1. Amazon crushes Q3 expectations, sets record with $96.1B in revenue and $6.3B in profits | GeekWire
Amazon sailed past expectations for its third fiscal quarter as the company continues to meet rising demand for its products and services amid the global pandemic.
The company posted record revenue and profit, despite spending billions on COVID-19-related initiatives and hiring hundreds of thousands of workers. Amazon said it would spend another $2 billion on COVID-19 initiatives in the third quarter after spending $4 billion in the second quarter. It said today it expects to spend another $4 billion in the fourth quarter.
In his prepared statement, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos focused on the company’s job growth, noting that it has created more than 400,000 jobs this year.
Lenders shun the city’s low-priced properties, making it hard for Black residents to access homeownership. The city of nearly 700,000 saw barely 1,700 mortgages made last year.
DETROIT—Alter Road runs northwest along this city’s border. To the east is Grosse Pointe Park, an upscale suburb dotted with grand old mansions built in the auto industry’s heyday. To the west is the city of Detroit, lined with abandoned houses and empty lots.
On the east side of the street, getting a mortgage to buy a home is a breeze. On the west side, it is hardly worth trying.
The Home Depot is going big in Manhattan.
Three buildings on the Madison Avenue retail corridor in New York sold recently for 75% less than what they were valued at five years ago. Yet essential goods retailers in need of big, well-located properties in the Big Apple are still willing to pay for them.
Gazit Globe announced that it has signed The Home Depot to the largest retail lease—for both square footage and rent rate—in Manhattan in the last several years. The home improvement giant will leave its long-held Upper East Side location at 731 Lexington Avenue and move into a 120,000-sq.-ft., four-level space on the corner of First Avenue and 61st Street. Construction in the space will begin in 2021. The space is currently home to a Bed Bath & Beyond store, whose lease expires in 2021. (The store was on the list of 60 locations that Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close by yearend.)
Property technology is set to play a growing role in the future of China’s commercial real estate sector.
Some of China’s gigantic shopping malls and office plazas lay desolate during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the country’s commercial real estate sector awakens from its unscheduled hibernation, industry leaders are recognizing an opportunity to embrace digitalization in what has been a typically slow-moving commercial real estate market.
In a report from Altus Group where 400 commercial real estate executives were surveyed, researchers found that “the industry has reached a tipping point as proptech adoption hits a critical mass threshold.” Eight out of ten firms that Altus approached now have a chief data officer or equivalent, compared to just 44% in 2016. This has important ramifications for China’s sprawling commercial real estate market and the integration of proptech in the sector’s future.
Like many other conventional industries, companies in real estate needed to abruptly embrace digitization in the wake of COVID-19 or risk being left behind. This poses an even more difficult challenge given the lack of strategic agility with many large real estate corporates.
Decidedly weak quarterly earnings reports from major apartment real estate investment trusts this week paint a bleak picture for some of the largest urban rental markets. The coronavirus pandemic has caused thousands of apartment dwellers to seek safer, larger, single-family suburban homes, causing vacancies in high-rise rental buildings to spike.
Equity Residential, whose portfolio consists mostly of mid- to high-rise buildings on the East and West coasts, saw a particularly bleak third quarter. Its stock is down about 43% year to date. Occupancy and average rent rates fell and will likely drop further in the coming quarters.
Nearly a quarter of its holdings are in downtown San Francisco, Manhattan, Brooklyn, New York, Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Those are the markets most impacted, as they have seen large outflows of tenants moving either to smaller cities or the suburbs. As businesses reopened over the summer, there were some improvements, but no guarantees.
“The benefits of low interest rates have been completely erased by steep price gains, especially in expensive urban markets,” one economist said.
Potential homebuyers may be hitting the limit of what they can afford. Pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts on existing homes, fell 2.2 percent in September compared with August, according to the National Association of Realtors.
It was the first monthly decline in 4 months. Analysts had expected a small monthly gain. Pending sales were 20.5 percent higher annually.
The Northeast, which is seeing distinct urban flight from New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic, was the only region to post a gain. Sales were up 2 percent for the month and 27.7 percent annually.
7. One-click housing startup Atmos raises another $4M from Khosla, real estate strategics, and TikTok star Josh Richards | TechCrunch
Atmos wants to make designing a house as simple as a single click. Well, that vision is now getting a double click from VCs.
The company, which we profiled back in July, announced today that it raised another $4 million, this time from Evan Moore at Khosla Ventures, real estate strategic investors like David Gerster at JLL Spark and Lennar board member Scott Stowell as well as individuals like Adam Nash of Dropbox and TikTok star Josh Richards, who I guess has turned that whole concept of hype houses into a real estate investment thesis. Or something.
That’s on top of the company’s earlier $2 million seed round, bringing the total fundraised to $6 million if this desk calculator is functioning.
8. Vast migration of over 14 million Americans coming due to rise in remote work, study shows | CNBC
A whopping 14 million to 23 million Americans are planning to relocate to a new U.S. city or region due in part to the growing acceptance of remote work, according to Upwork’s Remote Workers on the Move report released Thursday.
The survey of 20,490 Americans over the age of 18 was conducted Oct. 1 to Oct. 15.
The vast migration driven by the pandemic comes after many companies such as Facebook announced plans to permanently shift jobs to remote work and hired a director of remote work in September to help in the transition.
Companies of all sizes are following this path including small businesses. According to a recent survey from Intermedia, 57% of small and medium-size businesses plan to offer remote work plans to employees for the long term. What’s more, SMB owners have observed that employee availability has increased by 19% by shifting to remote work.
They learned the advantages of having remote work policies during the pandemic. Among them: lower operating costs, increased employee availability and job satisfaction.
Buying or selling a home can be a stressful affair. Real estate agents rarely make the process any less stressful. The real estate industry is ripe for disruption, and many tech companies have been coming up with innovative solutions to automate many of the existing archaic processes.
Real estate is, reportedly, the biggest consumer expense globally (mortgage, rent, maintenance, energy). The industry has the power and opportunity to address these issues in the sector, i.e. apartment shortages, access to homeownership, and sustainability.
This is where a Helsinki, Finland-based real-estate startup, Kodit.io, wants to make a difference. The company provides homeowners a stress-free way to quickly sell their homes for a fair price.
10. Sino Group and Ping An Smart City Launch ‘PropXTech’ Innovation Programme to Foster and Drive PropTech Innovation in the Greater Bay Area | Yahoo Finance
HONG KONG, Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Sino Group and Ping An Smart City jointly announced the official launch of ‘PropXTech’, a corporate innovation programme that focuses on property technology (PropTech). The programme is designed to foster promising technology companies in the Greater Bay Area and develop innovative technology solutions for the real estate industry.
Operated by the Ping An Technology Innovation Center team, the programme is scheduled to kick off in February 2021 with four to eight PropTech companies as its first cohort. During the five-month programme, participants will attend intensive training sessions and workshops, gain access to Sino Group’s innovation ecosystem to develop pilots and proofs-of-concept, as well as test and fine-tune their solutions in a real-world environment.