THE BYTE

Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.

This week we’re taking a BYTE out of tech giant homes, housing and disasters, smart homes, a new competitor in solar panels, and prefab/3D printing. Dig in!


Generally

Decisions, Decisions
Two tech giants are having big weeks. Amazon narrowed their city list for HQ2 to 20 cities and opened their unstaffed convenience store. Apple also announced they are going to build a second massive campus… somewhere.

What Does It All Mean?
Among the 20 candidates for Amazon’s HQ2 are Dallas, Austin, Denver, Atlanta, Boston, LA, NYC, Miami, and Raleigh just to name a few. No further details have been given as to how they will make their final decision, but when you look at the housing prices in the finalist cities there are some things to note. 10 of the 20 cities home markets are already overvalued, so adding an HQ2 probably won’t help.

Apple is jumping on the HQ2 train as well. They announced last week they are looking to build a second Apple campus in the next five years because of the new tax breaks. The location will be announced by the end of 2018, but supposedly may do a bidding system like Amazon. The campus is estimated to employ 20,000 workers and add $350 billion to the U.S. economy over the next five years.


2017 Was A Year

The Numbers Are Rolling In
Now that we are about a month into 2018 the full picture of housing from last year is starting to come into focus. The natural disasters from last year were bad. Realtor.com looked at the 4 biggest events and their effect on the housing industry, the Northern and Southern California Wildfires and Hurricane Irma and Harvey. Irma and Harvey combined resulted in about 13,400 lost sales. Also housing starts fell sharply, by 8.2%, in December, but that actually was a return back to normal levels.


Take Notes

Oh Home, You’re So Smart
As conferences come and go and new 2018 products are released we’re getting our first glimpse at the smart home trends of 2018. Wireless everything has been talked about for a while but this year a plethora of products are actually available, especially for the kitchen. Smart locks are also big and are starting to be partnered with companies doing home deliveries such as Wal-Mart. Lastly, smarter data to help us sleep better and be healthier is on its way.

Every Shingle One
Nissan is joining Tesla and Mercedes with their announcement to sell solar panels along with an energy storage system. The panels will only be available in the U.K. to start but the management system will supposedly give real time control of where your solar power goes. The solar panel and home energy management game is starting to shine up with all of these big names coming to try and take the market.

Show Us What You’re Made Of
3D printing and pre-fabrication may come into its own this year. 3D printed bridges are being built in China, Marriott is building 50 new prefabricated hotels with the biggest project being an $86 million building in California, 3D printed cement pipes are being tested in Germany, and much more. Will 2018 be the tipping point for these technologies?


Totally Unrelated

I’m Hooked
Technology moves forward every day, but today it moved closer to levitation. Needless to say, we’re in.