If, as the saying goes, “”no news is good news,” last week was almost a good week for U.S. real estate. St. Cloud real estate watchers like me found no hint of the kind of sweeping changes that can alter residential real estate patterns for buyers and sellers. Possibly because of the looming election, little space was devoted to real estate—with the exception of one thought-provoking discussion.
CNBC’s commentary embodied the major theme: they wrote about high-end real estate being subject to a “slowdown” and “uncertainty”—but then went on at length to explain why the “ultra-wealthy” have a “very strong intent to purchase real estate.” When you read articles like that— analyses that come down forcefully on both sides of a proposition—you know it’s a slow news week.
BTW, by CNBC’s definition, the “ultra-wealthy” are those with a net worth of more than $50 million. St. Cloud homeowners should sleep more soundly knowing they already own some of what the ultra-wealthy covet “very strongly.”
Stepping down from those precipitous net worth heights, news reports about the merely wealthy echoed a similar sentiment—internationally, too. YouGov is an outfit that surveys consumers across a dozen countries. They found the top echelon of consumers to be “cautious but optimistic” about real estate. YouGov reported that 45% of foreign buyers are looking to purchase real estate—nearly twice as many as those who plan to sell.
Homeownership levels began to edge back up from the five-decade low that The Wall Street Journal has been tracking—but were not yet making giant gains. On a newsworthiness scale, that news found its way almost to the bottom of the WSJ’s Real Estate section. Almost as an afterthought, the Journal mentioned “tentative signs” that renter families “are starting to gain the confidence to buy homes.” That could foreshadow real news, but apparently, not quite yet.
The reason that it was almost a no-news week is because there was a newsworthy account on a real estate-related news front. MarketWatch ran an in-depth report that spotlighted a trend that home builders and architects would be wise to note. The industry is “behind the curve” when it comes to building homes that accommodate today’s trend toward an “all-delivery, all-the-time” population.
As at-home grocery and household goods delivery numbers skyrocket and Amazon Prime cartons clog post offices everywhere, secure places for deliveries to be left are not yet being widely incorporated into houses. Mail slots won’t do it, “and curbside mailboxes aren’t set up to handle it.” Crime statistics bear out that the porch-pirate phenomenon is a rising problem.
There are several lock-box type solutions, but the design answer that I thought was the real newsmaker of the week was architectural: built-in drone drop-off platforms. NASA investigators told the Washington Post that homes need to be more drone-delivery friendly, with “chimneys turned into package chutes…or mailboxes that are tall enough to stay clear of pets and children.”
With thought-provoking ideas like that, even a slow real estate news week can give us something to think about. When your own family news events start to center around your personal St. Cloud real estate plans, I hope you will consider me your go-to resource!