Businesses sue de Blasio over vaccine rules, housing starts and retail sales in summer swoon as storm season heats up, some keys to Latch earnings report.
In Today’s News
NYC Businesses Sue de Blasio for Requiring Vaccination Proof
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been sued by a group of small-business owners who say requiring all customers and employees to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will severely impact their livelihoods, Bloomberg reports today [subscription required].
The Millionacres takeaway: That’s not the biggest COVID-19 news in America today (booster shots for all gets that nod), but the outcome of this bid to stop the Big Apple’s vaccination mandate will affect commercial real estate interests there -- and could help set the tone for similar efforts elsewhere.
Housing Starts Down in July on Supply Chain Challenges
Supply chain and labor challenges helped to push overall housing starts down 7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million units in July, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Millionacres takeaway: The National Association of Homebuilders also reports that builder confidence is at a 13-month low because of similar issues. However, permit applications are up, so there’s still some confidence left that buyers will emerge for houses that get built.
Today on Millionacres
July Retail Sales Drop More Than Expected: Investor Impact
In June, retail sales rose 14.3% year over year. And after a brutal 2020, that was a welcome dose of good news. But unfortunately, July's retail sales numbers did not look good, our Maurie Backman writes, and now, real estate investors may need to face the harsh reality that store closures could be back on the table.
The Millionacres takeaway: Maurie observes that it's premature for investors to panic over a single month of lackluster sales, but this is one metric that commercial landlords and their investors need to keep an eye on.
Fire and Rain: Storms and the Price Tag for Real Estate Just Keep Growing
NOAA just declared July the hottest month on record. That’s fuel for the wildfires that are eating up vast acreage in the American West and the hurricane season that’s now heating up in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. And a new report from Porch Research says natural disasters are expected to cost each affected household in the U.S. about $10,500 this year, up from $7,100 in just two years.
The Millionacres takeaway: Don’t be surprised to see insurance rates and repair costs keep rising, especially in particularly vulnerable areas. And given that damage that can and does result from the four elements, that’s pretty much everywhere.
This Proptech Company Just Reported Strong Results
Latch (NASDAQ: LTCH), which makes smart home hardware and offers a whole building operating system through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, just reported its first quarterly earnings since completing its SPAC merger with TS Innovation Acquisition. Our Matt Frankel -- aka Motley Fool’s Math Guy -- takes a look at the numbers.
The Millionacres takeaway: Matt says that while the stock price has tumbled some, an infusion of cash and some other promising developments still point to reasons for optimism about Latch’s long-term growth.