Commercial property market liquidity at the end of 2020 was below the levels from a year prior in 126 out of 155 markets worldwide, the latest update of the RCA Capital Liquidity Scores shows. The count of markets with scores falling on an annual basis was the highest since the end of 2009, during the Global Financial Crisis. However, there are signs of optimism.
Robinhood has been making headlines in recent weeks after a group of Reddit-inspired retail investors used the commission-free investing platform in an attempt to take down some of Wall Street’s top hedge funds, by investing in Gamestop (GME) and raising its share price. The news resulted in a further $2.4B investment for the company, taking total funding to date to $5.6B. No company could have planned this, but it definitely bodes well for the securities and exchange commission (SEC) regulated FinTech company ahead of its potential initial public offering (IPO) expected later this year. So, will Robinhood still go ahead with its planned IPO? It appears so.
In this Placer Bytes, we dive into Dollar General’s continued strength and the recoveries of Gap and Old Navy. Dollar General has seen exceptional growth in the last year with every month since January 2020 showing year-over-year increases. And while the jumps themselves are good enough, it’s the continuity of these increases that makes them all the more impressive. Even as COVID cases surged in November, visits continued to remain up 8.9% year over year, and this continued with December and January up 5.3% and 7.5% respectively.
While we’ve had a solid track record over the years with our non-farm payroll forecasts, it’s not often that we’ve actually written in advance the Bloomberg Chyron for jobs Friday, so it’s hard to pass up on the opportunity to start with the images below from last month – starting with our NFP forecast email alert and the Bloomberg screenshot the following day. And unfortunately, our job market data is giving strong indications that February’s jobs report will be equally as disappointing.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed shopper behaviors dramatically over the last year, especially in accelerating the adoption of online shopping. As vaccines roll out to more and more consumers, will this behavior revert back? In this week’s Insight Flash, we take advantage of our demographic variables to dig into changes in spending habits, particularly among the 65+ age group that is getting the vaccine first in most states.
Superstores and wholesale retailers saw strong growth in downloads and engagement in 2020. We attribute this to consumers being especially focused on affordability and bulk buying this year. You can learn more about this consumer trend, and all the retail performers who benefited, in our joint analysis with Semrush.
With 2020 in the rear-view mirror, we can gauge the true impact of COVID-19 on the Business & Productivity app space, and it was truly remarkable. Our State of Mobile Report reveals that consumers across the world installed Business and Productivity apps 7.1 billion times in 2020 – up 35% from 2019. Predictably, the biggest surge began in mid-March 2020 when shelter-in-place became the norm across many regions. At this time, millions of employees were restricted from visiting their offices and had to find new ways of collaborating from home. While there was a surge in the spring, Business & Productivity app downloads remained high, as they were a consistent area of focus for the rest of the year and beyond.
In a challenging year for apparel companies, many clothing subscription companies doubled down on their e-commerce strategies. In March 2020, Nordstrom closed its brick-and-mortar Trunk Club locations in favor of ramping up its digital channels. Similarly, Rent the Runway announced that it would permanently close its five stores while revamping its membership tiers to eliminate the unlimited rental option.
Conventional apartment sales slowed amid the pandemic, but transactions surged in the last three months of 2020. Nearly $56.7 billion changed hands with roughly 2,300 conventional apartment properties transacted during 4th quarter 2020, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA). That activity compares to $15.4 billion in transactions in 2nd quarter, following the onset of the pandemic. In 3rd quarter, RCA reported $26.3 billion in transactions.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending February 27, 2021, as well as volumes for February 2021. U.S. railroads originated 824,636 carloads in February 2021, down 11.1 percent, or 102,972 carloads, from February 2020. U.S. railroads also originated 1,015,995 containers and trailers in February 2021, up 1.8 percent, or 18,184 units, from the same month last year.
The number of people visiting city centres jumped by 10% following Boris’ roadmap announcements on 22 February, suggesting that light at the end of the tunnel and more confidence in the vaccine programme could be causing lockdown compliance to slip.
The Coinbase initial public offering (IPO) is making headlines. Only the Coinbase IPO isn’t actually an IPO. Following in the footsteps of Slack and Spotify, the cryptocurrency trading platform opted to go public via a direct listing. With a direct listing, no new shares are created and there are no intermediaries – investment banks, brokerages, or underwriters. Once public, Coinbase shares will be available for trading on NASDAQ with the ticker CBASE. With a valuation expected to exceed $100 billion, there is a lot of hype around this company’s stock market debut.
Kuaishou’s meteoric rise to the top culminated during its February 5, 2021 Hong Kong debut that raised $5.4 billion from its initial public offering, raising its shares nearly 200%. The blockbuster deal placed Kuaishou at the top as the world’s biggest internet IPO since Uber Technologies Inc.’s $8.1 billion share sale in the US in May 2019.
Multifamily permits got quite a boost in January, surging to the highest level in nearly five years. Building permits for the construction of multifamily projects hit an annual level of 557,000 units in January 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s monthly building permits survey. That is the highest annual permitting level since June 2015 and represents a 28% increase from December’s annual rate. Compared to last year, multifamily permitting was up by 7.9%.
The top global investors acquired more commercial real estate in 2020 despite the challenges of the pandemic. There are clear signals in what they bought, however, that these investors are reacting to the uncertainty presented by the Covid-19 turmoil. Net purchases by property sector indicate that concerns about the office sector surfaced in 2020.
Prior to the pandemic, Costco has been among the most consistently strong performers in all of retail with year over year visit growth essentially a given. On the other hand, BJ’s Wholesale had been the clear third wheel in the battle for wholesale club supremacy. Yet, since the pandemic, visits to the former have been up and down, while BJ’s has been one of the most impressive players with near ongoing year-over-year growth. So what does it all mean and how did traffic unfold in late 2020 and January 2021?
National home prices increased 10% year over year in January 2021, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI®) Report. The January 2021 HPI gain was up from the January 2020 gain of 4.1% and was the highest year-over-year gain since November 2013. Low mortgage rates and low for-sale inventory drove the increase in home prices, however affordability constraints may work to slow home price growth later this year.
In this Placer Bytes, we dive into a critical lesson from Burlington’s recovery, the rebound potential for Nordstrom, and the opportunity for Dollar Tree. When Burlington removed its eCommerce capabilities the wider retail community was up in arms. This wasn’t helped by the onset of a pandemic that shut down Burlington locations, leading some to assume that it would affect Burlington in the long-run.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the popularity of third party delivery services, which have seen a surge in full-service restaurant partnerships as many restaurants turn to third-party delivery services to stay afloat. However, our consumer transaction data reveals that third party delivery services generate significantly more sales through quick-service restaurants than full-service restaurants, though they constitute a larger portion of total sales at full-service restaurants.
In previous outputs we have looked extensively at how footfall across UK urban centres has changed in response to Covid-19, and more recently at how catchment areas have undergone similar transformation over the same period. In this analysis we use our mobile geo-location data to explore how dwell time – the duration of visitors to high-streets and town centres – has changed in the past 14 months and contrast those differences by income group.