News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 10-11, 2014

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Riskiest Housing Markets | Zillow Real Estate Research

2) Top 20 Apartment Markets for Rent Growth for Q2 2014 | Property Management Insider

3) Investors get schooled in housing

4) Do loan modifications cause rents to rise too? – OC Housing News

5) UCF researchers predict sinkholes – Daily Commercial: Home

6) App aims to demonstrate hurricane effects in Va. – The Washington Post

7) "Impaired" man who fell asleep caused deadly March blaze in NJ beach town – CBS News

8) Electric cord sparked fire that killed firefighter

9) Direct economic losses from disasters over 100 bln USD in 2013: UNISDR

10) Calculated Risk: Demographics and Behavior

11) Higher mortgage rates not deterring buyers

12) Retail Rents on the Rise as Vacancies Dwindle | Realtor Magazine

13) Fall in iron ore price hits Australia's miners – YouTube

14) Coco Palms developers undeterred by holiday fire | West Hawaii Today

15) UPDATED: Damage cost stands at $15m in government building fire

16) Tornado confirmed near Grand Rapids | Detroit Free Press

17) Resident retention requires planning to avoid move outs | Property Management Minutes

18) Military families sue property managers over chemical exposure – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

19) Job Separation Rate Shows Economic Shifts | St. Louis Fed On the Economy

20) Jobs are staying vacant longer than ever – The Washington Post

21) Foreigners are buying US real estate at a staggering rate – and it's rising fast – Vox

  1.    Riskiest Housing Markets | Zillow Real Estate Research

    This is a fascinating set of interactive data. Thanks to @KevinismyBroker for tweeting it.

    The housing markets with the highest percentage of negative five-year returns are Hartford (37 percent risk of loss), Providence (32 percent), Riverside (31 percent), Boston (30 percent) and Los Angeles (29 percent). The five least risky metro areas by the same metric are Buffalo (0 percent risk of loss), Pittsburgh (0 percent), Louisville-Jefferson County (3 percent), Raleigh (9 percent) and Nashville (9 percent).

    Add your comment.


  2.    Top 20 Apartment Markets for Rent Growth for Q2 2014 | Property Management Insider

    The U.S. apartment market had about as impressive a second quarter as you can get. Occupancy jumped up to a seven-year high, even with newly built units hitting the market in large numbers. And quarterly rent growth reached a 14-year high.

    The annual effective rent growth pace, as of the second quarter, came in at 3.5 percent, trending upward from 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014 and 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

    Add your comment.


  3.    Investors get schooled in housing

    "It's a little expensive, but everything is included," said Lynch, who is paying about $870 a month, comparable to university-owned housing. "You definitely get the most you can get for what you're paying."

    We're all for people investing to supply housing, but we think that this sort of thing prices way too much of America's youth right out of a higher education, which is terribly shortsighted public policy and not really good for the economy in even the short run.

    Add your comment.


  4.    Do loan modifications cause rents to rise too? – OC Housing News

    The loanowner [borrower] living in a property they can't afford with a loan modification subsidy is preventing either owner-occupants or investors from maximizing the economic value of the property, impacting both resale prices and rental rates.

    That's true, but loan-modification subsidies are partially an admission of mark-to-market. It's the public subsidy part that's troubling. The loan originators should be the ones taking the hit (that includes the executives and shareholders). We already know that current rules frown upon those who engaged in liars and no-doc loan applications, which is proper.

    Add your comment.


  5.    UCF researchers predict sinkholes – Daily Commercial: Home

    Researchers at the University of Central Florida are devising a way to predict sinkholes.

    Add your comment.


  6.    App aims to demonstrate hurricane effects in Va. – The Washington Post

    The Hurricane Evacuation Encouragement Demonstrator allows users to type in their home address and view an animated video of what they may experience if they don't evacuate. …

    The tool also provides customized evacuation routes, updated storm tracks and information about emergency shelters and service stations along evacuation routes.

    Add your comment.


  7.    "Impaired" man who fell asleep caused deadly March blaze in N.J. beach town – CBS News

    A man "impaired" by opiates in his system fell asleep face down on a motel couch while smoking in March, touching off a fire that killed four people, authorities said Wednesday.

    Add your comment.


  8.    Electric cord sparked fire that killed firefighter

    A high-rise blaze that killed a fire lieutenant started in a pinched electrical cord in a cluttered apartment, fire officials said Sunday, adding that the fire had been ruled accidental.

    An air-conditioner cord was pinned between a bed frame and a wall in the 19th-floor Brooklyn apartment, where Lt. Gordon Ambelas became trapped while looking for possible victims, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement as investigators probed the conflagration responsible for the Fire Department of New York's first line-of-duty death in more than two years.

    Add your comment.


  9.    Direct economic losses from disasters over 100 bln USD in 2013: UNISDR – Xinhua | English.news.cn

    Major reported disasters in 2013 caused direct economic losses of over 100 billion dollars, according to the latest figures released by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) on Monday.

    The UN disaster prevention body said that some 315 disasters claimed 22,000 lives in 2013 and affected 95 million people, and direct economic losses in consequence reached 116 billion dollars, for the fourth consecutive year exceeding the threshold of 100-billion-dollars.

    Add your comment.


  10.    Calculated Risk: Demographics and Behavior

    Bill McBride:

    Probably the main reason for the decline in the participation rate for the younger age groups is that more people are pursuing higher education (graphs in previous post show increase in enrollment).

    It cuts both ways. More younger people are pursuing higher education because the job market has been so weak.

    Add your comment.


  11.    Higher mortgage rates not deterring buyers

    It's not the main focus of the article, but…:

    "Most of the consumer debt being taken on continues to be student loans which rose another $4.4 billion month over month, not seasonally adjusted, to $780.1 billion, a new record high," said Peter Boockvar of the Lindsey Group.

    Pundits, however, are still playing down student debt.

    Add your comment.


  12.    Retail Rents on the Rise as Vacancies Dwindle | Realtor Magazine

    Builders are projected to complete 45.2 million square feet of retail space this year. In 2015, they are projected to add 71.5 million square feet of retail space in 63 markets, according to the CoStar Group, a real estate research firm. For comparison, in 2007, builders added 210 million square feet.

    "We'll see a moderate increase in the coming quarters in construction," Suzanne Mulvee, a director of retail research at CoStar, told WSJ. "But it's going to be a couple of years before we see construction getting back to even half the pace of what it was in 2007."

    Will it ever get to the 2007 pace on a per capita basis? Online shopping is huge and growing.

    Add your comment.


  13.    Fall in iron ore price hits Australia's miners – YouTube

    A 30 per cent drop in the iron ore price is causing concern among Australia's miners who have invested heavily in greater production facilities on the expectation of continued rising demand from China. The FT's Jamie Smyth reports from the mining town of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

    We've been following this story loosely for many months. It has long been predicted that a Chinese slowdown will hit Australia, which will end up crashing Australia's real-estate boom.

    Add your comment.


  14.    Coco Palms developers undeterred by holiday fire | West Hawaii Today

    Developers trying to rebuild an iconic Kauai resort ravaged by a hurricane are moving forward after the Coco Palms suffered another setback: a fire on Independence Day.

    Add your comment.


  15.    UPDATED: Damage cost stands at $15m in government building fire

    State officials say a fire in a Madison government building in May caused about $15 million in damage.

    Add your comment.


  16.    Tornado confirmed near Grand Rapids | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    A severe thunderstorm packing winds estimated at more than 80 m.p.h. spawned a tornado, injured at least six people and caused significant damage to homes in western Michigan, officials said Monday, and storms with tornadoes damaged some homes in Iowa.

    Add your comment.


  17.    Resident retention requires planning to avoid move outs | Property Management Minutes

    Lori Hammond:

    What are the services used by this resident at your property?
    -after school latch key programs for children?
    -evening or weekend social activities?
    -concierge service for packages delivered when the resident is away from home.
    -dry cleaning pick up or delivery
    -emergency maintenance service

    Residents may be surprised, belatedly, to learn many of the conveniences they appreciated and utilized at your apartment community are not offered at other properties.

    Add your comment.


  18.    Military families sue property managers over chemical exposure – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

    The photos show dug up dirt at construction sites right next to homes on base. The claim is the Military used a chemical called chlordane to treat termites. That chemical was banned in 1988.

    When the base started new construction, the chemicals were kicked up and the dust flew into homes and bedrooms.

    Add your comment.


  19.    Job Separation Rate Shows Economic Shifts | St. Louis Fed On the Economy

    Job quits have been relatively stable since 2000, accounting for more than half of all job separations until the Great Recession, when they fell drastically in lockstep with the decline in hiring. However, the overall separation rate did not follow the same downward spiral, as layoffs and discharges rose quickly.2 While layoffs and discharges returned to trend level by January 2010, quits have remained depressed at about 15 percent below their prerecession level.

    Add your comment.


  20.    Jobs are staying vacant longer than ever – The Washington Post

    Catherine Rampell:

    …I wrote last month, I am skeptical about the skills-mismatch explanation for why jobs are staying vacant longer. A shortage of skilled workers should lead to sharp wage growth as businesses fight over the few qualified applicants out there. We just haven't seen much evidence of that yet. Other possible explanations for foot-dragging include: uncertainty, about both public policy and the state of the economy; unrealistic employer expectations about what the kinds of qualifications workers should have vs. how much these workers deserve to be paid; and the fact that some larger companies may have gutted their H.R. departments during the recession.

    Add your comment.


  21.    Foreigners are buying US real estate at a staggering rate — and it's rising fast – Vox

    The largest source of foreign buyers by far is the not-very-exotic land of Canada. Another big one is our other neighbor, Mexico, and the rather banal United Kingdom (the Canada of Europe). And the increase in the number of foreign buyers over the past few years is entirely attributable to a surge of Chinese buyers of American real estate. Russians are a small and shrinking share of the market.

    Add your comment.


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