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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It’s Time for Mobile Marketing… Yesterday

Don’t look now, but mobile-friendly marketing is now de rigueur.
More and more people are accessing the internet through their mobile devices. In fact, Microsoft Tagestimates that mobile access to the internet will overtake desktop access by 2014.
When it comes to social media, an increasing number of people are using their smartphones and tablets to access Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. According to a report by eMarketer, 46% of those surveyed accessed social networks from their smartphones in 2012, while 16% used their tablets.
Emails are also increasingly consumed in mobile devices. Based on March 2013 statistics, 43% of email is read on a mobile device. We’re seeing the same trend in PR in Your Pajamas: 50% of our subscribers read our emails on their iPhones.
Clearly, mobile marketing is something you can no longer ignore.
But is mobile marketing for everybody?

Read the full story here:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Construction spending continues to yo-yo

Construction spending in the U.S. seems to be a bit of a roller coaster as of late. After rising in February, spending dropped to $856.7 billion. This is 1.7% below the revised February estimate of $871.2 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
However, March’s spending is 4.8% above the year-ago estimate of $817.8 billion. 

Read the full story here:

Thursday, May 2, 2013

'Selfish' Singles Design Fantasy Homes

Developers and real estate agents say that spaces built for one are on the rise, with luxury homes for one popping up in major cities around the country. 

View the video on WSJ.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Is The Housing Recovery For Real?

Is The Housing Recovery For Real?

The big headline number for housing was yesterday’s report that the Case-Shiller Index rose more rapidly on an annual basis than anytime since 2006.  Does this mean the housing market is back?  Two fundamentals suggest the answer is yes; a third suggests maybe.
House prices are certainly in line with rents right now. Jed Kolko at Trulia shows that in nearly every market, potential buyers with an expected holding period of five years or more and a combined state and local marginal tax rate of 25 percent or higher are better off financially owning than renting.
House prices are also in line with income in all but the most expensive coastal markets.  In fact, Numbeo shows that even in our coastal cities, price-to-income ratios are very reasonable by world standards.
But as weak as housing construction has been since the last quarter of 2008 (see below), over the past ten years we have started about 1.23 million houses a year while adding only about  920,000 households per year.  That means we still need to account for 300,000 houses per year for us to be at the same place we were ten years ago (which is about when housing construction really took off).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homeowners, Name Your Price

Homeowners, Name Your Price

A real-estate site tests the magic number that might convince an owner to move; listing an Arizona home on a whim

If someone offered you $1 million for your home, would you sell?
Real-estate listings company Zillow wanted to find out. In 2006, the company created a feature called "Make Me Move," which lets homeowners name their "dream price" that would compel them to move.
Here's how it works: A homeowner enters his street address to find it in the Zillow database. While the website indicates that the home isn't for sale, the owner can add details, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and upgrades, along with his dream price. Via email, any potential buyer can contact the owner, whose name isn't disclosed, and make an offer.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blending Marketing and Journalism

To build brand, companies produce slick content and their own media

The Red Bulletin is a handsome Web and print magazine that practically oozes testosterone. Recent issues have featured stories on the world’s deepest free diver, human-pyramid building in Spain and a guy who rappels into volcanoes. All of it is embellished with photography worthy of Sports Illustrated.
The printed Red Bulletin reaches 3 million readers a month, according to a spokeswoman, which almost matches Sports Illustrated’s subscriber total. Not bad for a publication that’s barely five years old.
(The Red Bulletin) - ’The Red Bulletin,’ April 2013, cover story on Questlove.
The most interesting thing about the Red Bulletin, however, may not be what it is but who publishes it. The magazine is owned and edited by Red Bull GmbH, the Austrian-based marketer of Red Bull, the ubiquitous “energy” drink. The company started the magazine to help reinforce its self-created image as a live-at-the-edge brand for the young men who guzzle its primary product.
So is the Red Bulletin marketing or journalism? The answer: both.
Dozens of companies, including Boeing, General Electric, Pepsi, American Express and Verizon Wireless, are becoming their own publishers, creating and distributing “content” — articles, videos, photos — that would be right at home in a traditional newspaper, magazine or TV program.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Want Growth? Getting More Flights Might Help

Want Growth? Getting More Flights Might Help

Some years ago, I did some work on whether air traffic could predict population growth and job growth.  The process of doing so is not as straightforward as it sounds, because something might simultaneously explain both air-traffic and growth, and so it is necessary to go through a complicated econometric procedure to purge any correlation of air traffic and growth of variables that might explain both.  In the end, I found that air traffic matters a lot to population growth and job growth.  I also think Jan Brueckner found similar results in his paper on the subject, as do Blonigen and Christea in their paper.
It is time to redo the exercise using newer data.  I start with a scatterplot of boardings per capita in 2000 against population growth between 2000 and 2010 for the 50 largest Metropolitan areas.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Is Government The Problem?

Government. We seem to be having an extended debate over the question: Is government the problem? This isn’t the right question, in my view. Rather, the right questions are: Can government be a problem? And, if so, when and what can be done about it?
The answer to the first question, whether government is the problem, is “sometimes.”  We all must realize that government has done amazing things. The interstate highway system, California’s aqueducts and UC higher education system, the Panama and Suez Canals, national parks, the Internet, a sustained rural power grid, many small city main streets – these accomplishments and others have helped improve quality of life and economic productivity. They would never have happened without the vision, energy, and resources of government. So government can clearly be the solution.

Friday, March 22, 2013

1988 Predictions on Life in 2013 Los Angeles

No robots in our homes, but many predictions about 2013 come true

Jerry Lockenour couldn't predict what lay ahead for him 25 years ago when he stashed the Los Angeles Times' Magazine on a cabinet shelf.
The April 3, 1988, magazine's cover illustration showed bubble-shaped cars traveling in "electro lanes" on a double-decked, high-rise-lined 1st Street in downtown's Civic Center area. The cover's headline was "L.A. 2013: Techno-Comforts and Urban Stresses — Fast Forward to One Day in the Life of a Future Family."
Inside was a lengthy essay that described a day in the life of a fictional Granada Hills family in April 2013. Shorter secondary stories explored experts' opinions about future transportation issues, pollution, crime, overpopulation, computerized education and use of personal robots.
At the time, Lockenour was a 43-year-old engineering director with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in El Segundo. He tucked the "L.A. 2013" magazine away, figuring that it might be fun to compare its predictions with the way Los Angeles actually turned when the real 2013 rolled around.

View the LA Times story here.
View the original 1988 article here.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

California Rental Housing Shortage

Richard Green, director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, has launched his blog “Real Estate Matters” at Forbes. Check out his first entry on California’s shortage of rental housing.

California has a shortage of rental housing.
Even in the aftermath of the greatest real estate bust since the Great Depression, houses in California are expensive.  The reason is simple: the rent, a key fundamental underlying house prices, is expensive here.
To put this in some perceptive, I used the 2011 American Community Survey to tabulate rents at the 25th percentile for California’s metropolitan areas, and divided this by renter incomes at the 25th percentile.

View the full article here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Carbon Beach: California's Billionaire Beach

California's Billionaire Beach: Where Larry Ellison Leads A Pack Of 10-Figure-Plus Fortunes 

Westside Estate Agency's Stephen Shapiro tells Forbes that Carbon Beach property, which sells for about $200,000/sq. ft., has become the sandbox to billionaires. Check out the heavy bidders with homes there in this month’s "Billionaires" issue.

California‘s Carbon Beach is the world’s most expensive sandbox. Subdivided by Malibu’s founding family, the Rindges, in the 1930s, Carbon now commands upward of $200,000 per foot of beachfront. The draw for Hollywood’s power players? It’s the city’s deepest, driest strip of sand and less than 20 miles from Tinseltown. 

View full article here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Foreclosures decline nationally in December

Foreclosures decline nationally in December 

Foreclosures declined nationally in December, new data show, extending a critical component of the recent housing recovery into the new year.
The sizable 19.5% decline in foreclosure inventory, accompanied by a similar drop in completed foreclosures, should help lay a path for a faster recovery in 2013. Fewer repossessed homes on the market will probably lead to higher home prices and a healthier real estate market.
“The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties is almost 20% smaller than a year ago,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, the mortgage tracking firm which reported the data Friday. “This big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory.”
The number of homes in the national foreclosure inventory — mortgaged properties in some stage of the repossession process — declined 19.5% to 1.2 million in December when compared to the same month a year earlier. That was a 4.2% decline from November.
Completed foreclosures fell by 21% in December from the same month a year earlier, to total 56,000. That was a 3% decline from November’s revised 58,000, according to Santa Ana-based CoreLogic.

View original full article here

Monday, February 4, 2013

L.A. Industrial Strongest in US

L.A. Industrial Strongest in US

Speakers said real estate is looking better to Wall Street.
(Save the dates:  RealShare Apartments East  comes to the  Hyatt Regency in Miami, FL, on February 26, andRealShare Los Angeles  comes to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA, on March 27.)
LOS ANGELES-Industrial is the darling among real estate classes in the greater Los Angeles region, according to speakers at the recent Annual Real Estate Market Review and Forecast event held Downtown and presented by the AIR Commercial Real Estate Association. Industrial real estate performed better in L.A. than in any other region nationwide and is also the strongest category of commercial real estatein the four-county region itself, speakers said.
The more-than-200 people who attended the event also heard that real estate was looking better to Wall Street, with CMBS and REITs reporting improvement, according to economist Allen Greer, managing member of Greer Advisors LLC. REITS, in particular, “have taken off like a rocket,” Greer said.
Greer also underscored that out of 55 markets nationally, L.A. was number one in terms of lowest vacancy at 5%. However, he cautioned that property markets in first-quarter 2013 could be harmed by unpredictable events in both the world economy—such as ongoing crises in theEurozone—and at home by uncertainty surrounding the federal budget and possible strikes at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
An industry panel made up of brokers, developers and a legal expert was generally upbeat. Rob Antrobius, SVP, market officer-Los Angeles for Prologis, said that demand for industrial space was continuing to rise throughout the region. “Although newer, class-A buildings have dominated the market in recent years, class-B has more than bounced back.”
In addition, Antrobius reported that owner-user sales are growing in popularity. “Our tenants are telling us they want to buy.”
In L.A. County, industrial real estate values can be expected to rise, according to John McMillan, executive director-industrial brokerage, Cushman & Wakefield of California Inc. “He pointed out that lease rates have not increased for several years, while demand continues to increase and the amount of land to develop is limited. “Rates are going to pop eventually. There’s nowhere to go but up.”
Brett Warner, principal of Lee & Associates-LA North, reported that the San Fernando Valley is one of the stronger submarkets in L.A. County, with prospective tenants currently “more stable, more confident” and possibly “interested in making a long-term commitment.” The Valley may appeal to investors because there’s room for rents to rise, he added. “Rates have not peaked, and demand will drive rates up.”
Is industrial as strong as they say in L.A.? Give us your opinion in the box below.

Reposted from View original article here

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Retail Centers See Modest Growth

U.S. malls and strip centers saw slight growth in the fourth quarter, but experts say the wobbly economy and recent disappointing holiday-shopping season point to a lackluster 2013 for retail landlords.
The average vacancy rate at malls in the quarter declined to 8.6%, down one-10th of a percentage point from the previous quarter, according to a new report from real-estate research firm Reis Inc. REIS +0.81% Mall vacancy has declined five quarters in a row since the industry hit a 12-year high of 9.4% in the third quarter of 2011, said Reis, which tracks the top 77 U.S. markets.

Weingarten Realty Investors
Rendering of a Petsmart store to be opened this year at the Six Forks Station center in Raleigh, N.C.
At strip centers, the rows of shops facing a common parking lot and often anchored by a grocery store, average vacancy declined to 10.7% in the fourth quarter from 10.8% in the third. That is just 0.4 percentage point from the highest vacancy rate in this category since Reis began tracking the figures: 11.1%, registered in the third quarter of 2011 and at year-end in 1990.

Read the full article here:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Health Clinics Set Up Shop in Former Stores

HealthEast Care System’s Grand Avenue clinic in St. Paul looks a lot more like the retail establishments that surround it than the typical institutional clinic once common in the medical industry.

Bathed in earth-tone colors and soft lighting, the waiting room offers patients comfortable seating, walls filled with art and decorative glass dividers. After a visit, patients can enjoy walking around one of St. Paul’s premiere retail neighborhoods.

The clinic, near the southwest corner of Grand and Victoria Street, is part of a trend to offer more attractive clinics and to place them in high-profile shopping areas. The clinic “offers better visibility for us — we’re much more a part of the community than at our former clinic,” said Len Kaiser, director of network development at HealthEast.

“We are trying to be more like retail with all the services we provide and the Grand Avenue location, in particular, has been extremely successful and serves as a model for our new clinics,” Kaiser said.

Read the full article here:

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Death of the American Shopping Mall

The Death of the American Shopping Mall

    The Death of the American Shopping Mall
Mark Blinch/Reuters

America has too many malls.
I’ve recently blogged that many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are being threatened with "economic destruction" by their advantaged online competition. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, anchorwoman Nicole Lapin asked about the implications of this dynamic on retail real estate. I said I hadn’t studied it, but I thought the ramifications would be very big and very negative (I believe the phrase "apocalyptic" was used).
I’ve since had the opportunity to spend some time looking at this issue, and I believe we’re seeing clear signs that the e-commerce revolution is seriously impacting commercial real estate. Online retailers are relentlessly gaining share in many retail categories, and offline players are fighting for progressively smaller pieces of the retail pie. A number of physical retailers have already succumbed to online competition including Circuit City, Borders, CompUSA, Tower Records and Blockbuster, and many others are showing signs of serious economic distress. These mall and shopping center stalwarts are closing stores by the thousands, and there are few large physical chains opening stores to take their place. Yet the quantity of commercial real estate targeting retail continues to grow, albeit slowly. Rapidly declining demand for real estate amid growing supply is a recipe for financial disaster.

View the full article here.