Unmasking the economy; no workers, no boom; Chipotle plans can make investors chipper; flat sales report no cause for retail therapy; a big mall faces big debt woes that could hit muni bonds.
Today on Millionacres
Vaccinated People Can Go Maskless: Impact on Real Estate
The CDC has just announced that fully vaccinated people are now free to shed their masks, not only in outdoor settings but in indoor settings as well. This means that in theory, anyone who's fully vaccinated can shop for food, get a haircut, or go to a movie theater without slapping on a mask in the process.
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Maurie Backman points out that individual businesses can still make their own rules, and that airlines, for instance, will still require masks. But, she says, all told, there's reason for real estate investors to be hopeful about the direction some of the most battered industries will now have an opportunity to go in.
Businesses Are Back, But Hiring Isn't. How Low Employment Is Impacting Real Estate
After months of lulled economic activity, hopes were high for a speedy recovery after COVID-19 vaccinations became widely available to citizens in the United States. But despite the return of businesses, hiring is falling short.
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Liz Brumer discusses the worker shortage and other shortfalls in various industries. She advises investors to ride the current momentum, especially if traction is picking up in your prospective market. But don't let your guard down: Having ample cash reserves goes a long way if recovery isn't achieved as quickly as hoped.
Congrats, Strip Malls: Chipotle Plans 200 New Locations This Year
Because of Chipotle's (NYSE: CMG) success of late, it has a major expansion plan in mind -- to add 200 new restaurants in suburban and urban locations to the 2,803 the burgeoning baron of burritos has now.
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Laura Agadoni explains why investors in restaurants might want to take a deeper dive and look into Chipotle. Some analysts pick this as the best stock to buy this year. And if you invest in strip malls, look at the ones with a Chipotle in the mix.
Also in Today's News
Retail Doesn't Need Therapy
Don't wonder why U.S. retail sales missed expectations in April, this Wall Street Journal piece [subscription required] says today. Wonder how strong they will be in coming months as the pandemic fades.
The Millionacres takeaway: Retail sales are a strong indicator of success or struggle ahead for a lot of real estate, from retail property through the supply chain to manufacturing and more. This piece is a good explanation of what's happening now after the Commerce Department reported today that April retail sales were the same as March -- at a time the economy is supposed to be reinflating from the pandemic pummeling.
New York State's Biggest Mall Borrowed Big and Now Can't Pay
A sprawling shopping mall in Syracuse, New York, may be driven into one of the biggest municipal-bond defaults since the onset of the pandemic.
The Millionacres takeaway: Bloomberg says [subscription required] such a default would also mark the first-ever nationwide on debt backed by payments that developers agree to make instead of property taxes. That could have ramifications for this kind of economic development deal-making everywhere.