HOMEGROWN PRICES

The bubble could be about to burst. But those who bought houses in the past five years in the following cities can appreciate the appreciation, according to a report by Hilliard Lyons. The national average over five years was 53.3 percent, the investment firm said.

120.9%
Sacramento, Calif.
115.9%
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
115.1%
Los Angeles
107.9%
Miami
101.2%
Washington, D.C.
96.1%
Las Vegas
88.2%
Oakland, Calif.
83.5%
Baltimore
Source: Hilliard Lyons

CALIFORNIA TOPS FOR TOURISTS

California draws more tourist dollars than any other state or the District of Columbia, according to The Impact of Travel on the U.S. and State Economies, a report published by the Travel Industry Association. Perhaps predictably, Florida and New York round out the top three, but there are some surprises after that. The rankings are based on 2003 data — the year for which comparable numbers are available for all states and Washington, D.C.

TOP 10 STATES FOR TRAVELER SPENDING
1. California $71.56*
2. Florida 56.30
3. New York 35.43
4. Texas 34.60
5. Illinois 23.00
6. Nevada 21.34
7. Pennsylvania 16.42
8. Georgia 15.65
9. New Jersey 15.42
10. Virginia 14.30
*Billions
Source: Travel Industry Association of America

HEAT COULD CAUSE COLD HOLIDAY

Higher home heating costs will hurt holiday spending, according to a survey by BIGresearch LLC, a Prosper International Co. Just 36.9 percent of respondents said rate hikes won't impact shopping. Almost a third said they would look for sales and/or spend less on gifts. As respondents could check off more than one effect of rising prices, the total adds up to more than 100 percent.

THE BIERI REPORT: WASHINGTON, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
SHOPPING CENTER
RANKING
Tysons Galleria A
Tysons Corner Center A
Fashion Center at Pentagon Row A
Montgomery Mall A
Potomac Mall A
Union Station A
Fair Oaks B
Dulles Town Center B
Lakeforst B
Springfield Mall B
Wheaton Plaza B
St. Charles Town Center B-
Bowie Town Center C+
Reston Town Center C+
Georgetown Park C
Mazza Gallerie C

Washington, D.C. is a strong market for all price points. There is tremendous economic stability here due to the plethora of government workers. Also, tourists and business travelers spend time and money in the nation's capital. The increasing size of the federal government has caused the region to grow consistently over the years. There are also many private firms with consistent growth. The suburbs have exploded, older neighborhoods have stabilized and rapid transit has allowed access to more areas and centers. Pentagon City, Chevy Chase, Bethesda and Tysons Corner house all the better retailers in the market, and sales for most are excellent. Tysons Corner has recently expanded and made GLA from an old anchor. Tysons Galleria continues to add luxury tenants.

The Collection at Chevy Chase is 112,000 square feet and will be home to new luxury tenants. Wheaton Plaza is undergoing major renovation, with a new Macy's and 55 new stores. Georgetown continues to be an active retail area. As a retailer it is hard to go wrong in this region.

The information presented for traffic estimates and regional malls is gained from a variety of sources used in developing the Bieri Market Reports. These sources are public and private, and may even include the developers themselves. When traffic counts are not available, grades are determined by reviewing sales of anchor stores and specialty tenants within a subject project, and then comparing those with like projects.

RETAILER EARNINGS VS. S&P 500

The earnings of retailers followed by A.G. Edwards have consistently beat out the S&P 500, and the trend is expected to continue through the fiscal year ending January 2007 — though marginally this year, according to a recent research report by analyst Bob Buchanan. “The prospect of a steady-state consumer in terms of same-store sales' gains juxtaposes with what we believe will be a further fade in the industrial production growth rate, which has been receding since the spring of 2004,” Buchanan says, recommending that clients “overweight” retail stocks.