The Bay Area was home to 46.5 percent of startups and VC investment in 2015. In 2013 protests broke out in Oakland, directed against the tech industry which was blamed forthe, “New Urban Crisis: the decline of middle-class neighborhoods, the gentrification of the downtowns.” But is it actually the “techies” fault? Yes, tech workers do well financially and bid up housing prices. That being said, the Bay Area has outdated land-use restrictions which impede the ability to build more housing. If cities want to avoid the issues being seen in San Francisco, they need to proactively change their regulations to actively keep up with the needs of their citizens.
So far, marijuana sales are up by 30 percent in Colorado in 2017, which is saying a lot since 2016 was a record setting year. What is causing this increase? Analysts say increased earnings are being driven by fear over a federal crackdown in the state. Apparently, “Regular users might be hoarding a supply in case their access is disrupted by a hostile Department of Justice.” Regardless of what is driving the sales, recreational marijuana was the dominant revenue source. Business Insider reported that recreational sales in 2016, accounted for roughly $875 million of the total, while medical marijuana earned roughly $438 million.
With the prevalence of online banking, will brick and mortar bank locations be the next retail apocalypse? A report of from JLL shows the number of bank branches in the United States will shrink by as much as 20 percent in five years. Though, on a positive note, the report also says the banking industry could save as much as $8.3 billion annually by trimming the number of branches.
Jeremy Neuer, Senior Vice President at CBRE, imagines a world where you can provide your clients with a full building tour without leaving the office. Neuer argues that future is not as far as we’d think, referencing Mark Zuckerberg’s focus on augmented reality at Facebook’s F8 conference for developers. Neuer says, “In my opinion, the two biggest disruptors of the real estate industry in the next ten years will be virtual/augmented reality and driverless cars, and I will take bets from anyone who thinks I’m wrong.”
At the end of March, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made a combined payment of $9.9 billion to the U.S. Treasury. This payment brought the total amount the two companies have paid to taxpayers to $266 billion. According to Bloomberg, that makes their bailout one of the most profitable in U.S. history. Potently more interesting than that is Fannie and Freddie are now a bigger part of the system, “Guaranteeing payment on just under half of all U.S. mortgages, up from 38 percent before the crisis.”