Activision raises sales forecast on lockdown demand, new COD release hopes

FILE PHOTO: The Activision booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2017. REUTERS/ Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc ATVI.O raised its annual adjusted sales forecast on Thursday, betting on strong sales for its upcoming videogame in the blockbuster “Call of Duty” franchise as demand from stay-at-home gamers continues to rise.

The company raised its full-year adjusted revenue forecast to $8.10 billion from $7.63 billion. Analysts had expected adjusted sales of $7.94 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares of the company, which fell 8% immediately after the results as some analysts viewed the improved forecast as conservative, pared most of the losses and were down marginally after the bell.

“Activision has been typically conservative going into the next quarter. Many stocks are seeing automatic ‘sell the news’ on earnings reports good or bad ahead of elections.

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Demand For Space Puts Premium On Detached Homes

The price of detached homes is rising at more than twice the rate of smaller properties due to a growing desire for space since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Research published by Halifax, in conjunction with IHS Markit, shows that the typical price of a detached home in the UK climbed by more than 5% between the start of lockdown in March, and early autumn (September 2020). 

This compares to an increase of just 2.5% for a typical flat over the same period, and around 4% for both terraced and semi-detached properties.  

The popularity of larger homes is growing, as working from home becomes a more permanent arrangement for many, while the absence of a commute enables home hunters to widen their search into areas where larger properties can be more affordable. 

Property website Rightmove recorded double the number of searches for homes in small towns and villages in September compared

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U.S. new home sales drop; record low mortgage rates underpinning demand

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly fell in September after four straight monthly increases, but the housing market remains supported by record low mortgage rates and demand for more space as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.

FILE PHOTO: A home under construction stands behind a “sold” sign in a new development in York County, South Carolina, U.S., February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

The decrease in sales reported by the Commerce Department on Monday followed data last week showing single-family homebuilding and permits racing to levels last seen in 2007 in September. Confidence among homebuilders hit a record high in October, while sales of previously owned homes jumped to their highest level in more than 14 years in September.

“While there could be some ups and downs along the way, we still look for strength in the housing market as low mortgage rates boost activity and

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Coca-Cola emerges from lockdown blues as out-of-home demand recovers

(Reuters) – Coca-Cola Co KO.N beat revenue and profit expectations on Thursday as a partial reopening of theaters and restaurants boosted demand and helped the world’s largest soda maker bounce back from a shattering second quarter.

Declines in “away-from-home” sales eased to mid-teens range in the third quarter from about a 50% slump in April at the height of lockdowns, while demand for its trademark Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar also rose.

Coca-Cola makes about half of its revenue by selling its soft drinks at public venues and their closure had forced it to offer voluntary job cuts to about 4,000 workers in the United States.

Chief Executive James Quincey said the situation is “dynamic”, as rising cases during the winter could result in regional lockdowns, adding the recovery in “away-from-home” sales had showed signs of getting stalled in September.

“We don’t expect to return to the peak levels of

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Manhattan Real Estate Fizzles As Prices, Demand Plummets

Manhattan has made adjustments, like all of us, during Covid. Subways are mostly ghost trains. But the streets are bustling and restaurants (the ones that are still open) have welcomed patrons back with limited indoor dining.

Elevator etiquette requires that no more than two parties share a ride, and that’s only if the next party in line says it’s OK. And Broadway is still dark, an ominous symbol of what Covid has wrought on the Big Apple.

But perhaps the ultimate philosophical question posed during the pandemic to New Yorkers is this: Should I stay or should I go? As it turns out, many of those who can have left, or are planning to. At least enough have moved to shake the steel girders of Manhattan’s real estate market. 

Moving From the City to the Suburbs

Demand in New York real estate has shifted from dense urban cores to

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Coronavirus boosts demand for luxury real estate in Lower Hudson Valley

Despite fears that the coronavirus would drag down the luxury real estate market in the Lower Hudson Valley, analysts say demand for increased social distancing and home offices propelled the market forward in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in the third quarter.

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The two-month hiatus to the real estate industry when Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered non-essential businesses to close temporarily rushed luxury home buyers to the market above $1 million in Dutchess and Putnam counties and above $2 million in Westchester County in July, August and September.

Brokerage firm Houlihan Lawrence reported buyers in Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester sought discounts less frequently in the third quarter and that the number of luxury homes sold in Westchester rose by at least 52% over the third quarter of 2019.

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The number of homes over $1

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Demand Solar Development Land Soars in Phoenix

Land banking and development company Vermaland has leased more than 4,500 acres of land to solar developers in recent months. The activity illustrates a recent surge in demand for solar land in Arizona. In eventual land purchases, these leases could total $40 million.

“There are a lot of factors driving demand for solar right now. There is a huge push for utilities to be obtain energy from renewable sources and solar is a great source,” Kuldip Verma, founder and CEO of Vermaland, tells GlobeSt.com. “California has mandated that 50% of their electricity come from renewable sources by 2025 and Arizona has mandated that 15% come from renewable sources by 2025. The location of our properties serve both the California and Arizona market, so solar developers have several viable options to sell the energy they generate to. Furthermore, the prices of producing solar energy have come down significantly over the

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Calgary realtor says condo prices continue to tumble, demand for detached homes on the rise

CALGARY —
Calgary’s real-estate market has held steady throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with demand for condos falling and demand for detached homes rising. 

Realtor Justin Havre, with REMAX First, says many people are considering ditching their condos for more space in single-family homes.

“There’s obviously been a lot less desire for condominiums due to the density of how people are living and how people are looking to get more space,” said Havre. 

He adds that condos offer less space between neighbours using similar common areas, which in a pandemic, has turned people away. 

But he says its good news for the buying market. 

“The average price for a condominium has dropped by about 7.52 per cent,” said Havre. 

Right now prices are 23 per cent lower for a condominium, adding September was the strongest on record for the housing market in six years. 

“We are seeing condos that used to

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Northern Michigan real estate booms as builders struggle to meet demand

LANSING — Michigan builders are prioritizing the construction of higher value homes to gain more profit, a market driven in part by the pandemic.

But the state lacks housing for moderate-income buyers, such as the workers who build the high-end homes, experts say.

“Some homebuilders in resort areas of Michigan, such as Emmet, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Otsego and Grand Traverse (counties), are booked for two years ahead and they are not talking with new clients to create projects,” said Janet Chambers, ethe xecutive officer of the Home Builders Association of Northern Michigan.

Through July 2020, the average price for homes statewide was about $210,000, according to the Michigan Association of Realtors. That’s up nearly 10% from July 2019.

But the average price is quite different in resort areas in Northern Michigan.


In August 2020, the average selling price for homes in northwest Michigan’s Emmet County, home to Petoskey and Harbor Springs,

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Pandemic reduces demand for homes with open floor plans

The pandemic may have killed open floor plans in homes as buyers opt for walls over easily conversing as one person sits in the living room while the other cooks in the kitchen, according to real estate experts.



a living room filled with furniture and a large window


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“They want more rooms instead of open space,” said Joseph Zoppi, managing partner of Templar Real Estate in Princeton, New Jersey, which restores homes and then sells them.

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His firm routinely used to tear down walls, such as the ones separating dining rooms from kitchens, because open floor plans were a big seller. Now, clients want walls.

“Everybody pre-COVID was looking at open spaces in terms of the floor plans. Now, they want privacy,” he said.

Michael Rossi, CEO of New York City-based residential brokerage firm Elegran, told the Washington Examiner via email that open-concept floor plans, which have been “heavily favored in the last

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