New rentals plunge 71% in Manhattan

We know there will be short-term affects when it comes to the real estate market and rental market in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The question is how long that lasts. Will there still be issues 6 months from now? One year from now?

In places like New York City, the effects are significant. New rentals have plunged 71% in Manhattan. That’s a lot to unwind over the next 6 months to a year.

Will there be fewer office jobs in NYC as companies offer more remote work options? Will fewer people want to move to NYC until the virus is completely eradicated or we have a vaccine?

The psychological effects are real, and sometimes it can take years to get back to normal after a recession or event like an earthquake or hurricane. Effects from a pandemic may be even worse.

  

One World Trade Center is tallest building in US

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The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has determined that the official height of One World Trade Center in New York City is 1,776 feet (541.3 meters) to its architectural top, making it the tallest building in the US over the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower in Chicago. The key to the determination was that the addition at the top of the building spire integral to the design of the building as opposed to being just an antenna. Naturally, this will spark some controversy, but the CTBUH is the organization that makes these official determinations.

We snapped this photo of this still unfinished building recently from the Trump hotel in Soho which provided an excellent view. One World Trade Center is certainly a beautiful and welcome addition to the New York City skyline.

  

Loft alternatives to home demolition

Here’s a very interesting article out of Cleveland on how certain older homes can be rehabbed into loft-type homes by ripping out most of the walls and most of the second floor. It works with certain older homes that are constructed in a way that makes this treatment feasible.

This offers an excellent alternative to demolishing the home. We’re talking about older homes that are worth basically nothing and then can be rehabbed in this way for under $10,000. Then they can be rented for around $500 per month, which seems like a very interesting investment.

  

Some signs point to an improving economy

Things were starting to look pretty grim earlier this summer as job growth slowed and manufacturing activity slowed down, but now we’re starting to see some signs of life in the economy.

After a spring and summer of weak economic indicators, a flurry of fresh data suggest key sectors of the economy might be gaining traction, just as the battle for the White House enters the final round.

The long-moribund housing market has bustled to life, with prices and new-home construction rising in recent weeks. Hiring, so weak earlier this year, picked up last month. And on Thursday, the government reported an acceleration of a downward trend in the number of people seeking unemployment insurance, as well as a sharp improvement in U.S. exports.

The housing news is key, as we were never going to have significant GDP or job growth without reaching a bottom in the housing market as Warren Buffett explained many times.

  

Will housing drive economic growth in 2012?

The housing slump has been a killer for economic growth since the great crash of 2008. Many people think we won’t be able to get the economy going until the housing market recovers. We’ve heard some good news lately, with an unexpected jump in housing sales at the end of 2011. Some bankers like Jamie Diamond are calling the bottom in real estate.

It will be interesting to see what happens. As we work through the housing inventory, consumers are finally feeling better about the economy. This could spark another home improvement boom. One thing to look for in 2012 is the health of retailers like Home Depot. If more Americans are feeling better about the economy and more homes start selling, then we could see this drive economic growth.

There are so many resources out there for consumers to do work on their homes. In-store shopping at places like home depot are very popular, as are online options. You can do research on price and design options very easily online. You can shop for furniture and other needs, like buying picture frames here, and you can save so much time and money while making your home look beautiful.

We’ve seen the auto industry recover. Now if we can see housing and home improvement make gains as well, then we might finally be on our way to a real recovery.

  

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