 700,000 people who left the job market and are no longer looking for work. Disney announced they’re going to lay off 28,000 people across its organization, while United and American Airlines announced they’re going to cut 32,000 jobs, reiterating the continued impact of this crisis.

The retail world is still trying to find some semblance of a footing as you’ll read in the NREI report on the latest from ICSC’s Retail in the Age of COVID-19 Conference. Same day pickup, the buy online and pick up in store concept and e-comm’s continued penetration into traditional retail sales are all topics of note. This rings true with our many conversations of the current crisis acting as an accelerant to already underway trends.

Also related to the challenges of the retail world, the WSJ reported that consumer spending ticked up in August, but a drop in personal income of 2.7% due to the expiration of extended unemployment benefits could put that trend at risk.

What To Watch

Keeping with the mixed bag theme, we’re hearing a mixed bag of reports around the continued, but then stalled, but then continued negotiations around another stimulus package. I might just start a copy/paste regime from my prior week’s newsletter here to hold this paragraph in limbo until something is actually signed.

The House has approved a $2.2B plan on Thursday night, but there remains a considerable distance between the House plan and Mnuchin’s $1.6T proposed package. Complicate everything with the news of the President’s positive COVID diagnosis and maybe something will hit home with the gravity of the crisis we’re currently facing to push this through more quickly.

As we look forward to the final quarter of what has been quite the rollercoaster of a year (boy, if that’s not an understatement…), all focus is on the upcoming election and how to manage the continued, and increasing, health crisis we’ve been living for the past 7+ months. 34 states now are reporting more infections last week than the week prior and there are more than 7.2 million confirmed cases in the US. With schools opening and retailers and restaurants loosening their reins on mask mandates, let’s hope we don’t see a catastrophic spike in infection rates as we head deeper into the fall and winter months.

2020 seems to just keep on keeping on no matter how tired of this ride we become. We’ve all had a front row seat for a relentlessly challenging year so far and not enough attention has been paid to the mental toll it’s taking on all of us. Do whatever you can to take a step back and try to observe some of the good around you, go for a walk outside or find a way to get some fresh air and sunshine if you can. As we know, the world moves on whether we want it to or not, so we may as well try to find those little glimmers of greatness where we can!

Stay safe out there, wash those hands, and again, for the respect and compassion for your fellow humans, please wear your masks!

-Adam Hooper, CEO

Weekly Metrics

20192020
Rent Payments Collected by May 20th94.8%93.3%
Rent Payments Collected by June 20th94.7%94.2%
Rent Payments Collected by July 20th95.3%93.3%
Rent Payments Collected by August 20th94.0%92.1%
Rent Payments Collected by September 20th93.7%92.2%
*Data brought to you by NHMC Rent Payment Tracker
CurrentPrior Week Change
10 Year Treasury0.692%+0.036%
DOW27,816.90+1,001.46
S&P 5003,380.80+134.21
Unemployment Rate7.9%-0.5%
Total US COVID-19 Cases7,282k+300k
Total US COVID-19 Tests114.5m+5.63m
*Metrics as of 11am EST on Friday, October 2

Watch Now

2020 Crystal Ball
Your Equities Market Outlook

We were fortunate enough to have Jeff Krumpelman of Mariner Wealth Advisors join us for a special live webinar to discuss his outlook for the public markets during these seemingly uncertain times.

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Key Articles To Read This Week

Here’s Who’s Giving What to Trump and Biden in Commercial Real Estate

The industry is spending millions on both, but what does it really want from either?

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18 Takeaways from Day Two of the ICSC Retail in the Age of COVID-19 Conference

On Wednesday, panelist discussions centered on the best ways for retailers and landlords to integrate e-commerce into their operations.

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Disney to lay off 28,000 employees as coronavirus slams its theme park business

Disney will lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products segment.

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H&M to close hundreds of stores as online shift accelerates

H&M, which over decades expanded its network of shops around the world, will aim to cut their number by a net 250 next year

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Manhattan Office Space Floods Market in Biggest Jump Since 20

Tenants put 2.5 million square feet (232,258 square meters) up for sublease in the third quarter, more than double the space a year earlier and the biggest quarterly increase since the end of 2008

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Consumer Spending Rose in August, but Incomes Pose Hurdle for U.S. Recovery

Commerce Department report shows personal income fell 2.7% due to a drop in unemployment benefits

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Drive-thru times at fast-food chains slow by nearly 30 seconds as demand soars during pandemic, study finds

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed many consumers to favor drive-thru lanes as a safer and more convenient option.

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Housing boost U.S. construction spending in August

Spending on private construction projects surged 1.9%, fueled by investment in homebuilding amid record-low mortgage rates and a pandemic-driven migration to suburbs and low density areas.

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Blackstone Ready to Lend After Raising Record Property Debt Fund

Investment firm raises $8 billion as falling rates help increase appeal of relatively high-yielding real estate debt

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The Pandemic Spurs Investor and Tenant Interest in Non-Core Markets

“Our offices in smaller cities and suburbs are reporting enhanced activity from out-of-state investors and companies that are either looking to relocate or at the very least, downsizing their urban footprints for satellite offices nearby.”

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*If you like this post, be sure to enroll in our free six week course on the fundamentals of commercial real estate investing — RealCrowd University.*