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- How investment firms are threatening the housing market – CSMonitor.com
A young client of mine told me he and his wife had been outbid on a handful of houses this past spring, despite the fact that they had literally begun showing up to see homes for sale with a checkbook and engineer in tow. They couldn't figure out who it was buying up all the properties in the upper middle class enclave in which they [were] hunting.
Turns out, it was [a] private investment firm, paying cash. This meant no mortgage contingency, which is music to a seller's ears. In some cases, homes were being bought over the phone, their realtor told them.
Bloomberg tells us that this phenomenon hasn't stopped yet…
Home purchases by institutional buyers reached a record high in September and all-cash buyers accounted for almost half of sales as investors responded to rising demand from renters.
- How to Accept Electronic Rent Payments
Reasonable overview with good warnings:
The easy availability and convenience of internet banking, electronic transfers, automatic withdrawal and the like open up new avenues to landlords for streamlining their rent collection and accounting. While there are risks, those risks can be minimized by careful planning and understanding of state (and local) laws.
- KeyMe: Startup Spotlight – YouTube
Security and privacy might be issues. The video doesn't discuss them. Connecting your personal data, including perhaps your address, with a digital image of your key could present a problem, a target for cloud-storage and kiosk hackers and unethical employees of the various product and service providers involved in the loop.
- 7 Tips for Managing International Transactions
Getting all of the necessary pieces in place for any real estate deal in today's risk-averse housing finance environment can be a complicated affair. And when you add an international component to a transaction that requires financing, you increase the odds that something can go wrong.
At a Global Forum held during the California Association of REALTORS® Expo last week in Long Beach, a panel of experts — Steven Hung of CTBC (formerly Chinatrust Bank), John Fernando of Orange Coast Title and Regan Franklin at Inter Valley Escrow — discussed steps you can take to make the road to the closing table smoother. Here is a list of things they said you can do to prevent deal-derailing problems:
1. Get proof of liquid assets: …
2. Get those assets into the U.S.: …
3. Have them form a U.S.-based LLC: …
4. Verify marital status: …
5. Get documents translated correctly: …
6. Determine who can supply authorized signatures: …
7. Know when to use original signatures: …
See the original for some details on each item.
- China's outward investment: The second wave | The Economist
A shift is under way in China's overseas direct investment (ODI), which is growing fast but is still dwarfed by foreign investment into China (see chart). The first wave largely involved state-owned firms, and was directed at acquiring energy, minerals and land in poor countries. Resource insecurity lingers—witness the 20% stake taken this week by Chinese state firms in Libra, a giant Brazilian offshore oilfield—but it is no longer the driving force. New motives propel the second wave.
China's government is keen to boost the miserable yields it gets on its overseas investments, argues Thilo Hanemann of Rhodium Group, a consultant. So it is now encouraging state firms to invest in property in prime locations, and in infrastructure and other assets in mature markets. …
… the shift in investment from free-spending state firms seeking resources to frugal private ones chasing markets and innovation is a positive sign.
- In Fed and Out, Many Now Think Inflation Helps – NYTimes.com
… a little inflation is particularly valuable when the economy is weak. Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.
All this talk has prompted dismay among economists who see little benefit in inflation, and who warn that the Fed could lose control of prices as the economy recovers. As inflation accelerates, economists agree that any benefits can be quickly outstripped by the disruptive consequences of people rushing to spend money as soon as possible. Rising inflation also punishes people living on fixed incomes, and it discourages lending and long-term investments, imposing an enduring restraint on economic growth even if the inflation subsides.
Lately, however, the 1970s have seemed a less relevant cautionary tale than the fate of Japan, where prices have been in general decline since the late 1990s. Kariya, a popular instant dinner of curry in a pouch that cost 120 yen in 2000, can now be found for 68 yen, according to the blog Yen for Living.
This enduring deflation, which policy makers are now trying to end, kept the economy in retreat as people hesitated to make purchases, because prices were falling, or to borrow money, because the cost of repayment was rising.
Inflation also helps workers find jobs, according. to an influential 1996 paper by the economist George Akerlof and two co-authors. Rising prices allows companies to increase profit margins quietly, by not raising wages, which in turn makes it profitable for companies to hire additional workers. Lower rates of inflation have the opposite effect, making it harder to find work.
Source … http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/busine ss/econom y/in-fed-and-out-many-now-think-inflatio n-helps.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
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