News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Apr. 3, 2014

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Massive Harlem Mulitfamily Renovation Under Way | Multi-Housing News Online

2) HOUSING: Increasingly aging homes boost remodels | Furniture Today

3) ADP National Employment Report – March 2014 | NER

4) China property stocks soar on regulatory changes

5) RealtyTrac | Rent Returns | Landlord Yield

6) Tornado: Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CDT | Nation | Enquirer Herald

7) Evidence Found Insufficient to Link Mold to Health: Brenda Cornell, Respondent v. 360 West 51st Street Realty, LLC, et al., Defendant, 360 West 51st Street Corp., Appellant, No. 16 | New York Law Journal

8) Threat of Rising Waters: Steps to Take Hours Before a Flood

9) CalFire Increases Seasonal Ranks Ahead Of Schedule – CBS Sacramento

10) 7.5 quake on California fault could be disastrous – SFGate

11) Deadly smoking: Cigarettes were leading cause of NJ fire deaths from 2007 to 2012 | NJ com

12) Phoenix housing market has worst February in 4 years; prices could stay flat in 2014 – Phoenix Business Journal

13) Experts: Strict building codes saved lives in Chile earthquake – CNN com

14) Old Math Casts Doubt on Accuracy of Oil Reserve Estimates – Bloomberg

15) Fire chief won't let Columbus theater reopen | WISHTV com

16) Real Estate Investing: Tips for Collecting Rent Effectively – YouTube

17) For victims of 'landlords from hell,' home is where the hurt is – CNN com

18) My Triangle real estate market indicator | The Editors' Blog | NewsObserver com

19) Russia Property Market — 2013 Results and 2014 Forecast – YouTube

20) Worst is over for EM – YouTube

21) BBC News – China's new mini-stimulus offers signs of worry and progress

22) Euro zone private sector logs strongest quarter in three years: PMI | Reuters

23) UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT

24) Vacant DC building shows crowdfunding's range

25) The Downward Drift in Inflation-Adjusted Interest Rates: Why? And So What? – Real Time Economics – WSJ

  1.    Massive Harlem Mulitfamily Renovation Under Way | Multi-Housing News Online

    Work has started on the first phase of the redevelopment of Randolph Houses, which are in central Harlem in Manhattan. The overall project calls for the extensive rehab and preservation of 36 historic tenement buildings, which will ultimately result in 314 units of housing: 147 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing units, along with 167 affordable housing units. The buildings are located on W. 114th St. between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds.

    Add your comment.


  2.    HOUSING: Increasingly aging homes boost remodels | Furniture Today

    The share of homes that are at least 40 years old has risen to 41%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Housing Survey. In 2001, that share was 35% and in 1991 it was 27%. This is good news for remodelers and furniture sellers, as consumers are updating these aging homes.

    Per the National Assn. of Home Builders, homeowners in a typical zip code spent a combined $1.9 million to improve their homes in 2013. The top five zip codes based on improvements in 2013 are in the suburbs of San Francisco, Manhattan and Long Island. Research shows these zip codes also have a high percentage of homes built in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Add your comment.


  3.    ADP National Employment Report – March 2014 | NER

    Private-sector employment increased by 191,000 from February to March, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
    Highlights
    Small businesses (1-49 employees) +72,000
    Medium businesses (50-499 employees) +52,000
    Large businesses (500 or more employees) +67,000

    It will be interesting to see how this compares with the next BLS report.

    Add your comment.


  4.    China property stocks soar on regulatory changes

    Michael Klibaner, Regional Director, Head of Research Greater China at Jones Lang La Salle, discusses reports that China may lift house ownership restrictions in several cities.

    Investors will invest in vacancies. They are counting on appreciation and not bubbles popping. How long can China continue that model?

    Add your comment.


  5.    RealtyTrac | Rent Returns | Landlord Yield

    Manhattan's New York County is the least profitable market for landlords of all U.S. counties, according to new data from RealtyTrac. Calculations based on the fair-market rent for a three-bedroom home—$1,852 a month—show that building owners on the island get only 3 percent …

    Detroit, Michigan and Atlanta, Georgia rake in 30 percent and 28 percent ….

    What about risk?

    Add your comment.


  6.    Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CDT | Nation | Enquirer Herald

    A tornado has damaged at least three farms in rural Minnesota, but no injuries are reported.

    Add your comment.


  7.    Evidence Found Insufficient to Link Mold to Health: Brenda Cornell, Respondent v. 360 West 51st Street Realty, LLC, et al., Defendant, 360 West 51st Street Corp., Appellant, No. 16 | New York Law Journal

    For the reasons that follow, we conclude that plaintiff Brenda Cornell (Cornell) did not raise a triable issue of fact to rebut the prima facie showing made by defendant 360 West 51st Street Corporation (51st St. Corporation or the corporation) that her claimed personal injuries were not caused by indoor exposure to dampness and mold. Accordingly, Supreme Court properly granted the corporation's cross motion for summary judgment to dismiss Cornell's complaint in its entirety.

    Add your comment.


  8.    Threat of Rising Waters: Steps to Take Hours Before a Flood

    A Zurich whitepaper provides checklist for commercial property owners facing the threat of rising waters this spring (PDF).

    Add your comment.


  9.    CalFire Increases Seasonal Ranks Ahead Of Schedule – CBS Sacramento

    The threat of wildfire heightened by the state's drought has prompted CalFire to beef up its seasonal firefighting ranks ahead of schedule.

    Add your comment.


  10.    7.5 quake on California fault could be disastrous – SFGate

    Experts say a bigger earthquake along the lesser-known fault that gave Southern California a moderate shake could do more damage to the region than the long-dreaded "Big One" from the more famous San Andreas Fault.

    The Puente Hills thrust fault, which brought Friday night's magnitude-5.1 quake centered in La Habra and well over 100 aftershocks by Sunday, stretches from northern Orange County under downtown Los Angeles into Hollywood — a heavily populated swath of the Los Angeles area.

    Add your comment.


  11.    Deadly smoking: Cigarettes were leading cause of NJ fire deaths from 2007 to 2012 | NJ.com

    Nationwide, smoking was the leading cause of fatal fires from 2007 to 2011, accounting for 22 percent of the blazes in which a civilian died, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

    Add your comment.


  12.    Phoenix housing market has worst February in 4 years; prices could stay flat in 2014 – Phoenix Business Journal

    It was the weakest February in four years for the metro Phoenix housing market, and it's possible prices may stay flat in 2014.

    After a steep plunge and then a dramatic turnaround within that four-year span, this pause in the market could be both disappointing and relieving, depending on your perspective.

    Lloyd Fox, designated broker and owner of Phoenix-based The Fox Group at Long Realty Co., said he wouldn't be surprised if the median price even decreases, but slightly, by year end.

    "I think it's healthy to have a flat market right now … you can't sit there and think we're going to go up in double digits (prices) every year. It's just not sustainable," Fox said.

    Daniel LeClaire, an agent with AZ & Associates, shared that sentiment.

    "It was going so crazy this past 1.5 to two years," and it was a little scary, LeClaire said.

    Add your comment.


  13.    Experts: Strict building codes saved lives in Chile earthquake – CNN.com

    Strict building codes and the preparedness of millions of Chileans who live along an arc of volcanoes and fault lines likely kept the death toll — only six by Wednesday afternoon — low after an 8.2-magnitude earthquake rumbled offshore and prompted a tsunami, observers said.

    Officials said four of those whose deaths were blamed on the quake late Tuesday that triggered landslides, power outages, and a tsunami suffered heart attacks, while two others were crushed.

    "They're a seismically active region of the world and they are very good at implementing their building codes similar to California," John Bellini, a Denver-based geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN on Wednesday.

    Add your comment.


  14.    Old Math Casts Doubt on Accuracy of Oil Reserve Estimates – Bloomberg

    This issue is important to evaluating the future of real-estate values in and around the fracking industry, which includes current boom towns such as Huston.

    Jan Arps is the most influential oilman you've never heard of.

    In 1945, Arps, then a 33-year-old petroleum engineer for British-American Oil Producing Co., published a formula to predict how much crude a well will produce and when it will run dry. The Arps method has become one of the most widely used measures in the industry. Companies rely on it to predict the profitability of drilling, secure loans and report reserves to regulators. When Representative Ed Royce, a California Republican, said at a March 26 hearing in Washington that the U.S. should start exporting its oil to undermine Russian influence, his forecast of "increasing U.S. energy production" can be traced back to Arps.

    The problem is the Arps equation has been twisted to apply to shale technology, which didn't exist when Arps died in 1976.

    Add your comment.


  15.    Fire chief won't let Columbus theater reopen | WISHTV.com

    A central Indiana fire chief says the city's 125-year-old downtown theater won't be allowed to reopen as planned because of safety concerns.

    Add your comment.


  16.    Real Estate Investing: Tips for Collecting Rent Effectively – YouTube

    Are your tenants late in paying rent? Here are my tips for collecting rent effectively.

    Add your comment.


  17.    For victims of 'landlords from hell,' home is where the hurt is – CNN.com

    Think you have the landlord from hell? Think again.

    Did they steal your stuff? Lock you out? Threaten you with a gun? Unless they did, they're not even in contention for the title.

    Add your comment.


  18.    My Triangle real estate market indicator | The Editors' Blog | NewsObserver.com

    …the price gains around the country reflect that we are coming off a low base. The peak, nationally, was in April 2006, and then the bottom fell out. Home prices are 16.9 percent below that peak, in the aggregate. But in some Sun Belt states, 2006 buyers are still a ways from break even, the ones who hadn't mailed their keys back to the bank. Florida prices are down 36.4 percent, according to CoreLogic. Arizona, down 30.5 percent. Nevada is the king of the busted bubbles, down 39.9 percent.

    Add your comment.


  19.    Russia Property Market — 2013 Results and 2014 Forecast – YouTube

    Published on Apr 3, 2014

    CBRE Russia experts on investment, office, retail, and industrial market trends

    Ukraine? Crimea? Sanctions?

    Add your comment.


  20.    Worst is over for EM – YouTube

    The worst is over for emerging markets, says George Hoguet, global investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors. He explains why to FT emerging markets editor James Kynge, and considers whether defaults in China will lead to a financial crisis.

    We think it's premature to claim they are out of the woods or even in sight of the clearing, not to say that George Hoguet doesn't make some interesting points.

    Add your comment.


  21.    BBC News – China's new mini-stimulus offers signs of worry and progress

    Unlike the way the last stimulus was financed, the central government is issuing bonds to finance the spending.

    The reliance on local governments to finance most of the 2009 fiscal stimulus was one of the causes of the growth in borrowing, as localities can't issue bonds independently. So all of that sizeable spending ended up being financed by bank loans from state-owned banks.

    The rapid growth in debt since then is a real cause of concern for the Chinese economy, as debt is estimated to be 200% of GDP.

    So, this time, the central government is borrowing from the bond market, which is more the way market economies would do it.

    Why pay interest?

    Add your comment.


  22.    Euro zone private sector logs strongest quarter in three years: PMI | Reuters

    Euro zone businesses logged their busiest quarter in three years at the start of 2014 but did so by slashing prices, surveys showed on Thursday, underscoring fears that deflation may soon afflict the region.

    Add your comment.


  23.    UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT

    In the week ending March 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 326,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 310,000. The 4-week moving average was 319,500, an increase of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 319,250.

    Add your comment.


  24.    Vacant DC building shows crowdfunding's range

    Interesting:

    The vacant, two-story brick building at 1539 7th St. in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C., is not exactly what you would expect to attract enthusiastic crowdfunding. After all, it's not some new technology, or on the cutting edge with a breakthrough marketing strategy. It's just an empty building.

    Due-diligence process?

    Add your comment.


  25.    The Downward Drift in Inflation-Adjusted Interest Rates: Why? And So What? – Real Time Economics – WSJ

    … it's much harder for a central bank to use interest rates to steer the economy out of recessions. To avoid this, some economists — though not the top policymakers at the Fed — suggest the Fed should consider aiming for something above 2% inflation to give it a little maneuvering room

    If so, that argues — as Mr. Summers does — for worrying a lot less about government budget deficits and a lot more about using government spending to give the economy a lift that monetary policy cannot provide. If interest rates are persistently lower than the growth rate of the economy, the IMF says gingerly, "some increases in debt-financed government spending, especially for public investment, may not lead to increase in public debt."

    Mr. Summers, speaking this week at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, was more emphatic: Borrowing to spend more now on public investment would mean lower debt-to-GDP ratios in the future because GDP would be higher than it otherwise would be, he said.

    We agree. It's one of the reasons we've been calling for a higher inflation target with a lower unemployment-percentage target.

    Add your comment.


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