Investing, infrastructure and you …

Timeless real estate wisdom says three things matter most when deciding what to buy … location, location, location.

It’s tongue-in-cheek, but the point is real estate derives its value from demand.

The key is choosing properties most likely to surge in demand relative to supply.

Of course, deciphering supply and demand means looking at demographics, economics, migration, and the potential for increases in supply.

The concept is simple.  But understanding actual market dynamics is more complex.

Still, it’s worth the effort because real estate investing is about buying and holding a property for the long term.

And even if your time horizon is shorter, you still need new buyers coming into a market to take you out.

So getting the market right matters a lot more than simply making sure the property’s free of termites and the plumbing works.

When it comes to residential rental real estate, some major demand factors are jobs, affordability, and quality of life.

Sure, everyone would LOVE to live in Tony Stark’s mansion in Malibu … it’s got a GREAT location and is low in supply.  But it’s not affordable.

And with so many retail jobs being automated or Amazoned … and manufacturing jobs still more off-shore than on …

… what kind of jobs and geographies offer the kind of growth potential likely to support working class folks?

We’re keeping our eyes on infrastructure for clues.

Both the Obama administration and now the Trump administration have said U.S. infrastructure needs attention.

It’s not a blue or red only issue, so maybe something will really get done.

We’ve commented before on Trump’s plan to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure … and though it may seem to have fallen off the radar, infrastructure might be making a comeback.

First, even though the Fed backed off on the last rate hike, they’re still talking about reducing their balance sheet.

That’s code for tightening “monetary stimulus”.

This puts pressure on President Trump and Congress to fire up some “fiscal stimulus” … which is code for good old-fashioned government spending.

And while the military is quite likely to be on the receiving end of a chunk of it, we think some funding will probably find its way into infrastructure.

Of course, we’re not the only ones paying attention to this possibility.

Check out this headline from Bloomberg …

Buyers Bet on Infrastructure, With or Without Trump

The article is about one big company buying up another big company to get in position to feed off government spending on infrastructure.

“This rush to get positioned for an infrastructure-spending boom is a striking contrast to the stalled progress in Washington on legislation of any kind, let alone Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan. But like the private-equity firms raising buckets of money for infrastructure-focused funds, industrial firms are wagering the country’s roads, bridges and sewer systems have gotten so bad they can’t be ignored for too long.”

Of course, the big question for real estate investors is … where???

Some clues can probably be gleaned from the prospectuses of the private-equity and industrial funds … all of whom are presumably spending considerable resources on researching their mega-investments.

But there are also clues in the news.

The New York Times published an article claiming Trump Plans to Shift Infrastructure Funding to Cities, States and Business.

More recently, Reuters reports U.S. Construction Spending Falls as Government Outlays Tumble.

U.S. construction spending unexpectedly fell in June as investment in public projects recorded its biggest drop since March 2002 … The decline pushed public construction spending to its lowest level since February 2014.”

So even though Uncle Sam wants to spend money on infrastructure, they’re not doing it in earnest … yet.

But think about this …

Big companies and private-equity funds are getting positioned for big infrastructure spending.  They expect it to happen.

President Trump says he wants to spend a trillion dollars in infrastructure.

We can’t imagine Congress not wanting to spend money.  It’s what they do best.  Then again, getting anything done is what they do worst.

But everyone seems to agree infrastructure is in bad shape. And we’re guessing some places are in worse shape than others.

So like the big players, we think at some point, the need is going to force the spending … ready or not.

Now if the Feds don’t pay … or if Trump puts more responsibility on the states … it seems like those states which already have the best infrastructure … or the best economic ability to build or improve it … will have a big advantage.

And because we’re always looking for an advantage, we decided to look up those U.S. states in the best fiscal shape.

Not surprisingly, several of our favorites are in the top ten …

  1. North Dakota
  2. Wyoming
  3. Texas
  4. North Carolina
  5. South Dakota
  6. Vermont
  7. Tennessee
  8. Indiana
  9. Utah
  10. Florida

Of course, when picking a market to invest in there’s more than just fiscal strength.

Affordability, market size, business and landlord friendliness, quality of life … and your boots-on-the-ground team … are all important considerations also.

Nonetheless, with record levels of debt at every level, rising healthcare costs, pensions in crisis, and fiscally cancerous unfunded liabilities growing daily …

… we think companies and governments in relatively good financial shape are best positioned to make critical investments, gain competitive advantages, and attract an unfair share of population and business.

The goal, as Wayne Gretzky says, is to skate to where the puck is going.

Until next time … good investing!


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The Real Estate Guys™ radio show and podcast provides real estate investing news, education, training and resources to help real estate investors succeed.

Orlando

Orlando

 

Florida has long been a heralded go-to for tourists and RETIREES … who happen to be BOOMING!   But who else?

 

When it comes to choosing markets, you already know you are looking for DEMAND.  .The demand we are talking about comes from lots of people who sleep under roofs.  Florida boasts of over 20 million in population … It holds its own right up there with the largest states in the nation.  The Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area is the third largest metropolitan area in the state of Florida.

At risk of sounding like a broken record … Big markets mean lots of people, political clout, infrastructure and lifestyle amenities.  Big also means economically diverse.  All these things are important for long term stability.

What else drives demand for this sun-shine state?

We’re glad you asked!  You’ll definitely want to read the latest Reports & Articles below, but here’s some of our thoughts to prime your thinking-pump …

Florida continues to be a prime target for the migrating 75 million Baby Boomers … talk about demand!

You already know retirees love warm weather.  And Florida’s climate is probably going to continue to meet the “Sun Belt” criteria for the foreseeable future.  The mass exodus of retirees to this sunshine state is far from over.

Who else is flocking to Florida?  Well, who else would be in the Boomers wake?  You guessed it, Millennials!  No other Florida metro makes the top 10, but Orlando ranks among the highest metros for the largest share of the millennial population.

High JOB GROWTH and affordability attract this younger generation.  According to Forbes, Orlando’s job growth for 2016 ranked No. 1 compared with 382 U.S. metropolitan areas … Orlando is one of the top 25 MSA’s currently (2016) experiencing the biggest economic surge.

Thumbs up for No State Income Tax!  Unless you’ve got wind of something different, there seems to be no change here in the near future.

Florida has been touted as a Low-Cost of Living state.  Housing is right up there as one of the biggest living expenses for most people.  If someone retired by selling a home in New York and relocated to Florida, their housing budget goes a lot further.  Ok.  That’s interesting, but …

An even more important factor in assessing the cost-of-living is, not the market people are coming from, but the income of the locals.  The Housing Affordability Index is one thing we like to look at when considering the sustainability of a markets growth.  Is the market economy primarily fueled by foreign investments and out-of-state investors gambling on returns?  Or is strong, local economic health supporting the property rental rates and values?

This index measures median household income relative to the income needed to purchase a median-priced house.  The Orlando Metro’s affordability index in 2016 was 58% above the national average.

Orlando is EXCITING!  We see a convergence of demographic demand, scarce supply, influx of out-of-state wealth, AND LOCAL economic stability.  As a whole, because of the large number of people that tend to move in and out of the state, Florida’s housing market has historically been volatile … If you were watching Florida during the 2008 crash we don’t have to explain this to you.

As real estate investors though, we don’t buy whole states.  We buy particular properties, in particular neighborhoods.

Imagine you could see strong monthly profits, take advantage of the trends in demand, and secure your cash flow with a diversified, stable tenant base.

The Orlando MSA from July 2014 – July 2015 has the fastest growing population of the country’s 30 largest regions according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Orlando, and it’s surrounding communities, power the Orlando economy with blue collar and service workers diversified outside of the tourist industry – these communities tend to hold their values, rental rates and occupancy.

Put your boots on the ground and come explore the market for yourself!  In the meantime, here are some helpful resources we trust you’ll find useful as you dive into this exciting area …

Radio Shows

Reports & Articles

Market Field Trips & Property Tours

  • Coming Soon!

Boots-on-the-Ground Teams

Clues in The News