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- Trulia: U.S. Housing Market Now 67% Back To Normal – Forbes
Yesterday, we linked to a video of Trulia's Chief Economist, Jed Kolko. Here's a link to a more in-depth look at the latest from Trulia's "Housing Barometer."
…the housing market is now 67% back to normal, compared with just 42% one year ago. As the recovery matures, some types of housing activity, like sales and price levels, have returned to near-normal, while others, like construction and household formation, remain far from normal.
Read the source article … http://www.forbes.com/sites/trulia/2013/ 09/26/trulia-u-s-housing-market-now-67-b ack-to-normal/
- All-cash deals make huge comeback | Inman News
RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said. "From April to August there has been a 41 percent increase in the percentage of cash sales, and during that same time period there has been a 29 percent increase in the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage."
- Market heat in Miami sending deal-seekers to Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay Business Journal
TAMPA — Multifamily investment and construction remains hot despite concerns about rising interest rates.
When rates increase, market transactions are likely to re-price and some disruptions in sales are likely, said John W. Stone, managing director of Multifamily Investment Services at Colliers International Tampa Bay.
He anticipates third quarter multifamily sales figures for Tampa Bay will drop about 20 percent from the post-recession high of $368 million in the second quarter.
But it would be a mistake to interpret near-term volatility in spot pricing as an ominous sign for real estate investment, Stone said. Available capital and market demands suggest that multifamily family investment will remain healthy for the next decade, barring major upheaval in the economy.
- Your relationships with inspectors don't have to be scandalous | Inman News
By Bill Redfern … When a Realtor finds an ideal home inspector — one who is courteous with the customer, honest and straightforward with his or her approach and explanation of findings — it only makes sense that the Realtor would want homebuyers to be offered that professional experience. Clearly, both sides must maintain an unbiased relationship. Just because the home inspector may see the Realtor during various transactions does not change the fiduciary duty to the customer. The role of the home inspector is always — and I mean always — to objectively provide positive and negative findings from thorough inspections. A good home inspector will explain the negatives and what can be done to improve or fix them. But he or she will always do so in the interest of the customer, never to help a Realtor close a deal.
Read the source article … http://www.inman.com/2013/09/27/your-rel ationships-with-inspectors-dont-have-to- be-scandalous/
- The Rise of Residential Segregation by Income | Pew Social & Demographic Trends
Residential segregation by income has increased during the past three decades across the United States and in 27 of the nation's 30 largest major metropolitan areas1 , according to a new analysis of census tract2 and household income data by the Pew Research Center.
The analysis finds that 28% of lower-income households in 2010 were located in a majority lower-income census tract, up from 23% in 1980, and that 18% of upper- income households were located in a majority upper-income census tract, up from 9% in 1980.
The report goes into some detail, but it's very manageable.
Read the source article … http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/08/0 1/the-rise-of-residential-segregation-by -income/
- Richard Koo says 'vicious cycle' taking hold as Fed faces 'QE trap' – The Tell – MarketWatch
A "vicious cycle" of rising interest rates and economic weakness has already emerged and is likely to intensify as the Federal Reserve attempts to extricate itself from its program of quantitative easing, Nomura chief economist Richard Koo warned in a note on Thursday.
We disagree with his analysis. The issue is jobs and wages. QE needs to be tapered somewhat less than the rate at which jobs and wages improved. The Fed needs to establish that in the minds of the general public. The gap between buying securities and then raising interest rates on the one hand and employment and wages on the other hand, can be narrowed also over time. If the Fed were to take this approach of ours, the markets, etc., would be de-spooked in a hurry.
- ASU polls real-estate brokers in metro Phoenix area
Apartment rents are climbing. Investors are paying higher prices for office buildings and warehouses leased by prominent companies located in employment corridors. Retailers are expanding again.
Metro Phoenix's commercial real-estate market is on the mend, but, like the economy, still has hasn't recovered from the crippling recession, according to a new survey from Arizona State University that tracked the opinions of several top brokers in the region.
"Everyone generally agreed we're recovering in the commercial market, but we're not there yet," said Mark Stapp, director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at ASU's W. P. Carey School of Business.
- Beware of fraud by closing agents at real estate settlements – latimes.com
No, Linda Ronstadt isn't involved.
By Lew Sichelman … In little-noticed proceedings earlier this year, 11 people pleaded guilty in a federal court in northern Virginia to a scam that fleeced banks out of millions of dollars.
According to the charging documents, the defendants were involved in overlapping conspiracies in which they would systematically alter the terms of real estate closings so lenders would send more money than they needed to. The thieves would then pocket the difference.
The case shines some light on perhaps the shadiest side of mortgage fraud. Shady because very few people know about it, and of those who do, few are willing to talk about it.
The article gives some tips on avoiding fraud.
Read the source article … http://www.latimes.com/business/realesta te/la-fi-lew-20130929,0,1365908.story
- Chinese Cities Hooked on Land Revenue Fuel Housing Costs – Bloomberg
China hasn't yet reined in its wild real-estate horses.
Chinese cities, addicted to the money they raise by selling land to developers, are undermining the government's multiyear campaign to contain housing costs.
Municipal residential land deals, measured by area, rose 26 percent in the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2012, according to China Investment Securities Co. The average price per square meter jumped 43 percent, pushing proceeds up 80 percent to 816.5 billion yuan ($133 billion).
Local officials rely on revenue from the sales to repay debt, especially as economic growth slows. Developers bid up prices because demand from homebuyers remains strong. The cycle is driving property costs higher, complicating Premier Li Keqiang's task of preventing social unrest over the lack of affordable housing amid a massive urbanization program.
"If the momentum in the land market can't be cooled down rather quickly, it's actually a fairly dangerous signal," Bei Fu, Standard & Poor's Hong Kong-based property credit analyst, said in a phone interview. "Should it keep heating up, we're worried there might be further policy tightening, and there could be consequences for the entire market that are unpredictable at this point."
"The government has lost its credibility" with regard to the curbs, SWS Research's Shanghai-based analyst Kris Li said. "In the past 10 years everybody feels that every time I believe home prices will fall, they end up going even higher."
Read the source article … http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-24 /chinese-cities-hooked-on-land-revenue- fuel-housing-costs.html
- Singapore's Multimillionaires: New Wealth Report Busts The Myths – Forbes
This is why Singapore's real estate has been booming.
Singapore is now the world's fastest growing wealth hub with $1.3 trillion assets under management, and is slated to overtake Switzerland as the world's largest offshore wealth center by 2020. Roughly one in every 30 Singaporeans was a dollar millionaire in 2012. It is estimated that by 2017, one in every 20 Singaporeans will be a millionaire. This segment that currently holds $857 billion, or 85.7% of the total individual wealth, will grow by 63% and hold $1.39 trillion by 2017. Among these millionaires, there are 3,870 multimillionaires (individuals with net worth of over $30 million) in 2012 with average wealth of $86 million per person and they will grow by 59% in the next five years. Singapore's Gross Domestic Product per person is the world's highest at $ 61,567, and the IMF expects this to rise to an astounding $77,000 in five years!
However, things could change somewhat as China develops Shanghai as a regional and global financial hub and liberalizes its currency, making it more a reserve currency.
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