Making profitable real estate investments requires information and careful analysis. Before making any investment decisions, there are many critical questions you must ask yourself and at least five key metrics you need to review.
1. Population Growth Rate
Of all the metrics that predict future market volatility, population growth is probably the most important. The housing requirement — single-family homes versus apartments versus something else — will vary based on the components of population growth, but ultimately, more residents equals more demand.
The trick is that you don’t necessarily want to invest in a top-10 location for population growth, as that may only be the case for the short-term. What we care most about is steady population growth over the long-term — it’s one of the core tenets of our investment criteria at our firm. Average to above-average population growth is fine as long as it follows a positive trajectory that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
You can see how this plays out in multifamily pricing, new construction, rental rates, etc., with every major market. Where there are either rapid or gradual declines in population, there is also stagnant to negative-performing multifamily assets.
2. Employment Growth Rate
The largest driver of rental demand is population growth and, in turn, one of the largest drivers of population growth is employment growth. When analyzing a market, you want to understand its job creation trends. Ask yourself:
• Is it a steady jobs market?
• Does it fluctuate at a greater rate than the overall economy?
• Over what period of time has it been stable?
• If the employment growth rate is more volatile than the overall economy, what forces are driving that?
In general, the larger the market, the more stable the employment growth because there are many job creators, i.e., existing and new businesses.
Three factors to keep in mind are:
1. Healthcare, government and higher education jobs rarely relocate and tend to grow over time.
2. Military jobs can fluctuate based on base realignments and deployments. Be cautious of markets where military is the bulk of employment growth.
3. Manufacturing and virtual service jobs can be volatile regardless of the economy.
3. Components Of Employment Growth
In addition to the overall employment growth numbers, you must also study where jobs are being created. For instance, how stable is the job source? Be cautious of service and retail jobs. What types of jobs are they: white-collar educated jobs, blue-collar trades or minimum wage? What age group is the dominant employment growth attracting? For instance, the 18-34-year-old demographic is the largest group that rents.
4. Unemployment Rate
Looking at unemployment and components of unemployment is different than employment growth. While not typical, you could have a market with rising employment growth with no corresponding impact on unemployment. This occurs when job creation demographics are different than the current unemployed base.
In general, you should look for a market where unemployment is less than the overall U.S. market. If there is a steady trend there, then most likely this specific market will be comparatively better than those with unemployment rates greater than the U.S. average or volatile.
5. Landlord/Tenant Laws
Multifamily investments sit in the middle of several different local and federal policy influences:
• Federal equal housing laws.
• Federal, state and local business practices.
• State and local landlord/tenant laws.
Since shelter is a basic human need, there are several voices impacting how and in what way a multifamily property is operated. This can impact your tax bill, your allowable marketing practices, required property living standards and the landlord’s and tenants’ rights.
Evictions can and will happen, even in new A-grade complexes. The percentage of evictions and bad debt activity increases as you move down from Class A properties to Class D. You want to be in a state that provides favorable or, at the very least, neutral treatment for the landlord in eviction and bad debt scenarios.
In relatively neutral landlord/tenant states, evictions usually take 30 to 45 days, and if a tenant breaks a lease, they are responsible for the economic harm caused to the landlord. However, in some states, it can take up to six months for evictions, and during that time there is no rental income or no recourse to the lost rental income.
Analyzing a multifamily investment market can be complex. Reviewing key metrics can help you evaluate the potential profitability and risks. Long-term, steady population growth and stable employment growth are indicators of a promising investment market. Moreover, a market where unemployment is lower than the overall U.S. market is more favorable. Neutral landlord/tenant states may reduce the loss incurred from evictions or unforeseen circumstances. A thorough analysis of all of these factors can help you make informed decisions.
More China coal investments overseas cancelled than commissioned since 2017
More China-invested overseas coal-fired power capacity was cancelled than commissioned since 2017, research showed on Wednesday, highlighting the obstacles facing the industry as countries work to reduce carbon emissions.
The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said that the amount of capacity shelved or cancelled since 2017 was 4.5 times higher than the amount that went into construction over the period.
Coal-fired power is one of the biggest sources of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions, and the wave of cancellations also reflects rising concerns about the sector’s long-term economic competitiveness.
Since 2016, the top 10 banks involved in global coal financing were all Chinese, and around 12% of all coal plants operating outside of China can be linked to Chinese banks, utilities, equipment manufacturers and construction firms, CREA said.
But although 80 gigawatts of China-backed capacity is still in the pipeline, many of the projects could face further setbacks as public opposition rises and financing becomes more difficult, it added.
China is currently drawing up policies that it says will allow it to bring greenhouse gas emissions to a peak by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2060.
But it was responsible for more than half the world’s coal-fired power generation last year, and it will not start to cut coal consumption until 2026, President Xi Jinping said in April.
Environmental groups have called on China to stop financing coal-fired power entirely and to use the funds to invest in cleaner forms of energy, and there are already signs that it is cutting back on coal investments both at home and abroad.
Following rule changes implemented by the central bank earlier this year, “clean coal” is no longer eligible for green financing.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s biggest bank by assets and a major source of global coal financing, is also drawing up a “road map” to pull out of the sector, its chief economist Zhou Yueqiu said at the end of May.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
Bank of Montreal CEO sees growth in U.S. share of earnings
Bank of Montreal expects its earnings contribution from the U.S. to keep growing, even without any mergers and acquisitions, driven by a much smaller market share than at home and nearly C$1 trillion ($823.38 billion) of assets, Chief Executive Officer Darryl White said on Monday.
“We do think we have plenty of scale,” and the ability to compete with both banks of similar as well as smaller size, White said at a Morgan Stanley conference, adding that the bank’s U.S. market share is between 1% and 5% based on the business line, versus 10% to 35% in Canada. “And we do it off the scale of our global balance sheet of C$950 billion.”
($1 = 1.2145 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Nichola Saminather; Editing by Leslie Adler)
GameStop falls 27% on potential share sale
Shares of GameStop Corp lost more than a quarter of their value on Thursday and other so-called meme stocks also declined in a sell-off that hit a broad range of names favored by retail investors.
The video game retailer’s shares closed down 27.16% at $220.39, their biggest one-day percentage loss in 11 weeks. The drop came a day after GameStop said in a quarterly report that it may sell up to 5 million new shares, sparking concerns of potential dilution for existing shareholders.
“The threat of dilution from the five million-share sale is the dagger in the hearts of GameStop shareholders,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management. “The meme trade is not working today, so logic for at least one day has returned.”
Soaring rallies in the shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings over the past month have helped reinvigorate the meme stock frenzy that began earlier this year and fueled big moves in a fresh crop of names popular with investors on forums such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets.
Many of those names traded lower on Thursday, with shares of Clover Health Investments Corp down 15.2%, burger chain Wendy’s falling 3.1% and prison operator Geo Group Inc, one of the more recently minted meme stocks, down nearly 20% after surging more than 38% on Wednesday. AMC shares were off more than 13%.
Worries that other companies could leverage recent stock price gains by announcing share sales may be rippling out to the broader meme stock universe, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital.
AMC last week took advantage of a 400% surge in its share price since mid-May to announce a pair of stock offerings.
“It appears that other companies, like GameStop, are hoping to follow AMC’s lead by issuing shares and otherwise profit from the meme stocks run-up,” Ablin said. “Investors are taking a dim view of that strategy.”
Wedbush Securities on Thursday raised its price target on GameStop to $50, from $39. GameStop will likely sell all 5 million new shares but that amount only represents a “modest” dilution of 7%, Wedbush analysts wrote.
GameStop on Wednesday reported stronger-than-expected earnings, and named the former head of Amazon.com Inc’s Australian business as its chief executive officer.
GameStop’s shares rallied more than 1,600% in January when a surge of buying forced bearish investors to unwind their bets in a phenomenon known as a short squeeze.
The company on Wednesday said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had requested documents and information related to an investigation into that trading.
In the past two weeks, the so-called “meme stocks” have received $1.27 billion of retail inflows, Vanda Research said on Wednesday, matching their January peak.
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha and Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bengaluru and Sinead Carew in New York; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Shounak Dasgupta, Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)
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