• The self-storage industry is seeing rapid growth as a result of the pandemic spurring more people to reorganize their homes to find extra space as they work from home and to move to the suburbs or move in with more family members. 38% of Americans reported being self-storage users, according to a newly released StorageCafe survey.

  • Investment firms enter the short-term rental market. On Tuesday, New York investment firm Saluda Grade announced a new venture with short-term rental operator AvantStay to buy $500 million in homes to rent out. Earlier this year,  WeWork founder Adam Neumann bought majority stakes in more than 4,000 apartments. 3 out of 4 new rental travelers said they would continue to use short-term rentals even after the pandemic wanes.

  • Blackstone to buy Preferred Apartment Communities in $5.8B deal. The deal demonstrates the strong investor demand for multifamily properties in Sunbelt states. Atlanta-based Preferred Apartment owns over 40 rental apartment properties with about 12,000 units in states including Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The sale is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. Read more here.

  • Airbnb sees the number of bookings in Q1 exceeding pre-pandemic levels for the first time. Consumers sought suburban rentals and projected continued growth as it emerges from the pandemic. Airbnb said people were already booking stays for the summer. By the end of January, the company said it had over 25% more nights booked for summer travel than the same time in 2019. Read more here.

  • Homebuilders’ confidence falls as they wait months for cabinets, garage doors, and appliances. These delivery delays are raising construction costs and pricing prospective buyers out of the market. Surging lumber prices are also adding to the cost of new homes. Meanwhile, residential construction costs are up 21% on a year-over-year basis, and these higher development costs have hit first-time buyers particularly hard.

  • U.S. retail sales rose 3.8% in January. The rise in spending came alongside rapidly accelerating prices, with inflation jumping 7.5% on an annual basis in January. January’s sales data marks a recovery from December, when retail sales fell a revised 2.5%, according to the Census Bureau. Excluding auto and gas sales, January sales rose 3.8%, a reversal from December’s 3.2% drop.


  • Google plans privacy change similar to Apple’s, which wiped $230 billion off Facebook’s market cap. The Alphabet-owned company said it is developing new privacy-focused replacements for its advertising ID, a unique string of characters that identifies the user’s device. The changes could impact big companies that have relied on tracking users across apps, like Facebook-parent Meta. Read more here.

  • The Arctic could see ice-free summers by 2035, reshaping global shipping routes. With melting sea ice in the Arctic, Russia and China are expanding their shipping infrastructure over the Eurasian continent. The Northern Sea Route may save almost 20 days off the shipping time now spent traveling through the Suez Canal, according to China.

  • SoftBank seeks an $8 billion margin loan as part of Arm IPO. The margin loan financing -- linked to Arm’s IPO stock -- is one option under consideration as SoftBank lines up an advisory roster. Banks are planning to pitch IPO valuations for Arm of upward of $50 billion. Arm is likely worth $25 billion to $35 billion based on the industry’s valuation metrics and analysts’ early projections. Read more here.

  • Walt Disney Co. plans to develop residential communities, starting with one in Rancho Mirage, in California's Coachella Valley. The new residential development business will be called Storyliving by Disney, the company said. The Rancho Mirage community is being developed in collaboration with DMB Development. Homebuyers will be able to choose from estates, single-family homes, and condominiums. Read more here.
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