News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Oct. 3, 2017

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) ALERT™ :: Event Summary: Hurricane Maria

2) Help for Victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria | Internal Revenue Service

3) Behold, NYC's 15 Most Rapidly Gentrifying Neighborhoods – Curbed NY

4) Home Prices in 20 US Cities Increase More Than Forecast – Bloomberg

5) County's multifamily housing in a boom cycle | The Columbian [Vancouver, WA]

6) Clean Energy Is Approaching a Tipping Point – Bloomberg

7) The Ultimate Guide to Investing in Condos and Townhomes

8) Yellen Knows Enough to Admit What She Doesn't Know – Bloomberg

9) Why Pay Interest on Required Reserve Balances? Liberty Street Economics

10) Senior Renters Represent a Growing, Diverse Segment in Small Apartment Properties

11) 27 Stats That Sum Up the American Housing Market

12) Rising Rents, Stagnant Wages, And the Burden of Unstable Housing

13) Bitcoin Falters as South Korea Follows China By Banning ICOs | Fortune[.]com

14) Verisk's Geomni Offers New UAV Service for Properties – Unmanned Aerial Online

15) Economists Have No Use for Republican Tax Cuts – Bloomberg

16) China's mortgage debt bubble raises spectre of 2007 US crisis | South China Morning Post

17) Debt boom in India and China threatens new financial crisis, warns World Economic Forum

18) Inequality near historic highs, wages stagnant in US – Business Insider

19) Three reasons that bonds may have come to an important turning point

20) Tesla sends Powerwall batteries to Puerto Rico : TreeHugger

21) Maria-decimated Puerto Rico seeing big ramp-up in federal aid – CBS News

22) Affordable housing bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown | The Sacramento Bee

23) 2 Wildfires In Northern California Destroy or Damage Multiple Homes

24) Florida to Deploy Anti-Fraud Strike Teams to Areas Hard-Hit by Irma

25) How tech is revolutionizing rental markets

26) US MILITARY ON PUERTO RICO: "THE PROBLEM IS DISTRIBUTION" AND HERE'S WHY | HuffPost

27) [Highly Recommended] The Inevitable and the Unpredictable — DiEM25

28) Workforce housing catches eye of managers, investors

29) NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: Hurricane Irma Set Record With Longest Lifetime as Category 5 |

30) Harvey cools off hot real estate market – Houston Chronicle

31) Las Vegas Strip shooting [of October 1, 2017] – Wikipedia

32) Brace for Impact: A Look at Real Estate After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

33) My Take on Inflation — Neel Kashkari — Medium

34) Few Californians have earthquake insurance, but interest has jumped since the Mexico quakes – LA Times

35) Tucson Real Estate: Former motels converted to apartments | Business News | tucson[.]com

36) Amherst Capital Market Update: Increasing Institutional Ownership of Single-Family Rental Homes Solidifies SFR as a Long-Term Asset Class

37) 4 Above-and-Beyond Home Inspections That Could Save You Money

  1.    ALERT™ :: Event Summary: Hurricane Maria 9/25/2017

    AIR estimates industry insured losses for Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean will be between USD 40 billion and USD 85 billion. Puerto Rico alone accounts for more than 85% of the loss.

    AIR's modeled insured loss estimates do not include:
    Losses to infrastructure
    Losses from hazardous waste cleanup, vandalism, or civil commotion, whether directly or indirectly caused by the event
    Losses to offshore properties, pleasure boats, and marine craft
    Losses resulting from the compromise of existing defenses (e.g., levees)
    Losses to uninsured properties
    Other non-modeled losses, including loss adjustment expenses

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  2.    Help for Victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria | Internal Revenue Service

    Spread the word.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  3.    Behold, NYC's 15 Most Rapidly Gentrifying Neighborhoods – Curbed NY

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  4.    Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Increase More Than Forecast – Bloomberg

    Why they rent …

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  5.    County's multifamily housing in a boom cycle | The Columbian [Vancouver, WA]

    The lingering effects of the foreclosure crisis were initially the main driver for apartment demand, according to Jon Spikkeland, senior associate of consulting firm Johnson Economics, which has worked with development companies in and around Clark County in recent years in both residential and industrial sectors. However, job growth is driving much of the change now, he said. Roughly 75 percent of net new jobs created last year were filled by workers younger than age 35, he said, and those workers typically rent because they don't have the savings nor credit for homeownership.

    … Union Park developers built in a fitness center, playground, basketball court, a barbecue and patio with covered gazebo to try to separate it from the pack. It also touts amenities like keyless entry, parking for electric vehicles with charging stations and more.

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  6.    Clean Energy Is Approaching a Tipping Point – Bloomberg

    "Coal is declining in the U.S. Nobody is going to make coal great again."

    We should have a national energy policy pushing clean energy only.

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  7.    The Ultimate Guide to Investing in Condos and Townhomes

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  8.    Yellen Knows Enough to Admit What She Doesn't Know – Bloomberg

    "Our framework for understanding inflation dynamics could be misspecified in some fundamental way, perhaps because our econometric models overlook some factor that will restrain inflation in coming years despite solid labor market conditions," Yellen said.

    Receding health-care costs could be at work here, as might the relentless forces of technology and competition in the retail industry. Margins are tight, and firms might be unwilling or unable to raise prices even if demand is up.

    Then there are the global forces unleashed by the entry of China and other emerging markets into the world economy. They didn't just make goods cheaper. They effectively swelled the global labor market. In other words, you aren't just competing for work with someone down the block, but with someone in another continent as well.

    Unions have also lost a huge amount of wage power. Greed is up. Sharing the wealth is down.

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  9.    Why Pay Interest on Required Reserve Balances? Liberty Street Economics

    You have to know and understand quite a bit to comprehend this article. However, if you never read such material, you'll never be really in a position to argue for or against policies of this kind.

    What isn't said in this article is that paying interest on excess reserves (which is the proper way of expressing it) was a method of keeping the troubled banking industry liquid and solvent. In other words, it was a bailout maneuver.

    The Fed did QE by buying bonds. That money flowed to the banks and into reserves earning interest on money that would not have existed save for the QE in the first place. This bought the banks time while their real estate assets slowly regained value and allowed them to play in other speculative markets.

    It has all been a Band-Aid.

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  10.    Senior Renters Represent a Growing, Diverse Segment in Small Apartment Properties

    … senior households increasing their shares significantly over the next decade in small apartment buildings. Small property owners and operators would be prudent to monitor this segment and the implications for property upgrades closely.

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  11.    27 Stats That Sum Up the American Housing Market

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  12.    Rising Rents, Stagnant Wages, And the Burden of Unstable Housing

    You're a landlord. You make money by renting to people. You want to make a solid living doing it. What are we all going to do about people who are not even caught by the public safety nets? Do we really believe we can't design and truly workable economic and financial system where people are properly rewarded for their hard work and without allowing anyone to fall through the cracks?

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  13.    Bitcoin Falters as South Korea Follows China By Banning ICOs | Fortune.com

    Smart move by South Korea …

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  14.    Verisk's Geomni Offers New UAV Service for Properties – Unmanned Aerial Online

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  15.    Economists Have No Use for Republican Tax Cuts – Bloomberg

    If you think the Phillips Curve has been a weak predictor, wait until you get a load of the "dynamic scoring" utter nonsense.

    Dynamic scoring is a ruse. The entire plan is to cut taxes on the upper and upper-middle classes, drive up the deficit thereby, call for spending cuts on the general welfare to reduce the deficit caused by the tax cuts, and replace everything the government does (including what it does better than the private sector) with privatization for the benefit of the already uber-rich. Who loses? The whole economy does worse, and the rich further consolidate and increase the income and wealth gap leading to dystopia and their own premature demise.

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  16.    China's mortgage debt bubble raises spectre of 2007 US crisis | South China Morning Post

    How long can they keep going before it pops?

    "If it goes on, as early as in 2020, the ratio of mortgage debt and disposable income in China will reach the same peak level [127 per cent] as the US [in 2007] on the eve of the subprime crisis," Chen said.

    They're using liar's loans too.

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  17.    Debt boom in India and China threatens new financial crisis, warns World Economic Forum

    President Trump's plans to cut back some of the post-crisis era regulation could also make the system less safe, the WEF said.

    "This may lead to the re-emergence of fragilities that post-crisis regulation aimed to tackle," the analysts warned.

    I'm certain that if the world keeps heading in the direction it has been, we'll see another deep recession, especially if the powers that be still will refuse to do the right thing: massive fiscal stimulus to the poorest people and without issuing any bonds.

    I've been doubting Trump's tax plan will go through; but, unfortunately, he might get through enough to cause serious damage.

    Xi still doesn't appear to have a clue of what China should really be doing either. He absolutely hates real democracy even though it's exactly what would hellp spare China the worst of it.

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  18.    Inequality near historic highs, wages stagnant in US – Business Insider

    There is a reason so many Americans feel the economy's recovery from the Great Recession has not benefited them: It hasn't.

    When your tenants are squeezed so much that they can't afford to pay the rent even though they have "decent" positions, you'll know why, whom to blame for it, and the policy changes to call for and force through.

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  19.    Three reasons that bonds may have come to an important turning point

    President Donald Trump is expected to appoint a new Fed chairman to replace Janet Yellen. Yellen is in the running but yields rose after a report Friday that Kevin Warsh, former Fed governor, was at the White House discussing the opening with the president….

    There's that, but the article makes the huge error of not discussing the impact a recession would have, a recession caused by tightening, premature tightening. Under a hawk, the impact would be worse because the reaction would be slower and weaker once undertaken anyway. Interest rates would have to fall. The Fed would have no choice. Short-term bond yields would zoom up again. An international recession would drive more foreign investors to swoop in to bonds.

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  20.    Tesla sends Powerwall batteries to Puerto Rico : TreeHugger

    Exactly what I expected from Musk … most visionary, nuts-and-bolts, practical CEO out there.

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  21.    Maria-decimated Puerto Rico seeing big ramp-up in federal aid – CBS News

    I'm deliberately not going to weigh in here politically. I'd be really concerned that I'd be doing nothing more than armchair quarterbacking. Whether the help has been late due to insufficient attention, I cannot say from here. I'm obviously hesitant to simply take politically charged statements about it as necessarily accurate. What I will say is that I'm glad to read that so much help is on the way and I do hope enough will be sent (even though everyone harmed usually needs instant or almost instant help, something we haven't set up to do yet but should).

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  22.    Affordable housing bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown | The Sacramento Bee

    This is an overview. I hope they don't do environmental damage with these. We've had more than enough of that.

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  23.    2 Wildfires In Northern California Destroy or Damage Multiple Homes

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  24.    Florida to Deploy Anti-Fraud Strike Teams to Areas Hard-Hit by Irma

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  25.    How tech is revolutionizing rental markets

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  26.    U.S. MILITARY ON PUERTO RICO: "THE PROBLEM IS DISTRIBUTION" AND HERE'S WHY | HuffPost

    I tend to believe that getting what is needed to those who need it is not as easy as most people have been imagining. Emotions are understandably raw, but we have to try to remain as realistic as possible without letting down.

    As my readers know, I'm openly critical on this blog of President Trump's economic/tax plan and his global-warming denial. That said, everything I've read from an industry perspective in terms of responding to the recent hurricanes leads me to believe that the level of effort and the like has been quite high.

    I do want to see us create a major, international, rapid-reaction system that gets better and better and better and spares no expense. After all, money spent on rescue and redevelopment, etc., is highly productive and not inflationary when created expressly for that purpose. Money is not the problem. Putting people before private wealth, power, and control is.

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  27.    [Highly Recommended] The Inevitable and the Unpredictable — DiEM25

    I'm extremely impressed …

    … work in two directions:

    The first is to multiply non-identitarian shelters in order to defuse the civil war.

    The second is to launch a cultural campaign for the general reduction of labor time, for a basic income, for the redistribution of wealth.

    I don't think he's talking about harming anyone but rather lifting the bottom. It sure needs it.

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  28.    Workforce housing catches eye of managers, investors

    I've been arguing for years that this is a good segment.

    "We think that class B (multifamily) is almost recession-proof," Mr. Hart said.

    These properties are generally not leveraged, and investors tend not to syndicate the properties into synthetic instruments. Plus, occupancy tends to be constant, around 80%, Mr. Hart said.

    Demand for workforce housing remains steady even in a financial crisis, he said. Renters might double up, but there is still more demand than supply for affordable apartments.

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  29.    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE: Hurricane Irma Set Record With Longest Lifetime as Category 5 |

    185 mph max winds for 37 hours — the longest any cyclone around the globe has maintained that intensity on record.

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  30.    Harvey cools off hot real estate market – Houston Chronicle

    There are many variables reducing and increasing the market. Which will win out and for how long?

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  31.    Las Vegas Strip shooting [of October 1, 2017] – Wikipedia

    Risk management: I can only imagine that technological surveillance, prevention and reaction will continue increasing. Artificial intelligence and robotics will become the first responders. However, dealing directly with the root causes of mental illness, especially illness that manifests in violence, should be front and center.

    The pain and suffering caused by traumatizing events serves to harden yet others. As societies, as humanity, we must turn the corner on the cycle. Rather than hardening, we must do the opposite. What's it going to take for that to become our collective consciousness (conscience)?

    This article documents a recent shooting. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses, and initial news reports may be unreliable. The last updates to this article may not reflect the most current information.

    Paddock owned and managed some apartment buildings with his mother.[24] He had previous residences in Reno, Nevada; California; Texas; and Central Florida.[23][30] He had been a licensed private pilot since at least 2003 and had previously owned two small aircraft.[31] He had a hunting license from Alaska.[24]

    Police, relatives, and neighbors described him as a gambler.[32][33] Police said Paddock had made recent casino transactions in the tens of thousands of dollars, but did not say whether they were losses or wins.[34]

    Paddock's father, Benjamin Hoskins Paddock, was a bank robber who was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list in 1969 after he escaped from federal prison, and taken off the list in 1977.[35][36]

    What could we have done to save him from becoming the person who did what he did? Who will follow in his footsteps because we aren't doing enough (because we aren't doing what we could and should be doing)?

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  32.    Brace for Impact: A Look at Real Estate After Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

    Contract protection and homeowner's insurance may not be enough, however, for sellers that did not have any or a sufficient amount of flood insurance. Many are looking to FEMA for financial aid. …

    While the impact of these storms may discourage some individuals from moving into hurricane-prone areas, Saunders predicts a bigger focus on new construction or homes equipped to handle hurricane-force winds.

    "We expect there will be more emphasis put on homes (new and old) that have upgrades such as impact windows and other hurricane-related construction features. Sellers will also have to understand that buyers will be factoring these into their perception of value in addition to location and overall property condition," says Saunders.

    How about living on higher ground too?

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  33.    My Take on Inflation — Neel Kashkari — Medium

    This is pretty good analysis relatively speaking. Unfortunately, that's not saying much, as most analysis of such things is weak.

    Here's where Neel's analysis falls short. While he identifies the 5 main reasons most often given for low inflation, he seems to miss the fact that 4 of the 5 impact number 5, especially numbers 2-4. I agree with him that "transitory factors" are at best weak, but technology, global labor, and domestic slack all increase lower-inflation expectations. Also, unions are weaker, workers are less likely to ask for raises (they have low expectations not for inflation but for getting a raise even in the face of low unemployment rates), and employers are less likely to share the wealth (profits).

    Neel perhaps intentionally hinted at some of that; however, if he agrees with me, he needs to come right out and say it.

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  34.    Few Californians have earthquake insurance, but interest has jumped since the Mexico quakes – LA Times

    A common and understandable mistake:

    Also, the deductibles on CEA policies now range from 5% to 25%. And the CEA notes that another fear about earthquake insurance— that homeowners and renters must come up with the money to pay deductibles — is unfounded because the deductible is subtracted from the claim payment.

    "There is no out-of-pocket requirement," Pomeroy said. "If you have a home destroyed, we'll pay the replacement cost, less the deductible, and they can choose how to rebuild."

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  35.    Tucson Real Estate: Former motels converted to apartments | Business News | tucson.com

    They're furnished and utilities are included. Is the thinking that's because the University is nearby? Students don't have much furniture, if any, and they don't want to get accounts with utility companies.

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  36.    Amherst Capital Market Update: Increasing Institutional Ownership of Single-Family Rental Homes Solidifies SFR as a Long-Term Asset Class | Markets Insider

    Amherst Capital Management LLC, a BNY Mellon investment boutique specializing in U.S. real estate, today released a new paper, "U.S. Single Family Rental—Institutional Activity in 2016/2017," which finds that institutional ownership of single-family rental (SFR) homes surpassed 200,000 homes in 2016,2 as institutional investors continue to capture a growing share of the SFR market. According to Amherst Capital data, total institutional investment in SFR homes reached $33 billion at the end of 2016.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  37.    4 Above-and-Beyond Home Inspections That Could Save You Money

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


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