Retail sales rebound, smaller retailers pivot like a big box, California wildfires and the IRS, student debt hinders homebuying, feds ease GSE limits.
In Today’s News
U.S. Retail Sales Rebound in August Despite Delta Variant
Sales at the nation’s retailers rose 0.7% in August, the Commerce Department said today, despite a big decline in car sales related to product shortages and shipping problems. Excluding cars, sales rose a robust 1.8%, The Wall Street Journal reports [subscription required].
The Millionacres takeaway: The WSJ report says the U.S. economic recovery is showing resilience despite the latest wave of virus infections, with Americans boosting shopping and employers resisting layoffs. That’s good for all kinds of investing, including real estate.
Regional, Specialty Retailers Pivot Along With Big-Box Rivals
Smaller retailers are joining their huge rivals in reinventing e-commerce operations to improve efficiencies and, most crucially, keep pace with consumer tech and expectations, Bisnow reports today.
The Millionacres takeaway: This is an interesting look at how some companies are integrating physical stores with digital capabilities, and that’s a trend that could prove pivotal in keeping those commercial real estate spaces occupied and paying rent.
Today on Millionacres
Impacted by California Wildfires? This Is a Tax Provision You Should Know About!
More than 1,968,326 acres of land have burned to the ground, and an approximate 3,050 structures have been damaged or destroyed this year. Some of the buildings that have existed since California’s Gold Rush are now destroyed.
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Lea Uradu, a tax attorney in her other life, says the IRS has offered the victims of the California wildfires some relief. She says fire victims should consider taking advantage of the filing extension and the casualty and theft loss provision.
Is Student Debt Keeping People From Buying Homes?
The National Association of Realtors reports that 29% of all student loan debt holders say their loans have impacted their decision or ability to purchase a home. And when you ask people who don't currently own a home, it's even worse.
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Matt Frankel says Congress ends up taking steps to solve the student debt crisis in the U.S., it could unleash tremendous pent-up demand on the housing market. But for now, it appears that the $1.6 trillion in American-held student debt is indeed standing in the way of homeownership for millions of people.
Feds Suspend New Limit on Federal Mortgages for Investors
With demand for second homes at an all-time high during the pandemic, reaching a peak 118% year-over-year increase for mortgage loans in September 2020, regulating the number of these loans that could be underwritten made absolutely no sense from a consumer-driven perspective. Credit-worthy people wanted to buy stuff -- why not let them?
The Millionacres takeaway: Our Kristi Waterworth writes that there’s a serious need for affordable housing that investors are able to provide (if they can get the funding they need), and the Treasury Department now seems to recognize that.