Peter Duncan 16, Apr 3 mins
3 mins
The Ritz Herald

The median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $341,250—an all-time high—according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Below are other key housing market takeaways for more than 400 U.S. metro areas during the 4-week period ending April 11.

Note that at this time last year, pandemic stay-at-home orders halted homebuying and selling, which makes year-over-year comparisons unreliable for select housing metrics. As such, Redfin has broken this analysis into two sections: metrics that are acceptable to compare to the same period in 2020, and metrics for which it makes more sense to compare to the same period in 2019.

Metrics to compare to 2020:

  • Asking prices reached an all-time high of $353,750.
  • Homes that sold during the period were on the market for a median of 23 days, the shortest time on market since 2012. This was 15 days fewer than the same period in 2020.
  • 43% of homes sold for more than their list price, an all-time high. This was 17 percentage points higher than the same period a year earlier.
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio—which measures how close homes are selling to their asking prices—increased 2.1 percentage points year over year to an all-time high of 100.7%, meaning the average home sold for 0.7% more than its asking price.
  • 59% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market. This is a new all-time high (Redfin’s data for this measure goes back to 2012).
  • 46% of homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within one week of hitting the market, an all-time high.







Having Employees Overseas Helps Companies Reap U.S. Tax Benefits
The Ritz Herald

A recent study finds U.S. companies that have a substantial number of employees in foreign jurisdictions with lower tax rates are more likely than their peers to “artificially” locate earnings in those jurisdictions – and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is less likely to challenge these complex tax-planning activities.


Former Texas Governor Rick Perry Welcomes Bitcoin Leader Blockcap Inc to Austin
The Ritz Herald

Blockcap Inc., one of the largest bitcoin mining and blockchain technology companies based in the United States, announced today the establishment of its Austin headquarters in a move that the former governor of Texas, Rick Perry, lauded as a critical development in bringing innovation in digital asset technology to…

Credit Cleaner Announces Partnership With Crypto Trading Pros
The Ritz Herald

The blockchain ecosystem is one of the most vibrant and rapidly evolving sectors of the global economy. Crypto enthusiasts wanting to use the full potential of blockchain need to constantly educate themselves and tone their skills. In order to help spread the awareness of blockchain technology, Credit Cleaner decided…

Potential Recovery of Retail and Travel Industries, as Consumers Receive the COVID-19 Vaccine
The Ritz Herald

According to the findings of a new global consumer study released by IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Institute for Business Value (IBV), respondents surveyed are mostly confident in the safety, effectiveness, and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines and indicate a desire to return to ‘normalcy’ after being vaccinated. But different rules,…

Trajan Wealth Launches a New ETF
The Ritz Herald

The Trajan Wealth Income Opportunities (TWIO) Fund launched on April 1, 2021. The Fund seeks to provide investors with current income while preserving and growing principal. The target asset allocation is a blend of dividend-paying common stocks, preferred stocks, and other fixed income securities.

The investment strategy is based on…

6 mins
The redesigned Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York City. September 20, 2019. © Apple Inc.
The Ritz Herald
Firms from the US and China are most ready to transform innovation aspiration into results

According to the latest report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Most Innovative Companies 2021: Overcoming the Innovation Readiness Gap, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of innovation excellence in turbulent times. Pharma companies performed strongly this year, joining technology and software companies that have dominated the rankings in recent years. The survey also identified strong regional variations in the innovation readiness of companies, with China and the US in the lead.

The report finds that only about 20% of companies globally have built high-performing innovation systems that can transform ambitious aspirations into real results. Moreover, some industries show big gaps in innovation readiness. Companies that are both committed (they back priorities with investment) and ready (they have the necessary platforms and practices in place) are up to four times as likely as those that aren’t to outperform their peers in terms of revenues from new products, services, and business models.

“Innovative companies have reaped the benefit of their earlier investment through this current crisis period, both for their shareholders and in terms of wider societal impact,” said Ramón Baeza, BCG managing director, and senior partner and a co-author of the report.

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3 mins
© Pixabay
The Ritz Herald

It goes without saying: The past year has looked unlike any other in recent history. Everything we used to take for granted about ordinary life—from grocery shopping and taking our kids to school to working out at the gym—has changed dramatically. We’ve all been required to come up with workarounds to accommodate the new normal we’re currently living in.

Nowhere has this seismic change been felt more keenly than in the traditional office landscape. The simple act of going to work, attending meetings, and giving presentations to clients has been replaced by a virtual, work-from-home corporate structure. While a number of employees say they enjoy the benefits of telecommuting to their jobs, others have struggled with the feelings of isolation, loneliness, and frustration that has accompanied working from home.

Fortunately for employers, there are still plenty of ways to boost morale, motivate employees, and show sincere appreciation to staff members without having to be face to face. Here are a few ideas for digital employee rewards that you can give your staff to show how much they mean to you.

The Gift of Self-Care
With limited gym access, it’s difficult for employees to stay active. Consider hiring an instructor…

Property Taxes Levied on Single Family Homes Up 5.4 Percent in 2020, to More Than $323 Billion
The Ritz Herald

ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its 2020 property tax analysis for almost 87 million U.S. single family homes, which shows that $323 billion in property taxes were levied on single-family homes in 2020, up 5.4 percent from $306.4 billion in 2019. The…

United Airlines Plans to Train 5,000 New Pilots by 2030: At Least 50% Women and People of Color
The Ritz Herald

United Airlines, the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, will begin accepting applications today as it embarks on an ambitious plan to train 5,000 new pilots by 2030, at least half of them women and people of color. Backed by scholarship commitments from United Airlines and…

Real Estate Investor Jaf Glazer Explains How Eliminating the 1031 Rule Would Destroy America’s Real Estate Industry
The Ritz Herald

The 1031 rule is a property exchange American rule that allows a property owner to swap one property for another. This rule applies when a property owner uses all the gains from the property’s sale to acquire the new property. The new project must bear similarities with the previous…

Redfin Reports Homes Sell At Fastest Pace on Record: 59% Under Contract Within 2 Weeks
The Ritz Herald

The median home-sale price increased 17% year over year to $335,613—an all-time high—according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. However, year-over-year comparisons may more reflect the fact that this time last year, stay-at-home-orders halted both home-buying and selling activity. They don’t necessarily reflect…

Job Growth Accelerates as More People Are Vaccinated and Restrictions Lifted
The Ritz Herald

Nonfarm employment increased by 916,000 in March, after an upwardly revised increase of 468,000 in February. The published unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 to 6.0 percent, and the true rate, after adjusting for the misclassification error, decreased from 6.7 percent to 6.4 percent in March. The labor force participation…

12 mins
The Ritz Herald
© Ryan Raiker

We caught up with Ryan after seeing a recent interview featured in The Hudson Weekly. While careers seem to evolve over time, Ryan had a unique change we felt would be an interesting story for the Ritz Herald reader community. Ryan spent several years working in state and local government, mostly in improving citizen engagement, analyzing processes, and helping government agencies perform more efficiently and effectively. In 2017 Ryan made a change, leaving public service for a startup. He has been catching attention as a mover and shaker in the marketing and technology space ever since.

I sat down with Ryan this afternoon to ask him about the change of industry and discuss what drove his decision making. Here are highlights:

Thinking back to you career in the public sector, what made you leave?

I think the biggest thing that had me thinking of a career outside of government was the lack of change. Everything in government seemed slow. It felt stale and dry. While I have a huge passion for all things tech, there wasn’t enough digital modernization in my experiences. I mean I was working with people who were still using paper and pen to record constituent service requests. Sure, we implemented Philly 311 to provide access to non-emergency city services, but old habits die slow in government. Oftentimes, projects last years, fail to deliver a positive return on investment, and are many times simply nice press conference points or campaign promises that never actually realize their potential.

Today, when I and…


Earnings in the U.S. Middle Market Grew by 16% in First Two Months of Q1 2021
Middle market private companies in the Golub Capital Altman Index
Bally’s to Acquire Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY), a leading U.S. omnichannel provider of
Demand for Talent Spanning All 50 States: Tech Companies Added 9,700 Workers In March 2021
The Ritz Herald

U.S. technology employment continued to expand in March, contributing to the strongest month for hiring the country has experienced since last August, according to an analysis by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.

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Veteran Community Excited About New Tech Support Gig-App
The Ritz Herald

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General Motors Q1 2021 U.S. Retail Sales Grow 19 Percent
The Ritz Herald

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) sold 642,250 vehicles in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2021, with retail deliveries up 19 percent and fleet sales down 35 percent year over year. Total sales were up 4 percent compared to a year ago. All four GM U.S. brands had…

4 mins
NYSE is seen in the financial district of lower Manhattan during the outbreak of the COVID-19 in NYC, April 26, 2020. © Jeenah Moon
The Ritz Herald
The Golub Capital Altman Index can provide early insight into the financial performance of public companies and GDP in advance of earnings season

Middle market private companies in the Golub Capital Altman Index experienced year-over-year earnings growth of 16.3% and revenue growth of 3.2% during the first two months of the first quarter of 2021. This compares to year-over-year earnings growth of 14.9% and revenue growth of 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020. This is the last comparison of post-COVID profit performance to a completely pre-COVID period, and the growth rate demonstrates very meaningful economic strength in the U.S. middle market.

Lawrence E. Golub, CEO of Golub Capital, said, “The U.S. economy is booming outside of directly COVID-damaged sectors. Earnings growth in the first quarter was the strongest in the history of the Golub Capital Altman Index. Profit growth accelerated even though revenue growth was soft in aggregate and slightly negative in the Consumer and Healthcare sectors. This remarkable margin expansion suggests that companies made smart decisions in cutting costs and adapting strategically to Covid.”

Dr. Edward I. Altman said, “This quarter’s Golub Capital Middle Market Report is the last time we’ll have a clean comparison between current conditions, in January and February 2021, and the pre-Covid economy in January and February 2020. Our data likely understates the strength…



Bally’s to Acquire Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino

Chowdhry / RH
Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY), a leading U.S. omnichannel provider of land-based gaming and interactive entertainment, today announced that it has agreed to purchase the Tropicana Las Vegas, Nevada casino from
Desiree Ralls-Morrison is McDonald’s Incoming General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
The Ritz Herald

McDonald’s Corporation announced that Desiree Ralls-Morrison has been named the company’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, overseeing global legal operations and corporate governance. Ralls-Morrison will start on April 26, 2021, and will be based at the company’s Chicago headquarters in the West Loop.

Ralls-Morrison most recently served as General Counsel…

Consumers Will Dub Activist Brands as ‘Woke-Washers’ if They Cannot Prove Moral Competency
The Ritz Herald

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Mack Major Makes a Difference in Real Estate and Economic Development
The Ritz Herald

Mack Major has always exhibited a knack for entrepreneurism.

It was not because of a need for money but mostly for an outlet from his rigid engineering career.

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