Comments Off on Fear. Uncertainty. Challenging Economic Times.
Fear. Uncertainty. Challenging Economic Times.
For many Americans, these feelings and beliefs have embedded themselves into our cultural fabric. Reminders of uncertain, and for many, challenging times are plentiful. Gas pump prices have soared over the past 12 months. A gallon of milk is 11.2% higher in the same time period. Your favorite morning coffee tastes a little less fulfilling with the higher price tag. Our society has shifted from one cultural extreme to another – enduring a long stay-at-home mandate that stressed the core of human interaction needs to an economy flooded with out-of-control inflation. Why is this happening? What comes next? Our team of experts has thoughts and ideas. Before reading further, please know these thoughts, beliefs and predictions may make you uncomfortable. They are observations and beliefs; not a crystal ball reading. Time will tell how things play out.
Inflation is the new frowned-upon visitor knocking on doors around the country.
Most of our nation’s current inflation can be pinned to two primary factors. The first factor is stimulus money. The federal government injected over $5 trillion into America’s money supply over a 24 month period via Covid relief funds. This amount represents roughly 27% of the current money supply in circulation. More money in citizen pockets led to increased spending. The higher velocity of spending creates inflation. To combat this velocity, the federal government utilizes one of its key control levers, interest rate fluctuation, to control spending habits. The goal of increasing interest rates is to decrease spending in an effort to slow down the economy. The Feds recent rate increases illustrate the government’s concern that inflation is running too hot. The impending challenge is the Fed’s interest rate hikes are only geared toward addressing the demand (spending habits) side of the equation. It does not address the supply side. The Fed faces an unprecedented task of reining in high inflation with 40% additional money in play.
Simply put, our dollars today are significantly less valuable (lower purchasing power) than they were 12 months ago. Stimulus money aims to help those most in need; those individuals most vulnerable and lowest on the earning potential food chain. The irony is disheartening… Our government over-injected for short-term benefit, thereby creating a long-term inflation challenge. The band aid (government stimulus checks) has been pulled while the wound has intensified. Printing money and more government spending is it the answer to stop the bleeding.
The second factor is energy costs.
Under President Biden, an extreme focus on sustainable, clean energy has resulted in an under supply of oil and gas. In the long run, most agree this will be better for our planet and the sustainability of our nation. Others will point out this goal is a multi-decade process to reach a level of production and reliability to avoid power shortages and blackouts. In the short term, President Biden’s regime eliminated the ability to drill on most federal lands. The recent stay-at-home mandate also resulted in lower power consumption which led drilling companies to halt operations. Sanctions placed on Russia are also in play. The following article goes into great detail about how high energy costs greatly affect inflation: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/06/14/business/gas-prices.html
Where are we heading? How will commercial real estate valuations be affected?
It is impossible for any individual to look into their crystal ball to decipher the outlook 1, 3 or 5 years out. Nonetheless, our team has put together a list of educated guesses.
Our team believes the federal government will continue to push interest rates higher. The government’s goal is to decrease inflation by slowing our economy. Black Diamond Realty projects a 1.5-2.5% increase over current rates within the next 9-12 months. If you are facing a refinance event within the next 2-3 years, lock in rates now. Most likely, they will not be lower 2-3 years from now.
As interest rates continue to rise, CRE valuations will experience downward pressure. The following two sub-bullet points explain why.
Cost of borrowing funds, a buyer’s expense, directly ties into debt service coverage ratios. Many banks seek a minimum 1.2-1.25 DSCR while amortizing loans over 15, 20 or 25 years. We anticipate banks will quickly enter a period of greater scrutiny in which “stress testing loans” will become more laborious similar to policies and procedures observed following 2008-09’s Great Recession.
Cap rates will go up. As the cost to borrow funds increase, a similar rise can be expected to cap rates. Institutional grade deals should retain value while more mom/pop tenants and shorter lease terms will pose greater risk and a corresponding heightened cap rate.
A transition from “cash is trash” back to “cash is king” in the CRE marketplace. Cash has been trash for the past dozen years. Bank and government loans could be achieved at rates slightly above historical inflation figures. This provided tremendous purchasing power to less sophisticated and lower capitalized individuals. Black Diamond Realty observed many deals 90-95% leveraged with creative financing and bank loans leveraging the asset. It is anticipated some investors will still highly leverage assets but we predict at a much lower frequency. Greater cash down will become a returning norm. Cash offers with quick closes will carry greater weight. In summary, rising interest rates will make cash more powerful in the months and years ahead.
Real estate will remain one of the greatest wealth building tools known to mankind. The deal structure and valuations are changing but the fundamentals behind real estate investing’s power remain intact. Real estate is a tangible asset. Historically, real estate has been a tremendous investment tool to hedge against inflation. This centuries long truth will remain strong albeit with changing deal structures and valuations compared to the past half decade.
Please note that statements based on forward-looking estimates may not materialize; there are no guarantees of future economic performance.
Warren Buffet has profited billions with a simple, straightforward investment strategy. Fear creates irrational decisions which lead to opportunities. “Buy when there is fear in the market.” The world’s current fear, uncertainty and challenges will result in tremendous buying opportunities.
The fundamentals of successful commercial real estate investing is changing. Our team of experts recommends keeping the following tips in mind.
Create a 12 month rainy day fund. Calculate your monthly expenses and multiply by 12. Make sure you have this money “set aside” in the event you need to draw from it.
Have some of your liquidity positioned in relatively low risk investments which will allow you to access cash any moment an investment opportunity presents itself.
Take advantage of one of the greatest wealth building tools offered by the federal government – IRS Code 1031. Lever up into larger, higher cash flow and appreciating assets.
Know the asset class you are investing in. Understand the current fundamental strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for each sector of commercial real estate that you are considering.
Look for stabilized, cash flowing opportunities while not shying away from value add plays if the ROI and time/effort required make sense for your personal situation.
We live in a world of challenges. Fear and anxiety are at all time highs for some. We survived the 1973-81 recession and will certainly overcome the present day’s hurdles. The United States has proven, many times over, to be a dynamic and resilient culture with the ability to overcome adversity. Proceed with caution, be prepared to pounce and consistently monitor opportunities. Buckle up. Remember rainbows only show after periods of rain. Challenging times present wealth building opportunities.
Our Black Diamond Realty team can help guide you. Please call Black Diamond Realty’s Morgantown (304.413.4350) or Martinsburg (304.901.7788) office to set up a consultation with one of our experts.
Comments Off on Korean Drug Maker Pledges to Build Plant in Morgantown
MORGANTOWN W.V. – South Korean drug manufacturer UNDBIO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to manufacture insulin in West Virginia. The letter indicates there are plans to locate the facility at the West Virginia University Research Park in Morgantown.
Mitch Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Economic Development of West Virginia and Yong Soo Jun, Chairman of UNDBIO, Inc. signed an MOU on May 17, 2022, with the state agreeing to provide fiscal, tax, and other incentives to promote the company’s production of insulin.
“I am happy to establish our relationship with the State of West Virginia to manufacture affordable insulin and insulin analogues for the diabetic population around the globe,” said UNDBIO’s Chairman Jun. in a press release. “We would welcome other partners and investors into our global insulin project,” he said.
The announcement comes with the hope that UNDBIO’s plans will come to fruition, resulting in 1,200 new manufacturing jobs in Monongalia County. UNDBIO plans to begin construction on the manufacturing plant during the second half of 2022, complete the plant in 2023 and manufacture clinical drugs for human clinical trials in 2024.
Company officials met with U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito who both have expressed support for the project.
“UNDBIO has showcased their commitment to bringing long-term, good-paying jobs to West Virginia and as UNDBIO, WVU and state officials continue discussions, my staff and I are prepared to support these efforts to bring manufacturing opportunities to the Mountain State,” said Manchin.
“The news of this agreement between UNDBIO and the State of West Virginia is a positive step forward in UNDBIO’s quest to manufacture insulin right here in West Virginia. While there is still more work to do to finalize this new facility, I stand ready to help to make sure this becomes a reality. I congratulate UNDBIO on this advancement and look forward to supporting them in their investment that could lead to creating more than 1,000 jobs in West Virginia.”
Original Article by Dave Wilson on wvmetronews.com, June 8, 2022
Comments Off on Leveraging Real Estate Gains: The Power of a 1031 Exchange
Nine out of 10 US millionaires have found tremendous financial success in real estate investment. Read the seven reasons why 90% of millionaires choose to invest in real estate and why you should too in this article.
The federal government’s rules and regulations offer favorable incentives including annual depreciation and interest expense deductions. These tax deductions encourage investors to deploy money into real estate. The most favorable, generational wealth building tool can be found in Section 1031 of the IRS code. According to IRS.gov,
Whenever you sell a business or investment property and you have a gain, you generally have to pay tax on the gain at the time of sale. IRC Section 1031 provides an exception and allows you to postpone paying tax on the gain if you reinvest the proceeds in similar property as part of a qualifying like-kind exchange.
A 1031 exchange allows a real estate seller to defer paying taxes so he or she can leverage capital gains into a larger asset with presumably greater cash flow. The IRS essentially allows an investor to ‘kick the can down the road’ and reinvest the government’s money via a 0% interest loan. The taxes do not disappear, but an investor has the opportunity to leverage the government’s money into larger assets. The 1031 program rewards investors while encouraging further investment in real estate.
This is one of the greatest wealth building tools that exists, because there is no limit on the number of times an investor can utilize a 1031 tax exchange. The federal government is also flexible on the definition of a like kind property. For example, you can sell an apartment building and purchase an office building, land, industrial building, or an asset in a different sector of real estate. To qualify for a 1031 like-kind tax exchange, there are important rules and regulations that must be met. Identification timeframe and the process are two key items to understand.
The government offers two primary identification methods for a 1031 exchange. Both methods require the seller to utilize an intermediary to quarterback the process. Some intermediaries specialize in only 1031 transactions. Other investors choose to utilize their preferred real estate attorney, whose firm is capable of handling a 1031 transaction. To execute a 1031, it is imperative the exchanger (seller of relinquished property) hire an intermediary who handles the 1031 transaction, before the relinquished property closes. A 1031 is considered null and void if the seller (of the relinquished property) takes position of the funds from the relinquished asset sale. More information about the top ten identification rules for a 1031 exchange can be found here.
The traditional 1031 method allows for a 45-day requirement to identify and designate property to purchase, once the relinquished property has sold. There are two “identifying” rules that govern how many properties can be identified. The first rule allows an exchanger to identify up to three properties to purchase. The second method allows an exchanger to identify as many properties as desired, up to 200 percent of the value of the relinquished asset. The second timeframe rule pertains to total days to purchase the replacement asset(s). From the sale of the relinquished asset (property sold), you have 180 days to finalize a transaction to purchase a replacement property or properties.
The second method to execute a 1031 occurs when the exchanger buys “replacement assets” before the relinquished property is sold. A reverse 1031, as implied, is effectively the reverse order of a traditional 1031. This option takes more time and is more cumbersome from a paperwork/process standpoint. The replacement asset(s) are purchased first and held by an intermediary. Then, the 1031 applicant has 180 days to close on the asset. Why would anyone utilize a reverse 1031? Black Diamond Realty recently experienced a situation, whereby a client secured a purchaser for a parcel of land and the client wished to defer capital gains tax payment. So, the client secured two replacement properties via a purchase and sale agreement. The land contract needed to be extended multiple times. After six months, the seller of the replacement assets (our client was the buyer) applied pressure for the multifamily properties to sell immediately. In addition, our client wanted to close on those assets, because we were in a rising-interest-rate environment. Our client closed on the two multifamily “replacement assets” before finalizing the sale of his land (cause for the capital gain to be in play), resulting in a reverse 1031 being executed.
Black Diamond Realty recommends you consult with your accountant or tax advisor and a real estate attorney before finalizing your like-kind exchange strategy. BDR has many on-market and off-market replacement opportunities. So, please utilize our team as a resource. Wealth building tools have been created to incentivize folks to invest in real estate. Be aware of their availability and utilize them to meet your investment goals.
Comments Off on State’s Four Legislative Leaders Join Coalition to Bring Hydrogen Hub to West Virginia
MORGANTOWN — West Virginia’s four legislative leaders joined the West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition on Thursday, adding their voices to those working to bring a hub to West Virginia.
The U.S. Department of Energy aims to establish four regional hydrogen hubs using Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act money, and one of them will be in Appalachia, the nation’s largest natural gas-producing region. The West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition submitted its official response to DOE’s first step in the process to select winning hydrogen hubs on March 21.
On Thursday, Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito and Rep. David McKinley jointly announced that Senate President Craig Blair, Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Minority Leader Doug Skaff joined the coalition.
Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, “We are thrilled to have the West Virginia legislative leadership join us in our efforts. With our abundant energy sources and strong partnerships, our state is uniquely situated to compete to develop a hydrogen hub. Our proposal showcases how West Virginia can continue to lead the country — and the world — in advancing energy technologies and bring good-paying jobs to the state.”
Capito said, “West Virginia’s leaders — Democrat and Republican — are united around the potential we know is ready to be unleashed right here in our state when it comes to investing in and developing a hydrogen hub.”
She told The Dominion Post on Thursday that DOE will likely have news on the selection process this summer. A presentation from Manchin’s office says hub selection is due in May 2023.
Capito told The Dominion Post, “The best way to handle what we see in terms of the climate and the climate changing is to innovate and research. … A hydrogen hub would be one of those innovative avenues to a cleaner, greener and more powerful future.”
McKinley said in the announcement, “The Infrastructure Bill has given us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to modernize infrastructure that will support a regional hydrogen hub. Which means West Virginia, one of the country’s largest coal, gas and oil producers, can lead an all-of-the-above energy strategy that leverages the state’s existing resources while developing next generation technologies that support good jobs and energy security for the U.S. into the future.”
The other two members of West Virginia’s Congressional delegation, Republicans Alex Mooney and Carol Miller, voted against the infrastructure bill and did not participate in the announcement.
The four legislative leaders also issued comments.
Hanshaw said, “We are creating a new economy here in West Virginia, and we stand ready to do what we can to be sure the state is attractive to this project, as well as many others.”
Skaff said, “West Virginia has a long history of powering this country and bringing a hydrogen hub to the Mountain State will allow our hard-working families to be a part of powering our great nation far into the future.”
Blair commented, “As we look to expand our strategy and portfolio into the next generation, I look forward to us being leaders in energy technology.”
And Baldwin said, “For the sake of our future, we need to be a more diverse and cleaner energy state. Expanding the hydrogen market here would allow us to create jobs, produce energy for our own citizens to use, and build a more-sustainable economy.”
Blue hydrogen is produced by steam methane reforming, which requires burning natural gas to reform methane into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, from which they capture and sequester the CO2. A possible alternate, cleaner way to produce blue hydrogen is microwaves; it can produce hydrogen faster with less energy.
Grey and brown hydrogen also use steam to produce the gas, but don’t sequester it. Green hydrogen produces the gas from water.
A hub, according to the presentation by Manchin’s office, is a network of clean hydrogen producers, potential consumer and connective infrastructure. At least one hub will produce hydrogen from fossil fuels, one from renewables and one from nuclear energy (pink hydrogen).
At least one hub will demonstrate clean hydrogen use for electric generation, one for industrial applications, one for residential and commercial heating and one for transportation.
The infrastructure act included $9.5 billion for hydrogen, including $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will jump-start the production, transport, and use of clean hydrogen across the U.S. economy; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.
On Feb. 15, Manchin, Capito, McKinley and Gov. Jim Justice announced the launch of the West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Coalition. On Feb. 25, they convened the initial organizing meeting. GO-WV, the Gas and Oil Association of West Virginia, is also a member.
Original Article by David Beard on dominionpost.com, April 28, 2022
Comments Off on Reflecting and Projecting, BDR’s Outlook on 2022
Macroeconomics (think interest rates and national productivity) greatly impact the commercial real estate markets we serve. Three major macro topics of 2021 were inflation, interest rates and labor participation. The most recent data released by the federal government indicates year-over-year inflation is at 6.2%, which is a rise from the previous quarter’s 5.4% and a multi-decade high. From higher price tags at the gas pumps to greater expense at the grocery store, inflation causes the dollars we have in our possession to have lower purchasing power.
The current rate of inflation has initiated discussion about interest rate increases to combat inflationary concerns. Historically, the federal government has utilized one of its key monetary policy levers, interest rate control, in high inflationary periods. The Federal Chairman, Jerome Powell, and his team anticipates three interest rate hikes in 2022 and another three in 2023. BDR projects interest rates to rise 75 to 125 basis points in 2022. On average, BDR has seen commercial real estate interest rates hover around 3.5% (3.25% – 3.75%) in 2021. If BDR’s projected 2022 increase is accurate (utilizing 1% interest rate increase), a $1MM loan will be $6,322.68 more per year when amortized over 20 years.
In 2021, BDR saw a significant increase in demand for investment commercial real estate. Investors are looking to diversify. Low interest rates is one key reason. Other contributing factors include high inflation, speculation the stock market is due for a correction and investors desire to move into tertiary/rural markets. Black Diamond Realty’s thoughts behind these contributing factors include:
Low Interest Rates: The low cost of borrowing funds allows purchasers to pay more which helps meet seller valuation expectations.
High Inflation: Commercial real estate has historically been an excellent hedge against high inflationary environments. Income producing assets (investment properties) are in highest demand. In some markets, rising rents can keep up with, or ideally exceed, the rate of inflation. Some commercial leases have automatic CPI adjustments. In other growing markets, demand outpaces supply which allows rents to be pushed beyond inflation.
Speculation of a Forthcoming Stock Market Correction: Markets react in unique and complex ways to variables. History tells us the average bull run lasts ~8 years. Excluding the ~6 month pandemic-initiated recession, the stock market has been on a bull run since 2009. History tells us a correction could be coming. Some believe it. Others do not. Nobody knows when but the fear surrounding this variable encourages investors to make diversification decisions.
Increased Demand for Tertiary Market Investments: The pandemic has created a shift in mindset, beliefs and practices that has hurt many metro markets but has also created positive momentum for some tertiary markets that boast high quality of life. Eds, meds and government are seen as recession-resistant sectors. Morgantown, WV and Bridgeport, WV are excellent examples of cities that are thriving in the midst of the pandemic. Demand for these areas has increased as remote working concepts have gained popularity and individuals are transitioning out of densely populated areas.
The factors above have resulted in compressed cap rates and corresponding higher valuations. It is a great time for a seller to exit an asset while a difficult time for purchasers to find deals. Black Diamond Realty has experienced a significant increase in off-market deal activity and we anticipate this trend to continue.
North central WV and southwestern PA are enjoying many economic highlights as our nation moves further beyond the Covid pandemic. Some of the north central WV highlights are captured below.
WVU Medicine continues to expand with the forthcoming opening of its 10-story Children’s Hospital on WVU’s main campus.
WestRidge Development continues to expand its footprint as new uses are introduced to the Morgantown, WV market. Most notably, Bass Pro Shop and Menards opened its door in 2021. Many more uses and buildings are in the works.
Morgantown Industrial Park is expanding to create additional, large pads in Phase II of the development which are anticipated to have more direct access to I-79. A 47-acre sale sparked Phase II’s development.
David and Rick Biafora are investing significantly into the revitalization of Middletown Mall, now called Middletown Commons. The total projected investment is ~$40-50 million which should have a significant positive effect on South Fairmont and White Hall’s local economy.
Mitsubishi hires 400-500 additional workers at North Central West Virginia Airport location in Bridgeport, WV.
Charles Point continues to expand which will soon include 50-60 acres of retail including anchor retailer, Menards.
Bridgeport introduced a state-of-the-art, 156,000 square foot multi-purpose facility to its community. The Bridge Sports Complex brings tremendous recreational and quality of life opportunities to Harrison County and beyond.
Ascend WV is receiving positive national highlight reel exposure and has helped reverse a decades old trend of individuals migrating out of WV. According to WAJR, “Between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021, West Virginia had a net migration of 2,343. More people moved into the state than out of it.”
West Virginia’s Grant and Tucker Counties won big in securing Virgin’s Hyperloop. This multi-state, competitive process was successfully secured on an 800 acre site in central WV.
New River Gorge National Park System was introduced as West Virginia’s first federal national park.
BDR worked hard to achieve its clients’ goals in 2021. The BDR team closed 87 deals in 2021 with 61% leases versus 39% sales. BDR added a new colleague, Caleb Wooldridge, to our growing team. Caleb joins BDR as a recent WVU graduate who majored in Economics and interned with David as an undergraduate. We are excited to watch Caleb flourish in the years ahead.
In his fourth year, Jeff Stenger continues his climb by surpassing production year after year. Jeff’s empathetic, hard-working and detailed-oriented demeanor adds tremendous value to the clients he serves.
Chris Waters has been dubbed the medical marijuana and industrial guru in BDR’s office. Last year was a breakout year for Chris and 2022 looks to continue that growth.
In her first full year with the team, Kim Licciardi set a BDR record for Year 1 production. Kim’s underwriting knowledge, business acumen and confidence have quickly propelled her onto a path as a top producer.
BDR’s sales team would not be where it is today without the skillset, support and moral fabric that Janelle Zeoli and Andrea Cooper provide daily. These two women are invaluable to the BDR team and continue to support our growth and development.
As we close the 2021 chapter, we are pleased to announce BDR is aggressively and actively working toward opening a second office in Martinsburg, WV. We will be recruiting and hiring key team members in the market with a specific focus on fostering client relationships and fortifying vendor contacts. We are optimistic our presentation, process and people will be well received in this new market. There will be more to come in a future announcement.
Our team promises to continue to strive to raise the standard while exceeding expectations in this new year and beyond. Thank you for your trust and confidence and we look forward to making 2022 a great year, together.
Comments Off on Inflation Uptick, What You Need to Know and Should Expect
The recent pandemic has caused significant construction supply chain challenges. Material costs have increased drastically; lumber futures are up 280%, steel mill product costs are up 55.6%, and gypsum product costs (plaster, drywall) have increased 12.5%. On top of the cost increase, lead times for construction materials have doubled or tripled, in many cases.
One example to offer…a BDR client recently called a contractor for a 6,000 square foot build-to-suit retail structure. Upon giving the bid, the contractor stated, “We will hold this pricing for two days.” This is in stark contrast to the typical pricing hold of 30 days. The urgency on both sides is a result of supply chain challenges.
Tensions like these extend beyond material cost increases. The Federal government recently injected an estimated $6 trillion dollars into our economy. Many businesses, communities, and families depended on this money to sustain their livelihood during the government shutdown. While the government took this step to rescue our economy in the short-term, the long-term impact should not be overlooked.
Inflation is a reality we will face in the years to come. Dating back to 1914, the yearly inflation rate in the United States has averaged 3.23%. The highest single month of inflation was in June 1920 when it skyrocketed to 23.70%. Since 2009, inflation has averaged 1.5-2% per year. According to tradingeconomics.com, April 2021’s inflation (most recent data point) is 4.2%. Each month in 2021 has seen an upward inflation trend.
There are several reasons inflation can uptick. Some of the causes include:
Injecting money into an economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States government injected around $6 trillion in the economy, which has ballooned our national debt to an astonishing $25 trillion. Since February 2020, the monetary supply in the United States has increased 26%. This is the largest one-year jump since 1946. According to USA Today Money, “Creating too much money that chases too few goods leads to price inflation, decreasing the purchase power of the dollar.” To note, there is more US currency in circulation today than ever before.
Demand-pull effect in an economy. Staying at home has led many folks to save up money (fuel cost, eating out for lunch) while consistently living hours in a single space (home). The reality many have lived for the past 12+ months provides an abundance of opportunity to find things to upgrade within a home. This COVID-sparked phenomenon has led to a surge in demand for goods and services. Look at the current residential housing market. Virtually any residential real estate agent will emphatically tell you it is currently a seller’s market. This extends well beyond our home base in Morgantown, WV, to the entire country.
Cost-push effect in an economy. In addition to increased demand, suppliers have been unable to maintain pace due to labor and raw material shortages. For an extended period of time, factories were shut down or stalled due to the pandemic. The effect is large gaps in the supply chain across many sectors – from chicken wings to construction materials. Increased and/or consistent demand with a decrease in supply results in higher prices.
These signs and more point to high rates of inflation. The volume of currency (USD) circulating in our system, pent-up demand for product and current supply chain issues are key indicators of increased inflation, which means tomorrow’s dollar will be worth less than today’s dollar.
One way to invest smartly given this circumstance is an inflation hedge. An inflation hedge typically involves investing in an asset expected to maintain or increase its value over a specified period of time. The investment goal is to secure assets close to, at, or greater than the rate of inflation. Investors should weigh their options across all investment opportunities.
Real estate is considered a strong hedge against inflation because property values and rents typically increase during times of inflation. Real estate has intrinsic value, is in limited supply, and is a yielding asset. People need to have shelter regardless of the value of their currency. Real estate investing also allows investors to utilize other people’s money, include the banks’, to make money.
Interest rates are still hovering around all-time lows which makes real estate a particularly attractive option in the current investment environment. When the rate of inflation goes up, fixed-interest rate financing costs less than when the loan was taken out since the dollar has lost some of its value. The borrower is essentially paying the lender back money that’s worth less than when the borrower took out the loan. This allows investors/borrowers to pay back loans using cheaper dollars.
“A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.”
At Black Diamond Realty, we have seen an uptick in demand for multifamily assets and other investment properties, income producing assets, across all sectors. We anticipate this trend to continue due to many of the reasons highlighted in this article. West Virginia has received tremendous positive economic momentum. From the Hyperloop announcement to the Smith’s Ascend WV program, momentum is building in WV. North Central WV remains an economic shining star in the state.
Call Black Diamond Realty today to explore your investment options. We have a team of professionals who understand complicated dynamics driving the various markets we serve. Let us underwrite your next investment project. Hedge against inflation wisely.
Article by: Article by: David Lorenze, Caleb Wooldridge Edited by: Dr. Stephanie Lorenze
Comments Off on Toyota West Virginia announces $210 million new investment and 100 new jobs
New investment to upgrade existing engine production line; new jobs to add third shift.
To help meet customer demand, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV) will invest $210 million to upgrade existing engine production and add 100 new jobs to increase assembly capacity of its four-cylinder engine line. Once complete, TMMWV’s total investment will be more than $1.8 billion and total employment will exceed 2,000.
“Today’s announcement represents Toyota’s continued commitment to our customers as well as our community,” TMMWV President Srini Matam said.
“We are thrilled to expand our Toyota family and continue our long-standing commitment to provide top-quality engines and transmissions for our customers.”
The $210 million investment will upgrade TMMWV’s current six-cylinder engine production line with new equipment and machinery, creating flexibility based on market demand for Toyota’s vehicle assembly plants in the U.S. and Canada.
The 100 new jobs will create a third shift due to a significant increase in Rav4 engine production at the Buffalo site, increasing assembly of an additional 5,900 engines per month, or more than 70,000 engines per year.
The upgrade project and hiring will be complete in the second half of 2022. Information regarding available positions at TMMWV can be found at www.tourtoyota.com.
“Toyota’s commitment to increase its investment in West Virginia and into our hard-working West Virginians prove they continue to be a wonderful business partner right here in the Mountain State,” West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said.
“This is such exciting news for West Virginia’s business community as well as our families that businesses are choosing to grow their organizations here. Toyota is a wonderful example of how a global company can be successful right here in West Virginia.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, praised Toyota for their long-term commitment to the Mountain State.
“In 2005 as Governor, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan to meet with Dr. Toyoda and company officials and since then they have been a strong partner for West Virginia,” Manchin said.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Toyota as they continue to build on their investments in the state, which now total more than $1.8 billion and support 2,000 good-paying jobs,” Manchin said.
“Today’s announcement of 100 new jobs and its continued investment in the state is testament to the team in Buffalo and the West Virginia workforce. The partnership between Toyota and West Virginia is stronger than ever and I look forward to continuing to work with Toyota officials to foster more long-term investments in our economy, communities and people.”
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said Toyota’s success in West Virginia sends a clear message to other companies about West Virginians’ skills and work ethic.
“Since Toyota first came to West Virginia more than 25 years ago, they have expanded their operations multiple times in Buffalo and proven to the country that our state has the skilled and dedicated workforce necessary for any company to be successful here,” she said.
“I have seen this dedication and strong work ethic of the Toyota Team Members firsthand during facility visits, and I’m glad that today’s announcement will create new job opportunities for hardworking West Virginians to pursue,” Senator Capito said.
“I’m thrilled that the Buffalo engine plant is continuing to play a key role in producing the engines and motors that power U.S. vehicles as Toyota continues to develop and incorporate exciting new technologies into their fleet. West Virginia has a long and productive relationship with Toyota, and this announcement today further solidifies the company’s commitment to investing in our state and our workers.”
Toyota has created a tremendous value chain in the U.S., with more than $28.4 billion direct investment in the U.S., nine manufacturing facilities, 10 including our joint venture with Mazda, nearly 1,500 independently owned dealerships and approximately 180,000 people working across the U.S.
TMMWV currently employs approximately 2,000 team members and has invested more than $1.8 billion into its nearly two million square-foot facility. TMMWV will commemorate its 25th anniversary this year. It annually produces nearly one million engines and transmissions for North American-assembled vehicles, including Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Lexus ES, Lexus RX350, Rav4, Sienna, and Sienna Hybrid.
Comments Off on Investing Your Way to Financial Freedom
Quarter 4 marks a fun and exciting time for many. We are experiencing changing seasons, ratcheting up anticipation for forthcoming holidays and enjoying the excitement of football season. It is a time to be thankful, push hard to the finish and plan for the future.
In the coming months, many will begin setting new yearly goals which may include traveling with family and friends, pursuing new business ventures, giving to charity or sculpting your body. Many things in life, goals included, require time and/or money. In our professional careers, each of us is consistently trading time for money. What if the opposite could be true?
Money is an empowering tool that, if utilized properly, can enact positive change and help facilitate positive outcomes. Money is necessary to live your life and allow you to enjoy adventures, conquer goals and achieve dreams. Is there a way to trade money for time? How do you get out of the rat race while making enough money to live your life on your terms? There is no easy answer but diversifying your investments to include real estate could offer passive income. Passive income can help you achieve financial freedom (more money coming in each month than your expenses) and “buy” more time.
According to The College Investor, “Over the last two centuries, about 90 percent of the world’s millionaires have been created by investing in real estate.” This is a staggering statistic: 9 out of every 10 millionaires created their wealth through real estate investing. Real estate investing is not a “get rich quick” scheme. Real estate investing utilizes leverage, compounded over time, to an investors’ advantage resulting in long-term wealth. If purchased and managed correctly, an income producing asset should be working for you every second of every day.
With the above in mind, it is imperative to fully understand there is risk associated with real estate investing. Commercial real estate investing is a complex process with many potential pitfalls. We recommend consulting with trusted advisors before solidifying your next investment. Black Diamond Realty’s tips are meant to guide your real estate investments toward positive cash flow, wealth creation and passive income. The tips below provide some general guidelines to consider as you expand your portfolio or kick things off in a successful real estate investment venture.
Know the market. Macro-economic factors, such as interest rates, environmental policy and federal investment programs (1031, Opportunity Zones), and micro-economic factors, such as local employment trends, infrastructure and school districts, can positively or negatively impact your real estate investment. Unless you are actively involved in a real estate market, it is impossible for you to fully understand the intangibles and intricacies of any given market.
Create a rainy-day fund. It is preferable to have it in place from the start but, at a minimum, build up via cash flow before taking a dime of distribution. A minimum of six months is recommended with a preferred 12 months of cash reserves in place. Cash reserves should cover “what if” scenarios and anticipated future capital improvements. Everyone loves to dream about and plan for the “rosy days.” That’s easy. Within your proforma and underwriting, it is also important to look at challenging circumstances that could negatively affect your investment position and overall return. Plan for the negative “what ifs” even if the chance of happening is relatively small. The good news: If you pursue bank financing, the credit department at ABC Bank will, at least in part, serve as a backstop to filter out some of the negative what ifs.
Plan for capital improvements. They will happen: A hot water tank goes down. A roof goes bad. Flooring needs replaced. The parking lot needs paved. These examples only touch the surface. Capital improvements are not a matter of if, but when; so, plan on them. On your proforma, plan for 2-5% (of gross income) in capital improvement money. Very few individuals want to endear the title of “slumlord.” “Milking” a property is risky business and reflects negatively on the community you are serving.
Maximize your strengths. Develop a strong team. All of us are gifted in certain areas and bring value to any given deal. For some, they are gifted communicators and can help a tenant feel comfortable moving forward. Others are gifted in real estate law, accounting, marketing, or construction. Many specializations are required to help ensure a successful real estate venture. You cannot climb to the top of the real estate mountain by yourself. Finding strategic, trusted relationships and vendors is critical. Build relationships. Focus on building people up within your team.
Do not marry your property. You are only married to your husband/wife and your family. Do not hold your real estate investments on the same pedestal. Real estate investments are meant to make money while providing a service to the tenants it serves. Treat it that way. Run it like a business while maintaining a high level of integrity, honesty and diligence.
Following the guidelines outlined in this article should help avoid investment pitfalls during ownership. Knowing when to buy, hold and divest is another critical element of real estate investing. We highly recommend consulting with a real estate professional, with strong expertise in the investment field of your choosing, before pulling the trigger. At Black Diamond Realty, we have sold tens of millions of dollars in real estate investments. Our firm is building a market niche in this space. Our Black Diamond Realty team invites the opportunity to meet with you and your partners to discuss your goals with the purpose of helping you achieve financial freedom.
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Our team is often asked, “How is the market?” Some brokers may respond with a generic, “good”. If you are interested in a general response, we are happy to report the market is currently “great.” Black Diamond Realty’s pipeline is the busiest it has been in its four-year history. That said, we suspect you are more interested in a sophisticated, detailed response. Look no further; we have your answers.
At Black Diamond Realty, one of our competitive advantages is our thorough and detailed process. We track every single lead. This allows us to present you with accurate statistics that serve as a reflection of market demand across all sectors. Keep in mind our statistics are influenced by Black Diamond Realty’s current inventory of assets. The following statistics provide the number of sector leads since January 1, 2017:
Do you believe in the mantra that tells you to focus on what you can control? We do, too. However, we also believe it is not wise to bury your head in the sand. It is critical to think about how macroeconomic factors influence regional market demand. Two positive influencers are currently in play.
Historically speaking, interest rates remain near all-time lows. This bodes well for investors looking to get into investment opportunities. Although cash is king, we are seeing a lot of companies and individuals levering up to take advantage of favorable bank rates. Refinances have flocked through banks’ doors. Sellers also like low interest rates because funds are cheaper to secure which results in higher valuations while still clearing bank debt-coverage ratios.
The second macroeconomic factor relates to the reenergization (pun intended) of Marcellus Shale activity. Oil and gas pricing is fluid, literally and figuratively. Pricing has seen nominal rises over the past 12 months. However, recent industrial space demand leads us to believe many companies on the front lines sense prices moving north in the coming years. We suspect their goal is to get established in this area while industrial real estate values are still relatively inexpensive. This will heighten their ability to capture the market and capitalize on contracts as things ramp up. Many articles reference cracker plants and pipelines as the saving grace to lowering the current supply glut. These two variables are currently progressing in a very big way. The O&G industry has potential to replace job losses from coal. Time will tell if this is a long-term regional industrial revolution.
Where?… Concentrated Areas of Development
Jobs drive economic growth, and there are plenty of jobs coming to two booming exits along the I-79 corridor. University Town Center/West Ridge and White Oaks Business Parks are the two distinct front runners when considering development hubs in north central WV. University Town Center and WestRidge, both located at I-79, Exit 153, lead the charge as driving forces behind retail and office development in Monongalia County. Simply put, this new exit has created significant buzz in Monongalia County which is expected to remain in play for the next three to five years. A lot of announcements will happen in the coming months. 2018 is slated to be a heavy construction year for this development.
Thirty miles south of Morgantown, White Oaks Business Park is leading the development charge for Harrison County. Numerous Class A office buildings, spanning a plethora of services, hotels, retail space and several restaurants round out the line-up for this state-of-the-art development. White Oaks is an upscale development, which includes sidewalks throughout and pristine landscaping, while serving as “the talk” of Harrison County as it capitalizes on close proximity to the interstate, UHC and FBI’s Campus. Growth and positive economic announcements are projected to continue in the coming years.