I was privy to a conversation between two females, one of whom is a senior in high school. She was lamenting the fact that her English teacher had given her class an assignment to write a sonnet. This caught my attention as, while I have expressed myself a few times over the years by writing haikus,
I subscribe to The Daily Shot which is an economics and finance-oriented site that aggregates a tremendous number of charts to give investors a great visual overview of key aspects of the economy, both domestic and global, as well as financial markets.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Alaska for a small CWS planning meeting on a private boat. To enter Alaska without being quarantined, one had to prove he or she tested negative for COVID, which fortunately I did.
CWS has a sister company that focuses on corporate housing. They provide temporary housing for business people, interns, long-term, special projects for companies, etc. I am one of the advisory board members and it’s been such a treat to see how the company has grown and prospered over its 25 years in business.
With rent control being passed in California, Oregon, and New York, government intervention in rental housing is heating up. This is something we have been predicting for a number of years given the housing shortage and relatively stagnant wages for lower to middle-income earners. We also had a lot of experience with it when we owned manufacturing housing communities where it was much more widespread than apartments so we had a sense of the conditions that would lend itself to rent control pressures.
Last week we had our annual investor meeting for CWS. This was a huge milestone as we celebrated our 50th anniversary. The attendance was a record with more than 600 people taking time out of their busy lives to join us for dinner and presentations from the CWS principals.
It has been our belief at CWS that housing in totality has been undersupplied. This does not mean that apartments may not be over-supplied in certain metro areas, particularly in the urban core. This is the case because these properties are often very dense and result in the delivery of a lot of units at one time that can often result in rent discounts to entice people to rent at these communities so developers can expedite getting out of their construction loans and/or be in a position to sell their properties.
When we started to scale our apartment business in the mid to late 1990s our location decisions were based on investing in cities that would be highly appealing to knowledge-based workers. It was starting to become clear that economic growth would be driven by technological innovation deployed widely throughout U.S.
Last week we held our annual investor meeting and we had a record attendance of nearly 600 people (including employees). I told the audience that if we can grow our attendance by 7% every year that by the time we have our 100th annual meeting (this was year 49) then we should have over 11,000 in attendance.
With the tax overhaul now being law, I wanted to do a granular analysis of what the changes mean for those who own and those who rent in a high tax, high-cost state (California) and one residing in a low cost, low tax state (Texas).
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