News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Sept. 16, 2014

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Family Supply List | Ready gov

2) Fact: The World still fears fiscal crises (and much else) | Silvia Merler at Bruegel org

3) CoStar: Trends in aging, health care boost interest in medical office properties – The Washington Post

4) Study: Home prices may suffer in areas near offenders

5) ekathimerini com | US real estate companies flock to Greece

6) IMF debt deal would represent another humiliation for Ireland at hands of EU – Independent ie

7) How can central bankers avoid another financial crisis? – Forum:Blog Forum:Blog | The World Economic Forum

8) Almost Half of Rich Chinese Consider Move, Barclays Says – Bloomberg

9) Is China's property market still in growth territory?

10) Pessimism about US growth rates | Econbrowser

11) Canadians' Real-Estate Exuberance May Be Fading – Bloomberg

12) Home prices up, blame it on Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary | Financial Post

13) 11 wildfires in California force thousands to evacuate

14) Millennials start leaving Mom and Dad's nest

15) US Poverty Rate is Still 14.5%; But Yes, The War On Poverty Worked

16) Poverty rate drops for the first time since 2006 | Politics | The Seattle Times

17) Virginia Sues 13 Banks for $1.15 Billion Alleging Fraud – Businessweek

18) Real Estate Agent Finds Squatters in For Sale Home | FOX40

19) Real estate agents can dig up the inside skinny on properties using new service | Inman News

20) The People's Corporations by Lucy P. Marcus – Project Syndicate

21) Austerity comes to Australia: lessons from the eurozone – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

22) Australia central bank warns of housing bubble

23) Report: Credit card debt nearing "tipping point" | HousingWire

24) When it comes to a China growth slowdown, bad news is actually good news – Quartz

25) The Return of the Currency Wars | Brookings Institution

  1.    Family Supply List | Ready.gov

    Family Supply List

    Emergency Supplies:
    Water, food, and clean air are important things to have if an emergency happens. Each family or individual's kit should be customized to meet specific needs, such as medications and infant formula. It should also be customized to include important family documents.

    Add your comment.


  2.    Fact: The World still fears fiscal crises (and much else) | Silvia Merler at Bruegel.org

    Last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) published its Global Risk Report for 2014/15. The report is an exercise conducted by the WEF since 2006, but this year's issue is particularly interesting because it adopts an historical perspective, offering very interesting insights on how the world has changed in respondents' eyes and concerns.

    • Economic Risks include fiscal and liquidity crises, failure of a major financial mechanism or institution, oil-price shocks, chronic unemployment and failure of physical infrastructure on which economic activity depends.
    • Environmental Risks encompass both natural disasters and man-made risks such as collapsing ecosystems, freshwater shortages, nuclear accidents and failure to mitigate or adapt to climate change.
    • Geopolitical Risks cover politics, diplomacy, conflict, crime and global governance. These risks range from terrorism, disputes over resources and war to governance being undermined by corruption, organized crime and illicit trade.
    • Societal Risks are intended to capture risks related to social stability — such as severe income disparities, food crises and dysfunctional cities — and public health, such as pandemics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the rising burden of chronic disease.
    • Technological Risks covers major risks related to the centrality of information and communication technologies to individuals, businesses and governments (such as cyber attacks, infrastructure disruptions and data loss).

    Add your comment.


  3.    CoStar: Trends in aging, health care boost interest in medical office properties – The Washington Post

    After mostly flying under the radar of major real estate investors, medical office property in the Washington area is starting to attract heightened investor interest.

    Add your comment.


  4.    Study: Home prices may suffer in areas near offenders

    The legal limits on where convicted sex offenders can live have created an unintended financial consequence for McLean County property owners who may have a person considered an outcast by society living next door.

    The selling price for homes sold within close proximity of where a registered sex offender lives were predicted to be $6,586 lower than sold homes in areas without offenders nearby, according to a study by John Navarro, an Illinois State University criminal justice sciences student who examined the issue for his graduate thesis.

    Add your comment.


  5.    ekathimerini.com | US real estate companies flock to Greece

    The entry of Hines, which is said to be looking at investing up to 500 million euros in Greece if the right opportunities arise, comes after the arrival of such major investors as York Capital, Oaktree Capital Management, Colony Capital and Third Point, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, Israel's Invel Real Estate as well as Arab groups like Jermyn Street and state funds from the Persian Gulf.

    Add your comment.


  6.    IMF debt deal would represent another humiliation for Ireland at hands of EU – Independent.ie

    Colette Brown:

    According to Eurostat, Ireland, which comprises less than 1 per cent of Europe's population, shouldered 43 per cent of the net cost of the banking crisis across all 27 EU member states – €41bn out of €96.2bn.

    As a percentage of GDP, that figure amounts to a staggering 25.8 per cent for Ireland. To put that into perspective, the next highest percentage is 3.3 per cent for Latvia.

    It means that the cost of the bank bailout was €8,956 for every man, woman and child in Ireland, compared to an EU average of €191.

    It gets worse. The €41bn figure cited by Eurostat doesn't take into account the €20.7bn from the National Pension Reserve Fund that was used to bail out banks, because that figure wasn't added to the national debt.

    In total, about €64bn was shovelled into the bloated corpses of Irish banks, around 40 per cent of GDP.

    The figures are so scarifying that they prompted one TD, during a debate on the terms of the bailout in December 2010, to thunder: "What legal or moral compulsion is on Ireland to honour in full debt incurred by Irish banks when there was no State involvement?

    Exactly.

    Add your comment.


  7.    How can central bankers avoid another financial crisis? – Forum:Blog Forum:Blog | The World Economic Forum

    Rather complicated: Avinash Persaud:

    Monetary policy is particularly ineffective at these times. When house prices are expected to rise by 20% per annum, the level of interest rates required to choke off a housing boom would decimate the rest of the economy. And when John Maynard Keynes' "animal spirits" are low, even zero interest rates are as ineffective as pushing on a string. What is required is a macro-prudential regulatory policy that acts against these collective, self-reinforcing errors in estimating risk — in essence, counter-cyclically. Less ambitiously, limiting the scale of the boom and the ensuing crash would be worth striving for, perhaps with something akin to speed bumps.

    Add your comment.


  8.    Almost Half of Rich Chinese Consider Move, Barclays Says – Bloomberg

    Almost half of China's wealthy are considering relocating to a developed market within the next five years to find better education and job opportunities for their children, according to a report by Barclays Plc.

    North America and Europe may see the greatest influx of wealthy individuals….

    Add your comment.


  9.    Is China's property market still in growth territory?

    Nicholas Holt, Asia Pacific Head of Research at Knight Frank, says prices over the next few months will be in focus as the removal of home purchase restrictions take effect.

    Add your comment.


  10.    Pessimism about U.S. growth rates | Econbrowser

    Forecasters universally predict that actual real GDP growth will increase from the 2.1 percent average of the past five years to between 3.0 and 3.5 percent per year over the next two to three years. For output to grow at that rate without a decline in the unemployment rate to four or even three percent would require some combination of a much slower rate of decline in the labor-force participation rate or even a reversal toward an increasing LFPR, as well as a revival of labor productivity growth well above the 1.2 percent average growth rate of the past decade, not to mention the 0.6 percent average over the past four years.

    Add your comment.


  11.    Canadians' Real-Estate Exuberance May Be Fading – Bloomberg

    Canadians' exuberance about the housing market may be coming back to earth, survey data show.

    The share of Canadians who predict home prices will rise over the next six months fell to 38 percent last week, the lowest since April. The survey is part of polling for the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, which declined to 58.8, from the prior reading of 59.1, the lowest in five weeks.

    Add your comment.


  12.    Home prices up, blame it on Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary | Financial Post

    The Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday the average sale price of a home in August reached $398,618, a 5.3% increase from a year ago.

    "Although activity rose in fewer than half of local housing markets in August, the national tally was fuelled by monthly increases in Greater Vancouver, Calgary and Greater Toronto," the Ottawa based group said in a release.

    Add your comment.


  13.    11 wildfires in California force thousands to evacuate

    Thousands of Californians have been forced to flee wildfires burning across the state, including one near Yosemite National Park that has destroyed at least 21 structures, authorities said.

    Firefighters are battling at least 11 major fires in the Golden State, where hot, dry weather has exacerbated conditions caused by a record drought. In addition to destroying homes and forests, the wildfires have been spewing unhealthy smoke into the air, prompting air-quality alerts in portions of the state sweltering under high temperatures and low humidity.

    Add your comment.


  14.    Millennials start leaving Mom and Dad's nest

    …migration from the basement. How big is it? Millennials will spend $1.6 trillion on home purchases and $600 billion on rent over the next five years, more per person than any other generation with more of them opting for more affordable rents versus paying the big price tags to buy homes, according to a new report from The Demand Institute, a non-profit think tank operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. Millennials will form just over eight million new households, albeit most of them rental households.

    Add your comment.


  15.    US Poverty Rate is Still 14.5%; But Yes, The War On Poverty Worked

    We could give everyone twice what they get now, five times what they get now, and the number living in poverty woudn't change by one single person or family.

    We need some new categories.

    Add your comment.


  16.    Poverty rate drops for the first time since 2006 | Politics | The Seattle Times

    The U.S. Census Bureau, in its annual look at poverty in the United States, said that the poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent, down from 15 percent in 2012. The decrease in the poverty rate was attributed to the growth in year-round employment by 2.8 million jobs in the United States, government officials said.

    The official poverty level is based on a government calculation that includes only income before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth, such as home ownership. As a result, the rate takes into account the effects of some government benefits, such as unemployment compensation. It does not factor in noncash government aid such as tax credits and food stamps.

    Add your comment.


  17.    Virginia Sues 13 Banks for $1.15 Billion Alleging Fraud – Businessweek

    Citigroup Inc. (C:US), Morgan Stanley (MS:US) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) are among 13 banks whose units were sued for $1.15 billion by the state of Virginia, over claims they misled its retirement system about the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.

    Distortions included understating the number of loans with high loan-to-value ratios, and misrepresenting owner occupancy rates and the percentage of homes with second mortgages….

    Add your comment.


  18.    Real Estate Agent Finds Squatters in For Sale Home | FOX40

    Be careful.

    Deputies found four people asleep in the home. They claimed they were homeless and needed a place to stay. But deputies also found burglary tools, gloves, masks and two-way radios in the house. They also found meth, heroin and a scale.

    Fortunately, they didn't find any weapons.

    There are services for such people. They don't have to turn to such alleged crime.

    Add your comment.


  19.    Real estate agents can dig up the inside skinny on properties using new service | Inman News

    Caution is reportedly merited.

    Revaluate rated my former apartment building a dismal 41 out of 100.

    I liked living there, and didn't notice the alleged rat infestations, unreliable utilities, conflicts between management and tenants, and the potential need for plumbing, boiler and building maintenance, cited by Revaluate as justification for its score.

    Add your comment.


  20.    The People's Corporations by Lucy P. Marcus – Project Syndicate

    Lucy P. Marcus:

    …people now have the means and opportunities to ensure that companies' behavior does not go unchecked. They are becoming more educated and aware of how companies operate, and they are more proactive and outspoken when they believe a company has crossed the line. The public increasingly acts as the conscience of companies and industries, asking hard questions and holding them to account.

    In the past several years, more effective means of collective action — such as social media, open publishing platforms, and online video sharing — have given people more levers to pull. As people pursue boycotts and disinvestment, lobby for legislation, and activate social-media campaigns with growing sophistication, they are increasingly able to influence companies' operational and strategic decision-making, thereby imposing checks and balances on today's enormous accretions of private power.

    Corporate leaders who embrace this new reality, view it as an opportunity, and resist the inclination to "manage" or avoid issues will have a competitive advantage. They will not regard meeting people where they are as a way to manipulate them, but as an opportunity to hear what they are saying. Their first impulse will not be to figure out how to use modern means of direct communication to persuade customers, employees, and other stakeholders to think and do the things that they want them to think and do. Instead, they will make real changes — and they will be better off for it.

    We believe it's more a two-way street. Businesses use, and will continue to use, social and other media to influence individuals and the masses, though we like Lucy's optimism about checking corporate wrongdoing and so forth.

    There are businesses actually doing good work and do, and should, spread the word.

    Add your comment.


  21.    Austerity comes to Australia: lessons from the eurozone – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    Hard-hitting: Yanis Varoufakis:

    London has already discovered, the hard way, that trying to reduce public debt through austerity is a bit of a boomerang. Canberra is in for a similar lesson unless China and the world economy take off in a manner that would surprise us all.

    The only hope left is that Canberra's policy makers will prove faster learners than their British and European counterparts, who negligently waited for four long, lost years before quietly ditching austerity.

    …austerity was never about tackling public debt. It was not even a political campaign to end the 'culture of entitlement'. In the UK, in the eurozone, and now in Australia, austerity is, and always was, a thinly disguised campaign of invoking fiscal prudence and public virtues in order to indulge private vices and redistribute entitlements at the expense of the majority.

    Add your comment.


  22.    Australia central bank warns of housing bubble

    Australia's central bank warned of speculative demand in the country's real estate sector, triggered by record low interest rates, signaling that further monetary policy easing is unlikely in the near term.

    Add your comment.


  23.    Report: Credit card debt nearing "tipping point" | HousingWire

    The average household credit card balance increased by $174 during the second quarter of 2014, now up to $6,802, according to a recent study by CardHub.

    And this is expected to easily surpass the $7,000 mark during 2014, officially reaching levels not witnessed since the end of 2010.

    "Assuming the above projection holds true, by the end of 2014 U.S. consumers will be roughly $1,300 away from the credit card debt tipping point, where minimum payments become unsustainable and delinquencies skyrocket," CardHub said.

    Add your comment.


  24.    When it comes to a China growth slowdown, bad news is actually good news – Quartz

    Drowning in debt, hundreds of thousands of Chinese companies now depend on a steady flow of new loans to pay interest on old ones. That's why each shadow-banking crackdown makes the economy slow sharply

    Add your comment.


  25.    The Return of the Currency Wars | Brookings Institution

    David Wessel:

    When a country's economy grows too slowly, the standard short-term remedies are to increase government spending, cut taxes or reduce interest rates. When none of those options is available, governments often resort to pushing down their currencies to make their exports more attractive to foreigners (and, these days, to push up import prices and thus bring inflation back up to desired levels).

    When the world economy is sputtering, and every big country increases spending, cuts taxes and reduces interest rates, the global economy benefits from the increase in demand. That's the story of 2009.

    But when individual countries lean heavily on pushing their currencies down, that tends to shift demand from one place to another rather than increasing the total. That is a "currency war."

    Add your comment.


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