Tag Archives: CNBC Videos

Housing: Why U.S. Homes Are So Expensive (CNBC)

Prices for the American dream home have skyrocketed. The U.S. housing market has been an unlikely beneficiary from Covid-19. The pandemic encouraged city dwellers to move to the suburbs as families looked for home offices and bigger yards.

Segments: 00:00 – Why the U.S. is facing a housing shortage (May 2021) 12:37 – How suburban sprawl shapes the U.S. economy (February 2022) 25:49 – How did rent become so unaffordable in the U.S. (December 2021) 34:46 – Is the U.S. in a housing bubble? (September 2021)

“Everybody expected housing to really sort of dry up with the rest of the economy,” said National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard. “And in fact, the opposite has happened. People who have been sort of scared out of the cities by the pandemic.”

With homeowners unwilling to sell, a record low supply of homes for sale has forced buyers into intense bidding wars. According to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. has under built its housing needs by at least 5.5 million units over the past 20 years. That’s a stark comparison to the previous housing bubble in 2008 when overbuilding was the issue. Higher costs for land, labor and building materials including lumber have also impacted homebuilders.

However, according to most experts, the market is shaping up to look more like a boom rather than a bubble. “We say bubble because we can’t believe how much prices have gone up,” CNBC real estate correspondent Diana Olick said. “A bubble tends to be something that’s inflated that could burst at any minute and change and that’s not really the case here.” And America’s suburbs are sprawling again.

Over the 20th century, real estate developers built large tracts of single-family homes outside of major cities. The builders were following mortgage underwriting standards first introduced by the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s. Over the century, those guidelines created housing market conditions that explicitly shut out many minorities. Experts say it is possible to update these old building codes to create equity while fixing some, but not all of the problems of American suburbia.

In 2021, single family housing starts rose to 1.123 million, the highest since 2006, according to the National Association of Home Builders, however, options for prospective homebuyers remain lean. Experts say the problems of America’s housing market relate to past policy decisions. In particular, they say restrictive zoning codes are limiting housing supply.

Retail: Rise Of Unwanted Goods Liquidation (CNBC)

A record number of online returns has created a booming $644 billion liquidation market. As supply chain backlogs cause shortages of new goods and Gen Z shoppers demand more sustainable retail options, pain points for one sector of retail are big business for another. The nation’s only major public liquidator, Liquidity Services, resells unclaimed mail, items left at TSA checkpoints, and outdated military vehicles. It also refurbishes highly sought after electronics, from noise-canceling headphones to the machines that make microchips.

CNBC takes you on an exclusive tour inside a Liquidity Services returns warehouse outside Dallas, Texas, where unwanted goods from Amazon and Target are stacked to the ceiling before being resold on Liquidation.com or a variety of other marketplaces. Inside Liquidity Services’ 130,000-square-foot warehouse in Garland, Texas, the aisles aren’t lined with typical merchandise. Instead, they’re stacked with returns from Amazon, Target, Sony, Home Depot, Wayfair and more, all in the process of being liquidated.

Automobiles: Tesla’s ‘Full Self-Driving’ Road Test

Tesla’s FSD Beta, which stands for ‘full-self driving’ beta, can best be summarized as a host of new driver assistant features that are not yet debugged. Chief among them is “autosteer on city streets,” which enables drivers to automatically navigate around complex urban environments without moving the steering wheel with their own hands.

Elon Musk has promised driverless cars since 2016, but FSD is not even close to a fully autonomous vehicle yet. The beta program is heavily scrutinized by regulators and has earned Tesla side-eye from competitors, who usually have professionally trained drivers, not customers, test driver assist features in their vehicles.

But for now, FSD Beta still available for thousands of Tesla owners to access, without the knowledge of drivers and pedestrians around them. CNBC went for a ride with three FSD Beta testers in different parts of the country to see how the system performs in the real world and explore what this program could mean for the future of vehicle automation.

Analysis: Why Plastic Surgery Is On The Rise

Plastic surgery has been booming in the past decade. But it was the Covid-19 pandemic that catapulted the industry to new heights. Americans working from home spent hours watching themselves on camera, endlessly scrolling on social media and experiencing downtime from social events. This all but benefitted the plastic surgery industry, which saw a record number of patients as pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Fast Food: How Chicken Took Over America (CNBC)

Chick-fil-A has long dominated the chicken sandwich category in fast food. After Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen launched its own version of the chicken sandwich, other fast food chains like Wendy’s, McDonalds and Shake Shack got into the battle. Here’s how chicken took over America.

Cities: Why Los Angeles Traffic Is So Bad (CNBC)

Los Angeles consistently ranks among the most traffic-clogged cities in America. The county has been trying to reduce its traffic for decades and nothing has worked. Many researchers and economists suggest charging people for using the road in a system called congestion pricing

Technology: The Rise Of Robotic Working Dogs

A number of four-legged robot dogs made by companies like Boston Dynamics, Anybotics and Ghost Robotics have been deployed in the workforce already for applications like inspections, security and public safety among others. At their core, these four-legged robots are mobility platforms that can be equipped with different payloads depending on the type of information that companies want to gather.

Experts predict the insurance industry alone will spend $1.7 billion on robotics systems in 2025. And other industries may follow suit. Amid the pandemic, a tight job market is forcing many companies to turn to automation. A survey done in December of 2020 by McKinsey, showed that 51 percent of respondents in North America and Europe said they had increased investment in new technologies during 2020, not including remote-work technologies.

Housing: Why Rents Are Rising In The U.S. (CNBC)

Fresh numbers from the fall of 2021 suggest that rents will increase at a rapid pace in the coming years. That’s a problem for Americans; many spend 30% or more of their income on rent. A decade-long slowdown in house building is coming to a close, which could help renters.

But the new developments in construction are generally for high-end and luxury apartment units. Experts say the market conditions are pushing people further away from their jobs and weighing on the economy writ large. Market indicators suggest that rent hikes are coming in 2022.

Average rents for a one-bedroom apartment in the booming suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, have more than doubled year over year, according to data from Apartment Guide. Meanwhile, rents in Manhattan have reached fresh records as life returns to the cities, according to Zumper.

The problems aren’t confined to the usual suspects, however. Rents for single-family homes across the country jumped more than 9% on average in August 2021 from the prior year, according to a report from the analytics firm CoreLogic.

Rents are moving fastest in the buzzy enclaves across the South and West. For Maria Arredondo, a teacher based in Austin, Texas, a sudden rent hike of nearly $400 forced her to make a move. “If I had signed the lease … it would be taking a lot of my savings. And so I decided to move to a new building, losing about 150 square feet,” she told CNBC. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said the strains on the housing construction market were building well before the pandemic took hold in the states.

“There’s a lot of evidence that the lack of housing closer to where the demand is and urban cores is having a meaningful negative consequence on long-term economic growth.“ Generous monetary and fiscal policies have juiced demand for goods and services coming out of the pandemic. All that extra money sloshing around the economy is bubbling up into the rent. The fresh demand is giving investors a reason to jump into the market.

Experts say that’s boosting desperately needed supply. But there’s a catch: The homes being built are priced into the high end of the market. As a result, the evidence suggests that renters will be paying more for shelter this decade.

Analysis: How Cadillac And Lincoln Lost Their American Luxury Status

Lincoln and Cadillac were once two aspirational car brands for American consumers. They slowly lost their dominance and prestige to imports. Now they are trying once again to reinvent themselves by reaching into their histories, playing to their strengths, and pushing forward with cutting edge technology.

Analysis: Rise Of Sports Betting In The U.S. (CNBC)

Sports betting in the U.S. is booming. During the 2021 NFL season an estimated 45 million Americans are expected to wager at least $12 billion. Since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling, sports betting is now legal in more than 30 states.

A flood of new customers eager for risk and excitement has made DraftKings one of the nation’s biggest sportsbooks. In the third quarter of 2021 DraftKings revenue rose 60% from the year prior to $213 million. During that same period with mobile betting launching in several states the number of its monthly unique paying customers rose 31% to 1.3 million.

And the online sports betting and gaming industry in the U.S. is just starting to grow. As of 2021 only 4% of gross gaming revenue in the U.S. was generated online compared with 45% in a more mature market like the UK. The online sports betting market in the U.S. is expected to be worth nearly $40 billion by 2033. So what does the future look like for legal sports betting in America and what challenges lie ahead for sports betting providers like BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings?