Economy

(Washington)

We think we might have found an area when Democrats and Republicans might agree. Here is an interesting argument—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac distort the housing market and negatively affect renters. This is a conclusion from the Wall Street Journal, which found that the subsidized loans from the agencies artificially lowered interest rates on multi-family properties (apartment buildings), which helped developers in acquiring them. The developers then go on to raise rents. In some cases, owners of big units refinance using agency mortgages and are therefore rewarded for raising rents.


FINSUM: From the left’s view, this hurts everyday Americans by raising rent prices. From the right’s view, this is an example of how big government distorts the economy. All that said, in single family housing, the agencies still seem to have benefits that outweigh their negatives.

(New York)

One could argue that we are in a stock pickers’ market. With valuations down and no clear narrative to lift all boats, the market seems set to let stock pickers shine as companies start to trade on their fundamentals more than in the last few years. With that in mind, here are four of the best REIT picks. REITs are a very diversified group, and picking them now is more complicated than ever given rising rates and slumping real estate markets. The best areas in REITs right now are those that deal in ecommerce warehousing as well as data centers. Here are 4 picks that could do well: Hersha Hospitality Trust (HT), CyrusOne Inc. (CONE), Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT), and Stag Industrial (STAG).


FINSUM: We think the industrial REIT area (ecommerce warehousing) seems to be a really good choice as the underlying demand for space is steady and growing.

(New York)

Real estate across northern cities is taking a pummeling right now. There appears to be a significant exodus of wealthy homeowners leaving high-tax northern states like New York and New Jersey in favor of sun belt areas with lower taxes. The big catalyst for the move has been the elimination of SALT deductions above $10,000. Florida, for instance, has no state income tax and no estate tax. Accordingly, Miami, as well as other sun belt cities like Las Vegas and Phoenix, have seen real estate markets holding up well compared to the trend across the north.


FINSUM: Northern states are going to have to adjust (assuming the federal government doesn’t change policy) as the logic is just too simple for people right now: “should I live in a cold place with high taxes, or a warm place with great weather and low taxes?”.

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