Billings leads housing boom, drought forces new building ban in Utah town, hotel industry still illin’, big bucks battle for industrial REIT, Surfside collapse aftermath.
In Today’s News
Montana Boomtown Jumps to No. 1 on WSJ/Realtor.com List
Billings, Montana, is the new No. 1 on The Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index, boosted by its affordability and appeal to remote workers, the newspaper reported today [subscription required].
The Millionacres takeaway: Small markets are seeing big things. The top 20 cities in the index -- which weighs price appreciation and lifestyle factors -- average about 300,000 in population.
A Drought So Dire That a Utah Town Pulled the Plug on Growth
The New York Times reports today on a small town in Utah -- one of the fastest-growing states in the union -- that has stopped new construction because it’s running out of water.
The Millionacres takeaway: The drought is real and it’s bad, and this kind of decision may soon not be unique. Real estate investors would be well advised to look at the long-term prospects for freshwater supply as they decide where to plunk down their money and themselves.
Hotel Employment and Revenue Continue to Plunge
Despite the uptick in travel and optimism that has seen some recovery in hospitality stocks, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) reported today that nearly a half-million hotel jobs lost during the pandemic will not be returning this year and that revenue and occupancy remain well off pre-pandemic levels.
The Millionacres takeaway: The AHLA says COVID-19 has been the worst single economic event in the history of the American hotel industry, and the recovery remains long and uneven. Hotel REIT (real estate investment trust) and stock investors, beware: The pandemic isn’t over.
Today on Millionacres
Big Boys Now in Battle to Buy an Industrial REIT
Monmouth Real Estate Investment (NYSE: MNR) had agreed to a merger with Equity Commonwealth (NYSE: EQC), an office REIT controlled by Sam Zell, in a $3.4 billion all-stock deal. However, it recently received an unsolicited offer from Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Capital Group. The all-cash proposal could derail Zell's plans to get into the fast-growing industrial real estate sector.
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Matthew DiLallo explains that while this billionaire brawl could make good reading, it won’t necessarily make good investing. He recommends some industrial REITs he considers better buys for the rest of us.
Surfside Building Collapse Aftermath: More Inspections and Caution for Investors?
As the gruesome task of recovering the dead from the June 24 collapse of a tragically decrepit -- but very much occupied -- condo building near Miami grinds to an end, the questions remain: How did it happen, and what can be done to prevent this from happening again?
The Millionacres takeaway: The Surfside disaster raises a lot of questions for investors in high-rise condo buildings. For instance, will it hurt the market for them? And will regulators ramp up post-construction inspections, as they’re beginning to in, for instance, Los Angeles County? Either way, individual owners of such condos need to be aware of changes to come, and, even more importantly, the actual conditions of their buildings and how those are addressed.