October 8th 2020
Atlanta Fed President: 'Racism robs our economy'
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is taking on the topic of race and its role in the economy. It is collaborating with Federal Reserve Banks in Boston and Minneapolis in a series of virtual events. The first was on Oct. 7. Good Friend Mortgage, a mortgage broker based out of Alpahretta, GA, supports these efforts.
"The conversations we hope to spur with this kickoff event, and the whole series, are critical because systemic racism has a deep cost to our country—not just in psychological or emotional terms, but also by limiting economic mobility, innovation, and educational opportunities," said Raphael Bostic, president of the Atlanta Fed.
"Plainly put, racism robs our economy of trillions of dollars in productivity,” said Bostic, the only Black president in the Federal Reserve system.
A CitiGroup study puts the cost of the racial gap between whites and Blacks at $2.7 trillion.
In addition to Bostic's fellow presidents Neel Kashkari (Minneapolis), and Eric Rosengren (Boston), the event included guests who challenged the central bank to think about how financial institutions contributed to the current state of race disparities, and the tools the Fed has at its disposal to dismantle long-standing practices.
Changing the status quo “is going to require our radical imaginations,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, founder of PolicyLink. "It has been too many decades to tinker. We have to do something big."
Speakers proposed a variety of ideas including ways the Fed's regional banks could improve communication with their communities, and be more intentional about sharing research with policy makers. But it also became clear there are limits to what the central bank can do.
"Expanding [quantitative easing] is no substitute for extended unemployment benefits," said Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Fed. "There are things the Fed can do to support the economy as a whole, but we cannot put money in pockets of people who have lost their jobs, only Congress can do that."
During the two and a half hour event, guest speakers Ursula Burns , former CEO of Xerox Corporation; Geoffrey Canada , president of Harlem Children's Zone; Carmen Rojas , president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation; and moderator Kai Ryssdal, host of the radio program "Marketplace," proposed ideas to help the Fed bridge the nation's racial divide during the first of a seven-part series.
"We at the Fed intend to do a lot of listening through this series," said Bostic.
The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston and Minneapolis will host additional virtual events on education, housing, criminal justice, health, wealth and financial services, and employment.
"The goal is to be solution-oriented and to identify actions that might be taken to reduce racism," Bostic said.
October 7th 2020
1,100-acre, $200M wellness resort proposed west of Atlanta.
An investor hopes to transform more than 1,100 acres of forest west of Atlanta into a C-Suite wellness utopia. Good Friend Mortgage, your local mortgage broker did not get this contract. (We wish)
A $200 million wellness resort is planned for the lower section of Douglas County, less than a half-hour drive from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Thanks to its proximity to the world's busiest airport, developers envision the proposed resort as a destination for people around the world seeking respite from their daily lives — and one that could tap into the huge global health and wellness industry.
Named the "Preserve World Center for Holistic Wellness and Applied Health," the center’s slogan is: “Connecting mind, body and soul.” The massive planned development comes from Preserve Life Corp. and could include up to 6 million square feet of commercial, retail, residential and farm space, according to a conceptual master plan.
Described as a “pause from high-profile corporate living,” the resort’s development would spread across approximately 700 acres, leaving more than 300 as woods. Plans are to build it in phases over 10 years.
“The center is expected to become the gold standard in wellness therapy, sustainable living and in promoting healthy eating,” according to Preserve Life Corp. documents filed with the county.
The Preserve Life Corp. enclave would resemble a small city with its own streets, small-scale commercial and office spaces, an agricultural area, hospitality lodging, a congregation hall, aromatherapy and Zen gardens and dining areas. Only electric cars would be allowed on the property to limit pollution.
A restaurant open to the public would use food grown in the center’s organic garden. Easy access to the Dog River Basin and Chattahoochee River allows for kayak trips plus scenic views. About 350 for-sale or rental cottages and larger homes would be scattered around the site surrounding Basket Creek and the western shore of Dog River Reservoir.
October 6th 2020
CoreLogic: U.S. Home Price Appreciation Jumped to 5.9 Percent in August
CoreLogic® recently released its CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI™) and HPI Forecast™ for August 2020. On a national basis, home prices jumped 5.9 percent in August 2020, compared with August 2019. The increase was up almost 1 percent compared to the last month, when home prices increased 5.1 percent year-over-year.
Consumer home-purchasing power has stayed strong due to record-low mortgage rates despite continued pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, for-sale inventory has continued to dwindle, decreasing 17 percent YoY in August. This created upward pressure on home price appreciation, according to CoreLogic, “as buyers compete for the limited supply of homes.”
“Consumers who have not been as financially impacted by the ongoing economic pressures are taking advantage of low mortgage rates to either break into the market, upgrade their living situations or purchase second homes and investment properties,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “With heightened activity putting a strain on the current for-sale inventory, strong demand should help spur new homebuilding activity.”
Despite the rapid acceleration of national home price growth, local markets continue to vary. For instance, in Phoenix, where there is a severe shortage of for-sale homes, prices increased 9.8 percent in August. Meanwhile, the New York-Jersey City-White Plains metro recorded an annual decline in home prices of 0.1 percent, as residents opt for more space and privacy in less densely populated areas. By state, Idaho, Arizona and Maine experienced the strongest price growth in August, up 10.8 percent, 9.7 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively.