Elon Musk is planning to build a new private airport on 73 Acres near Austin. (CNBC)

Over the past year, 40% of home sales on Hilton Head Island have been $1 million-plus properties, up from 25% of total sales before the pandemic. (WSJ)

Walmart sells about $400 billion annually... 140 million Americans visit a Walmart store or online every week, a good barometer of the US economy. Walmart confirmed yesterday that it has begun to lay off corporate employees about a week after the company slashed its profit outlook and warned consumers had pulled back on discretionary spending due to inflation. The average Walmart shopper has an income of $80k per year. The headlines appear scarier than reality as 200 jobs seem to be involved ....out of the total employee count of.....1.6 million! Over the next few weeks and months jobs are an area to watch.

The ASPEN real estate markets are a great barometer of the ultra-luxury markets:  COMPASS' Steven Shane sent through some interesting insights:

-Year to date, transactions are down 38%
-However, Dollar volume is only down 4%
-Sold price per sqft is .....up 33%!
The change in sales is weighted heavily to recent transactions, June and July.
-Transactions June/July 2021 vs. 2022 are down 51%
-Dollar volume June/July 2021 vs. 2022 is down 46%
-Sold price per sqft is up 18%

Yesterday Monterey Park CA, Manhattan NY and Miami Beach, FL all had almost the exact same high temperature of 87 degrees! Las Vegas, Dallas and Phoenix were all well over 100 degrees. It's a hot Summer!

Marty Green, a principal at mortgage law firm Polunsky Beitel Green, said it remains unclear whether the recent housing market slowdown is a result of "most consumers simply pausing a purchase decision while they see where interest rates and home prices settle or whether they are having to delay a purchase decision indefinitely because of affordability concerns.” How much the market rebounds as mortgage rates begin to cool should help answer that question. (forbes) (Thanks Nicole Ji COMPASS PNW for sending)

Kathleen Phelan of COMPASS Massachusetts has a daughter and son in law fundraising for the Dana Faber Cancer Institute, an institution near and dear to my heart. The Pan Mass Challenge is taking place this weekend on Cape Cod and is Dana Faber's largest source of income and supporter of cancer research. Dana Farber's fight against cancer benefits all of us.

Mortgage applications increased 1.2% as the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate made the largest weekly drop since 2020. Applications to refinance a home rose 2% weekly, and applications to purchase a home increased 1%. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 5.43% from 5.74%. (CNBC)

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