News Alerts, Aug. 19, 2013: Real Estate Plus

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  1. Renting Dirt to Owner-Occupants

    Here is how you formulate a purchase price offer for a mobile home park. Completely discount all of the rental mobile homes. You can calculate future value for renting the dirt but don’t count on rent from the current tenants. Your plan is to sell the mobile homes that are salvageable and pay to have the worst ones hauled away. Sell the salvageable homes to new owners and start collecting rent for only the dirt. Allow owners to move in their own homes into spaces vacated by the mobile homes you had to have hauled away.

    Once you improve the park, you’ll soon reach close to 100% owner occupancy. Your revenue stream will grow to $30,000 ($300 X 100) and expenses will be limited to $3,000 ($30,000 X 10%). Your monthly net operating income jumps to $27,000.

  2. Dollar Gains Versus Major Peers as Economic Data Backs Tapering – Bloomberg

    The dollar registered its biggest weekly advance in more than a month against the yen as gains in new-home construction and worker productivity added to signs the world’s biggest economy is improving.

    At the risk of appearing somewhat dimwitted, a strengthening dollar is disinflationary. However, the Fed wants 2% inflation with 6.5% unemployment. A stronger dollar buys more imports. It makes US exports more expensive, which hurts US manufacturing and related employment. This is important also because it takes more and better-paid employment to increase our domestic demand even for our own goods. What are we missing here?

    Is the point of the article that a strengthening dollar is a psychological sign that the economy is heating up and will continue to do so despite Fed tapering to come supposedly soon? We should think that the stronger the dollar at this point, the less likely the Fed is to taper soon. What are your thoughts on this. We'd love to hear them and especially if you can clear the air for us.

    See also: "How weak dollar impacts pocketbook," by Sheyna Steiner • Bankrate.com. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal -finance/how-weak-dollar-impacts-pocketb ook-1.aspx

    We also left this as a comment over on Bloomberg's article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-15  /dollar-headed-for-weekly-gain-versus-y en-before-housing-data.html#comment-1005 413371

  3. Is Structural Unemployment 'Humbug' or Are Krugman and Baker Biased? | The Business Desk with Paul Solman | PBS NewsHour | PBS

    Paul Solman writes:

    …"structural unemployment": it is "the assertion that the 'full-employment' rate of unemployment, the level of unemployment at which prices and wages start to rise and you risk a wage-price spiral, has increased. When that happens, you can't solve the unemployment problem just by getting someone to spend more and thereby increasing demand; when it hasn't happened, you can."

    Well, that is one definition, which Krugman elaborated on in 2010. But usually, when people speak of "structural unemployment," they mean something more casual: a mismatch between jobs and workers that's built into the economy, at least for some extended period of time.

    …of course Krugman and Baker are right in suggesting that government activism can solve the unemployment problem. All it has to do is create enough jobs that people are willing to take another batch of alphabet soup agencies like President Franklin Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)….

    That last aspect is akin to Ben Bernanke repeatedly mentioning that the monetarism of the Fed needs help from the fiscal side (Congressional spending and tax reduction during the recovery). The types of jobs and the amount in wages, etc., would not have to be exactly modeled after Roosevelt's New Deal. The jobs could be in anything Congress would agree on, and the wages could be prevailing. If the work were as productive as, or more productive than, the average of the private sector, then government would simply be spending newly created money into the system and heating it up without necessarily creating runaway inflation.

    Some of the more conservative view is that once such programs were to prove successful, they'd not be dialed back. They'd crowd out the private sector. There are proposals out there to deal with that, but those are for another post.

    One thing we will mention is that the government could simply hire private contractors who would employ the underemployed and unemployed even if it were to require training built into the program. Some of that was done in Roosevelt's time. Huge New Deal projects were built using private contractors (called government contractors because they bid on the government work). Unemployment dropped until fiscal/governmental spending was decreased. When it was increased again, unemployment continued dropping right through WWII, during which, the previously unemployed were drafted into the military and paid by the government.

  4. Filling downtown Seattle skyscrapers a tall order | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times

    After a 20-year hiatus, developers plan three new major office towers in Seattle’s central business district. But traditional tenants aren’t expanding as rapidly and there’s still plenty of vacant floors in landmarks like the Columbia Center.

    “It’s about being together, not being pancaked in a high-rise,” Yoshinobu said.

    But Matt Christian, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield/Commerce, says that in markets across the nation, tech companies are moving downtown because of the easy access to transportation hubs and amenities.

  5. NYCHA tenants should be fingerprinted: Bloomberg  – NY Daily News

    City public housing tenants should all be fingerprinted, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday, sparking an uproar…. “What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in," Bloomberg said during his weekly appearance on “The John Gambling Show” on WOR-AM as he spoke about ways to improve safety in public housing.

  6. Euro Area Exits Record Slump Led by Largest Economies – Bloomberg

    The euro area’s economy emerged from a record-long recession in the second quarter, led by Germany and France, amid the first sustained period of financial-market calm since the start of the debt crisis.

    “We’re not seeing a recovery, it’s only a stabilization,” said Sylvain Broyer, Chief Eurozone Economist at Natixis in Frankfurt.

    …EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a blog post. “A sustained recovery is now within reach, but only if we persevere on all fronts of our crisis response.”

    …Stephen King, U.K.-based chief global economist at HSBC Holdings Plc, told Bloomberg Television on Aug. 12. “The problem is the gap between the growth that’s being delivered and the growth that’s required to make the fiscal numbers add up in the medium term.”

    In addition, London appears to be modeling itself after the Fed's dual mandate: keep inflation in check while getting employment as high as possible. Will the Bank of England muddle through?

  7. California inventory pool no longer shrinking fast | 2013-08-13 | HousingWire
    California inventory pool no longer shrinking fast | 2013-08-13 | HousingWire

    This is supply and demand at work against growing bubbles too large.

    Larger inventories, especially in the hotter markets that experienced rapid price increases in the spring, are expanding buyers' choices and helping to moderate price increases," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc.


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