Our mobile site is optimized for smaller screens.

TRY IT NO THANKS
  • Boston Condos
+ Advanced Search

      Leonard Steinberg

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      WELCOME, WELCOME to Alain Pinel Realtors who over the past 30 years have become leaders in the Bay Area, known for their luxury offering and strong culture. 

      DID YOU KNOW? More than 50% of the executives recently surveyed by KPMG said Silicon Valley will cease to dominate global tech innovation within the next 4 years, as New York, Boston, Beijing, London and other cities continue their evolution into tech innovation powerhouses, citing factors that include an expansion of tech investing in cities and regions outside of San Jose, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Calif. Their top pick for the next leading source of technology innovation was New York—up from No. 3 in 2018—followed by Beijing, Tokyo and London. Other U.S. cities that ranked in the top 10 were Boston and Austin, Texas. Washington, D.C., placed 13th. 23% named the U.S. as having the biggest global impact on technology, down from 34% in a similar survey last year. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Speak to any developer or builder and they will let you know how their costs have risen in the past 12 months: American consumers have been saddled with $69 billion in added costs because of the tariffs the U.S. imposed in 2018, including on $250 billion on Chinese imports as well as levies on steel and aluminum, according to a study released by a quartet of economists working on a National Science Foundation grant. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? About 63% of the world’s wealthiest said they grew richer in 2018, thanks in part to stock market gains and global economic growth. These individuals also expect their wealth to increase over the next year. Confidence was highest in the U.S., where 80% of individuals worth $30 million and more expect to be better off over the next year. Over 47,000 people in the USA are worth $30 million plus. (WSJ) 

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  I have personally never witnessed more creative photography angles than those being used to photograph 220 Central Park South - the uber-tower that houses the USA's most expensive penthouse sale:  all are either blocking out - or photo-shopping out - it's next door neighbor that looms several hundred feet taller.....

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      Good morning,

      DID YOU KNOW?  In the mortgage business, about 70% used to be focused on re-financing and only 30% on new mortgages. As rates rise and pressure from automation and online financing options also rises, this ratio is changing fast!

       

      DID YOU KNOW? I am especially thankful that Compass has ZERO DEBT: Total US corporate debt has swelled from around $4.9 trillion in 2007 to nearly $9.1 trillion in 2018, surging 86%. Why should debt worry us? Rising interest rates make this debt more expensive to service. Several of our competitors carry enormous debt. Realogy (Coldwell Banker, Sotheby's, Corcoran, Century 21, Better Homes and Gardens, etc) has over $3.5 billion in debt. (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association). Realogy's 20% stock plummet yesterday, may well be a barometer on the changing housing market and shifting trends in the brokerage business. As well as growing concerns about mounting corporate debt.

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Total emigration from California to other states between 2006 and 2017 was 1.24 million, according to the Census Bureau, yet only third highest in the nation behind New York and Illinois. More people are leaving New York City for California than moving in, but the ones who move either way tend to be between the ages of 18 - 34. Only 3,000 people older than 35 moved permanently from California to New York City in 2017. More than 15,000 people (6%) moved to New York City from Florida and Texas. These figures do not factor in wealthier people who may keep multiple residences. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Walmart's e-commerce Q4 2018 sales rose 43% and for 2019 it's calling for internet sales to be up another 35% becoming the most potent threat to Amazon's e-tail dominance, not too shabby for a 57-year old company!

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

       

      Good morning,

       

      And a very happy VALENTINE'S DAY to you! 

       

      DID YOU KNOW? J.P. Morgan Chase moves more than $6 trillion around the world every day for corporations in its massive wholesale payments business. In trials set to start in a few months, a tiny fraction of that will happen over something called 'JPM Coin,' the digital 'cryptocurrency' token created by engineers at the bank to instantly settle payments between clients. (CNBC)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Signs that the Federal Reserve may be done with its yearslong campaign to raise interest rates are sending ripples through fixed-income markets, holding down interest rates for a wide swath of borrowers. Low Treasury yields are a boon for stocks because they hold down borrowing costs for companies and push some yield-seeking investors out of government bonds and into other types of assets. They also could provide a lift to the housing market. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Airbus will cease production of its monster-sized A-380.....maybe planes are not that dis-similar to houses where jumbo-sized is also waning in demand? (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Housing investments make up as much as 18% of the U.S. growth rate, so why is housing not faring as well as the robust US economy? Here are some reasons:

      1. Student Debt: Home buyers 36 years old and younger comprised some 34% of the market in 2016 (NAR). Millennials are the largest customer base for mortgages, but student debt continues to weigh heavily on their personal finances with 46% having a median student loan balance of $25,000. According to a survey, 49% of home buyers said that student debt prohibited them from obtaining a loan.

      2. Housing shortages: There aren’t enough houses on the market. In 2017, there were 1.25 million new homes in the country, yet the U.S. requires 1.62 million houses each year. The 370,000 shortfall puts intense upward pressure on home prices. Because of the surge in prices, home purchase sentiment has fallen - a 12% decrease in Fannie Mae’s sentiment index - home buyers aren’t as keen on purchasing a home, opting to rent instead. 

      3.  Low Interest rate addiction: home buyers enjoyed super-low-interest rates for almost 10 years. New mortgages and refinancing was more affordable. Now financing has become more expensive, and home buyers are highly attuned to the increase in their payment amounts. Add in rising operating costs due to higher inflation and higher real estate taxes..... (Marketwatch)   

       

        Comments

        1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

        Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

        DID YOU KNOW? Could this be the re-invention of the mall? Google is expanding in L.A. Google has leased the current site of Westside Pavilion shopping mall in West Los Angeles that it will turn into a 584,000 square-foot office campus. Westside Pavilion was once one of the city’s premier shopping venues and a cultural touchstone for generations of LA residents. In recent years the mall fell behind flashier competitors such as the Grove and the refurbished Westfield Century City malls. Online shopping also took a toll, and anchor stores Macy’s and Nordstrom departed.(CNBC)


        DID YOU KNOW? 24% of people surveyed in the USA spent more than 80% of their time working remotely in 2012. That grew to 31% by 2016. (Gallup)

        DID YOU KNOW?  What is the most in-demand soft skill of 2019? Creativity. For those looking to cultivate this skill, LinkedIn recommends the following courses: Creativity Bootcamp, The Five-Step Creative Process, and Creativity: Generate Ideas in Greater Quantity and Quality. (Linkedin)

        DID YOU KNOW?  While Tesla weathers relentless roller-coaster press, it sold nearly as many of its vehicles in 2018 (over 245,000) than it did in every prior year combined, back to 2003. The Tesla 3 was the best-selling luxury car of 2018 (145,846 units). Next was the Lexus RX (111,641 units). While the Model 3 was supposed to be the 'mass-market' affordable model, at $45,000 it is far from that. The more affordable (35k) version comes soon.....which could boost sales significantly further. (CNBC)

        DID YOU KNOW? U.S. carbon emissions rose 3.4% in 2018, after 3 years of declines. The effects of a strong economy outstripped a sharp decline in the number of power plants burning coal to generate electricity. Carbon emissions were still down 11.2% from 2005 levels. Diesel and jet fuel use rose 3% from additional trucking and air traffic. The Paris agreement target to reduce all greenhouse-gas emissions by 26%-28% from 2005 levels by 2025, requires the U.S. to cut emissions by 2.6% on average over the next 7 years. (WSJ)

        DID YOU KNOW? In San Jose (CA), nearly half (49.3%) of all housing sales involve co-buyers as of the 2nd quarter of 2018. Other cities where 25% or more sales involve multiple buyers include San Francisco, Honolulu, Seattle, Miami, Boston and Durham, N.C. 26.2% of FHA-insured mortgage borrowers received assistance from a family member to afford the down payment, up from 22% in 2011. (Marketwatch)
         

        Compass Contemplations for Monday

        DID YOU KNOW? Bigger state and local tax collections, propelled in part by an acceleration in sales-tax receipts from consumer spending, is boosting capital projects and driving a municipal borrowing boom. Spending on transportation infrastructure in October was up 15% from a year earlier. State tax revenues grew 6.3% in the second quarter of 2018 compared with an average second-quarter growth rate of 2.5% for the previous eight years Local infrastructure spending may accelerate. (WSJ)

        DID YOU KNOW? Apple is also expanding its presence in San Diego as part of its plan to expand its operations across the country. While its $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas made headlines this week, it will also "establish new sites" in San Diego, Seattle, and Culver City, California. The San Diego, Seattle and Culver City sites would each have more than 1,000 workers, Apple announced. Apple will add 20,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2023. (10news)

        DID YOU KNOW? Approximately 80% of all population growth since 2000 in Texas has been in the four large metropolitan areas: Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Houston. Between 2000 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, Austin expanded its employment by over 50%, while Houston, Dallas and San Antonio grew above 30%, more than twice the growth of New York and three time that of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Texas added 3 million people between 2010 and 2016 - including 940,000 migrants from other states. In comparison, California lost more than 500,000 domestic migrants to other states and New York lost nearly one million.  Since 2000, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston grew by under 10%. (Daily Beast)

        “We don’t have any of the early signs of recession. Yet, we have a market where despite 20% earnings growth, the price-earnings ratios have fallen 20%. This tells us the market is pricing in recession in 2019. We just don’t think that is going to happen.” - Steve Chiavarone, Federated

         DID YOU KNOW? New York, Connecticut, Louisiana, California, Florida, and Massachusetts ranked worst in income inequality. The fastest growing income inequality is in Montana, California, Maine, Rhode Island and Idaho. (CNBC)

        Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

        In George H. W. Bush's famous "thousand points of light" nomination acceptance speech on August 18, 1988, he called for a "kinder, gentler nation" specifically referring to volunteering and giving back. In his lifetime it is estimated he helped raise around $1 billion for various charities. As we all know, this past week President George H. W. Bush passed away. While you may or may not have agreed with his politics, one of his principals everyone can relate to - especially at Compass where Robert made this a cornerstone of his future vision for the company - is the concept of working together and giving back.

         

        DID YOU KNOW? Airbnb will soon announce that it will begin selling multi-unit buildings and houses next year, according to Fast Company. Called Backyard, is "an endeavor to design and prototype new ways of building and sharing homes," extending and bolstering their services to architecture and urban planning. Backyard could start offering small existing dwellings, according to the report, and could also sell energy-efficient building materials, stand-alone homes and multi-unit complexes. Airbnb has more than 5 million rental listings on its platform, across nearly 200 countries.


        DID YOU KNOW?  Microsoft regained its stature as the world's most valuable company after losing the title for 16 years, beating out APPLE whose stock price has dropped badly over the past few weeks. Apple lost the top spot after 6 years. GE used to have this title....(CNBC)

        DID YOU KNOW? Home price appreciation continues to moderate following a half-decade of strong growth. Market fundamentals, however, are vastly different than the pre-crisis period in the mid-2000s. US equities delivered a strong week despite the sharp oil price decrease with the S&P 500 jumping nearly 4%: lower-than-expected PCE inflation data and signs that the Fed may be easing their rate hike plan....which would be good for real estate. (Seeking Alpha)

        Hallways in Your Home

        Hallways

        Often I am amazed at how overlooked some hallways are. These are the hallways within homes and as well as those that lead up to apartments. Too often a hallway is treated like a neglected cousin, and in doing so a tremendous opportunity may be overlooked.

         

        Yesterday while approaching an apartment I noticed the hallway from the elevator to the apartment was simply bland at best. Maybe this was part of the architect's 'vision', and maybe this may read well in a publication, but from a human perspective I found the experience somewhat depressing..... and a lost opportunity. That 'lead-up' that a hallway provides to an entry or the transition to another room or set of rooms has the ability to set a tone or build up excitement of what is to come. Hallways should be viewed as (mostly) narrower rooms, not wasted space.

         

        So what can be done to enhance a hallway? Smaller art pieces are perfectly suited to this setting, the kind that you'd like to view close-up. A collection of family/friend photos works well too, especially artfully displayed. Take note of the flooring, the lighting, maybe a wall covering that sets a more intimate and inviting message? Maybe a wider internal hallway has the capacity to house a small home office? Hallways are decorating opportunities, not unusable annoyances. They can be decorated beautifully and also engineered to accommodate specific uses.

         

        Look closely at all hallways, especially those that lead up to a home: they often set the tone for a showing as the rooms are revealed. First impressions matter. Pauses between rooms matter too.

         

        Have a terrific Tuesday!

        Compass Contemplation for Monday

         

        Just a few more days left in 2018 - but not that few:  go out and enjoy them and know there are amazing opportunities lurking. EVERY day matters.....make today count!

        DID YOU KNOW?  "They" say inflation is around 2%, yet in a big city like New York, I suspect it may be much higher: Beginning New Year’s Day, New York City cab riders south of 96th Street will pay a $2.50 fee 24/7 on the most traffic-clogged streets in Manhattan, bringing the starting rate for a ride to $5.80. Those hailing an Uber or Lyft will have a $2.75 surcharge. This is supposed to "curb congestion", yet anyone with half a brain knows its purely a disguised tax to pay for the MTA. (WSJ)

        DID YOU KNOW?  It's a crazy world out there.... who would have expected:  Paintings created by Artificial Intelligence at Art Basel Miami? Riots and mayhem in Paris before Christmas? Tornadoes in December in the Midwest? Qatar quits OPEC? 

        DID YOU KNOW? Apple plans to wait till at least 2020 to release a 5G i-phone. (Bloomberg)

        DID YOU KNOW?  Is a "Santa Rally" in the works? With a truce in the China-US trade war, you never know.....

         

        I spent most of this past Thanksgiving away with my partner's 89-year old mother who was in a rehab facility recovering from a fall. One of the magnificent nurses told me the thing she enjoys most about her job is hearing all the stories of her 'guests' and learning from those who are near the end of their lives who have lived full, rich experiences that only a full lifetime can deliver. So as we bid farewell to the US's 41st president, here are some positive life lessons I'll take away from George H. W. Bush's life that are worth repeating:

        1.   It's all about 'we' not 'me'. Give credit to those around you for your successes. One human is not capable of great things without many others.

        2.   Develop and nurture deep relationships and friendships.

        3.   Family matters. Keep close bonds with your family.

        4.   Be nice, but not weak.

        5.   Don't forget to say 'thank you'.

        6.   Do your best, try your hardest. Pay your dues.

        7.   Don't let 'losing' stop you. You cannot 'win' everything. Recover quickly. (Bounce back with passion?)

        8.   Life does not stop at 80: you can remain very relevant till the day you die.

        9.   Do that which is best for the greater good, not just you and your career.

        10. Collaborate with those who are your friends and those you compete with.

        11. Devote yourself to the betterment of others: be charitable and give back.

        12. Be humble.

        I strongly urge anyone wanting to learn through experience to spend some time with an elderly friend or relative (or stranger): you will be amazed by their stories of a full life, and it may help you put into perspective your own role here on earth.

        Have a MAGNANIMOUS Monday!

         

        Compass Contemplations for Friday

        DID YOU KNOW? U.S. consumer spending increased by the most in 7 months in October. (Reuters)

        DID YOU KNOW?  Pending US Home Sales slid 2.6% in October. Contract signings were down 6.7% compared to 2017. Pending sales rose in the NORTHEAST by 0.7%. In the MIDWEST sales fell 1.8%, in the SOUTH they fell 1.1%, and in the WEST they were down 8.9%. (MARKET WATCH)

        DID YOU KNOW? Millennial spending habits are a lot like the generations that came before them, they just have less money at this point in their lives. The group born between 1981 and 1997 has fallen behind because many of them came of age during the financial crisis. (Business Insider)

        DID YOU KNOW?  The Fed is expected to raise interest rates a fourth time this year in December but stated it would be 'flexible' on plans to raise rates. (CNN)

         

        DID YOU KNOW? The Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve have proposed loosening real-estate appraisal requirements to enable a majority of U.S. homes to be bought and sold without being evaluated by a licensed human appraiser, potentially opening the door for cheaper, faster, untested property valuations based on computer algorithms. It would increase to $400,000, from $250,000, the value of homes that can be bought and sold without a human appraiser visiting a property. (WSJ)

        COMPASS Contemplations for Thursday

        WELCOME COMPASS HOUSTON! And welcome especially to founding agent Mike Mahlstedt consistently one of the area's top professionals who represents the very best of Houston and our industry.


        DID YOU KNOW?  Debt for New York City has grown from $4,923 per person in 2000 to $10,113 in 2017, an increase of 105%. More than 700,000 jobs have been added in NYC during the past 8 years, an average of 87,500 jobs per year. The debt per capita of every US national is over $61,000. If the Japanese wanted to pay off their national debt, they would owe $90,345 each. Among OECD countries, Ireland, and Italy are next, with $62,687, and $58,693 respectively and Belgium, at $58,134. The OECD average of $50,245. (World Economic Forum)

        DID YOU KNOW? Will there be a cash infusion over the next few weeks from withdrawn hedge funds?  Today, most managers of hedge funds will find out how much of their stock/bond portfolios they need to liquidate ahead of time because those invested in hedge funds have to give notice by today if and how much they will withdraw. The stock market has been skittish over the past month, mostly due to rising interest rates, the mid-term elections, trade war concerns and reports on political wrongdoing that are about to come out. Many big investors stung by recent big losses that likely eroded confidence in hedge funds could possibly be asking for a lot of their money back. November 15th isn’t a hard and fast deadline but traditionally, 45 days to the end of the year has been the time when investors have had to notify hedge funds of withdrawals. Around $100 billion has been withdrawn in each of the past few years, but the stock market was mostly climbing during those years. (NY POST)


        DID YOU KNOW? In the past 10 years, employment in U.S. cities has grown 7% and the number of businesses in these places has grown11%, while employment has contracted in nonmetro areas and the number of businesses there has barely changed, according to Labor Department. Five cities—New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco—accounted for a third of all Fortune 500 headquarters and half of Fortune 500 firms’ profits in 2017. When startups began locating in cities in the 1990s, many predicted that because the internet allowed people to work from anywhere, tech workers would scatter across the country as firms sought cheap office space. Instead, places like Silicon Valley and Seattle proved that clusters of highly skilled workers fueled innovation at a faster pace. Supercharged places that were already doing well, drew in more educated workers who wanted to live in walkable neighborhoods with nice restaurants and hip entertainment. (WSJ)

         
        sign up RECEIVE THE LATEST LISTINGS & SAVE SEARCHES Already a member? Sign in here