News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Mar. 12, 2016

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) 3 Dead, Thousands Evacuated as Historic Flooding Swamps Louisiana | The Weather Channel

2) Canadian Housing Market In 2016: The Risks Are Mounting | See It Market

3) McGrath float and sink bodes ill for Australian real estate – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

4) Brooklyn's global 'brand' is boosting real estate values – NY Daily News

5) Yonkers Officials Rounding Up Foreclosed Properties For Resale – CBS New York

6) ECB's big bazooka is back | FT World – YouTube

7) Mumbai's $1bn makeover I FT World Notebook – YouTube

8) "Airbnb profits off stolen homes": 140,000 people, peace groups call to stop rentals in illegal Israeli settlements – Salon com

9) Gov. Kate Brown holds a public signing of energy bill (Photos) | OregonLive com

10) Bay Area real estate: those underwater mortgages are drying up – San Jose Mercury News

11) Rising home prices lifting LA homeowners from being 'underwater' – LA Biz

12) Shanghai Authorities Said to Discuss Ways to Cool Property – Bloomberg Business

13) Foreign private equity investments in real estate jump 33% to $2.22 bn | The Indian Express

14) Chinese developers muscling in to Bay Area housing market – SFGate

15) Rental scam offers properties at too-good-to-be-true prices | www statesman com

16) Kennedy Wilson Fund Adds Properties in Greater Seattle Area – March 11, 2016 – Zacks com

17) Apartments planned for Home Real Estate site | Local | journalstar com

18) DIFP Weekly – Home Sharing Insurance Tips – YouTube

19) From JP Morgan to Jamie Dimon – NY Daily News

20) Labour announces 'fiscal credibility rule' – BBC News

21) John McDonnell on why Labour will make the economy work for everyone and not just the rich – John McDonnell – Mirror Online

22) The 4 Main Strategies Of Commercial Real Estate Investing | Seeking Alpha

23) How Distributed Battery Storage Will Surpass Grid-Scale Storage in the US by 2020 | Greentech Media

24) Affordable Housing Taking Shape at Sprawling Greenpoint Landing on Waterfront | Brownstoner

25) New Proposed Law in German Bundestag to Damage Economic Research. | crude data lash

26) This unbelievable image gives a frightening perspective on our energy crisis | The Canary

27) Tankless Water Heaters: When, Why, and How to Buy One | Zillow Porchlight

  1.    3 Dead, Thousands Evacuated as Historic Flooding Swamps Louisiana | The Weather Channel

    Huge flooding in multiple states:

    Three people have been killed and roughly 3,500 homes have been evacuated as widespread floods bear down on parts of the South.

    Rivers quickly rose near record flood stages and homes were submerged in what the National Weather Service in Shreveport, Louisiana, is calling a historic flash flooding event. The rainfall is expected to persist in many areas on Thursday; already, more than 16 inches of rain have fallen in the hardest-hit places.

    Here's how each state has been affected by this developing situation.

    Add your comment.


  2.    Canadian Housing Market In 2016: The Risks Are Mounting | See It Market

    From page 2:

    One risk is that mortgage rates will rise, escalating the cost of debt service. This would be negative for the economy because it would put even more pressure on our highly indebted households. …

    Our view is that housing is increasingly being purchased using a "cash flow" model whereby consumers determine the total cost of the property based on their ability to service the monthly mortgage payments, disregarding the absolute levels of debt they will take on to do so.

    Canada is vulnerable because its households are heavily indebted and its housing market is overheated. The CMHC just released its quarterly Housing Market Assessment report, which found the following among its conclusions: "Overvaluation and overbuilding are the most prevalent problematic conditions observed across the 15 centres covered by the HMA. Overvaluation is detected in 8 centres while overbuilding is detected in 7". …

    The major risk is that the economy falters and unemployment rises, leading to deterioration in the household's ability to service their monthly mortgage payments. In terms of MICs [Mortgage Investment Corporations], we remain guarded. We would not advise chasing for yield at the expense of stringent lending standards, and would favour the most transparent structures as well.

    Add your comment.


  3.    McGrath float and sink bodes ill for Australian real estate – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    … Mr Montgomery points to record Sydney home prices – which have jumped 50 per cent in just the past three years – and record dwelling construction, especially apartments, as a risky combination.

    "Wherever there's been an oversupply the prices have subsequently fallen and agents are in the firing line when property prices go down," he cautioned.

    "We see a proliferation of real estate agents and new brands emerge during a property boom and we see them all wind up and consolidate again when the market comes off.

    "And we think we're in line for a correction in property prices."

    Whether the optimists are right and McGrath is currently undervalued on the basis of unfounded property bubble fears, or the pessimists are correct and worse is to come for its share price, after building his business from a single Sydney agency to over 80 in a network across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT, who can blame McGrath for cashing in.

    However, Roger Montgomery is convinced the McGrath float is another cautionary tale of buying into IPOs when private owners are selling.

    "When a highly knowledgeable, skilled and successful real estate agent is selling down their own exposure to their business, that for us is a red flag," he concluded.

    Perhaps it should also be a red flag for those who steadfastly believe Australian property prices cannot crash.

    Add your comment.


  4.    Brooklyn's global 'brand' is boosting real estate values – NY Daily News

    Times sure have changed.

    Brooklyn has become a brand of global prominence. Until quite recently a second-class borough to Manhattan and/or a stepping stone from which one would upgrade to the suburbs, Brooklyn is now a destination in its own right and internationally known.

    So what is it that makes Brooklyn so desirable? As brokers who sell a lot of real estate in the borough, these are some of the trends we've witnessed that are driving the market.

    Add your comment.


  5.    Yonkers Officials Rounding Up Foreclosed Properties For Resale – CBS New York

    … First Brooklyn, then Hoboken, and now Yonkers.

    "The bottom line is we will no longer let tax deadbeats go," Mayor Mike Spano told CBS2's Lou Young.

    A whole range of Yonkers properties are about to go on the auction block, the city taking them for back taxes and offering them to new buyers. This is the first time that's happened in a decade.

    Add your comment.


  6.    ECB's big bazooka is back | FT World – YouTube

    Mario Draghi mentions helicopter money. Well, it's about time. Now use it.

    It's a good thing they tie more money to banks with those banks making loans. That's what I said the US should have done from the start.

    Add your comment.


  7.    Mumbai's $1bn makeover I FT World Notebook – YouTube

    This is quite an undertaking. It will be a radical change. Do you think they can maintain the close-community feeling?

    Add your comment.


  8.    "Airbnb profits off stolen homes": 140,000 people, peace groups call to stop rentals in illegal Israeli settlements – Salon.com

    More than 140,000 people from around the world have joined peace groups in calling on international housing rental giant Airbnb to stop profiting off of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

    Add your comment.


  9.    Gov. Kate Brown holds a public signing of energy bill (Photos) | OregonLive com

    The new bill requires Portland General Electric and Pacific Power to stop purchasing out-of-state coal power by 2030, and by 2040 at least 50 percent of the power must be generated from renewable sources such as wind or solar.

    Well, it's not exactly going to the Moon in less than a decade; however, it's just one state versus the US. Nevertheless, more power to Oregon (pun intended).

    Add your comment.


  10.    Bay Area real estate: those underwater mortgages are drying up – San Jose Mercury News

    Going, going, but not quite gone.

    We're talking about homeowners whose mortgages are underwater. A new report from CoreLogic, the real estate information service, shows that 6.4 percent of properties in Alameda and Contra Costa counties remained in negative equity at the end of 2015.

    But that was down from 9.3 percent a year earlier — and far removed from the end of 2009, when 36.3 percent of mortgages in those East Bay counties were in negative equity as the recession took hold and the housing market crashed.

    Looking at selected metropolitan areas, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida, had the highest percentage of underwater properties in the fourth quarter of 2015 — 22 percent.

    The San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco area had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in a positive equity position — 99.3 percent.

    Add your comment.


  11.    Rising home prices lifting L.A. homeowners from being 'underwater' – L.A. Biz

    Logically, the places that had the biggest housing booms are still suffering the most.

    The map is handy.

    Add your comment.


  12.    Shanghai Authorities Said to Discuss Ways to Cool Property – Bloomberg Business

    Possible measures weighed include tightening mortgage policies for second-home buyers who plan to purchase larger properties, the people said.

    The city's real estate market has an "irrational" mood and should be more tightly controlled with a step-up in regulation, Shanghai's most-senior official said during annual legislative meetings in Beijing last week.

    … Chinese regulators plan to bar lenders including developers, housing agencies, small-loan companies and peer-to-peer networks from offering loans for down-payments, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.
    Other options discussed at the Shanghai meeting include maintaining existing home-purchase limits, restricting the issuance of pre-sales licenses for high-end apartments, and adding to the supply of small and medium-sized properties during land-use planning, the people said.

    The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is up to.

    Add your comment.


  13.    Foreign private equity investments in real estate jump 33% to $2.22 bn | The Indian Express

    According to a report by real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, total private equity (PE) investments from foreign funds in Indian real estate increased 33 per cent, from $1.67 billion (approximately Rs 11,306 crore) in 2014 to $2.22 billion (approximately Rs 14,974 crore) in 2015.

    On the residential side, the market potential includes over 9,00,000 units that are scheduled for completion in the coming four years.

    I don't understand that number.

    Add your comment.


  14.    Chinese developers muscling in to Bay Area housing market – SFGate

    Unlike some Chinese developers, Landsea recruits its U.S. employees locally. "It has an experienced U.S. management team that understands home building in the U.S. and the culture," Frank said.

    Singpoli also runs Invest LA, an EB-5 regional center program. These programs connect U.S. developers with foreign investors, these days mainly from China. The program awards green cards to foreign investors and their families who invest at least $500,000 or $1 million (depending on the location) in a business that directly or indirectly creates or preserves 10 U.S. jobs.

    The main reason Chinese developers are increasing their activity here is for diversification ….

    How long will Xi put up with this?

    Add your comment.


  15.    Rental scam offers properties at too-good-to-be-true prices | www statesman com

    Baker said she stopped trying to rent the house when Ayehu refused to give her the keys to look inside of it until she wired a $700 deposit to a South Carolina address.

    What she almost got sucked into was a rental scam in which con artists advertise a property they don't own, then seek a deposit from househunters who will never see that money again.

    Add your comment.


  16.    Kennedy Wilson Fund Adds Properties in Greater Seattle Area – March 11, 2016 – Zacks.com

    Kennedy Wilson, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) has a global apartment portfolio that boasts 131 communities and over 25,000 units. In fact, its ownership stake in the state of Washington includes 9,566 units across 39 communities.

    Add your comment.


  17.    Apartments planned for Home Real Estate site | Local | journalstar com

    Lincoln is in the midst of a multi-year apartment boom, with the city granting more than 3,000 building permits for apartment units since the start of 2012.

    And that number doesn't even include more than 650 units that have been approved in the past six months as well as hundreds more that are in various stages of development.

    Chevalier acknowledged that though the apartment market has been strong in Lincoln for several years now, no one knows when things could slow down.

    Add your comment.


  18.    DIFP Weekly – Home Sharing Insurance Tips – YouTube

    Are you thinking about renting your apartment or a room in your home for the weekend? If you are ready to participate in the home sharing economy consider the insurance risks. Watch DIFP Weekly for home sharing insurance tips.

    Add your comment.


  19.    From J.P. Morgan to Jamie Dimon – NY Daily News

    Nomi Prins:

    Today's Big Six banks are largely combinations (with additional members thrown in the mix) of the same Big Six banks that thrived through the Panic of 1907, Crash of 1929, WWII, the Bay of Pigs, the 1990s merger mania, and the recent financial crisis of 2008.

    They now hold $9.4 trillion, or 84%, of U.S. FDIC-insured deposits, $12.5 trillion, or 85%, of all U.S. bank assets — and control 96% of all U.S., and 43% of the $693 trillion of global derivatives positions.

    For the last 100 years, their leaders have collaborated with willing Presidents to run America. Given current global financial complexity, the Big Six chairmen have more economic control than Presidents, governments or central banks. We don't elect them, but we do keep our money with them. We shoulder the cost of the risks they take.

    With so much power in the hands of an elite few, America operates more as a plutocracy on behalf of the upper caste than a democracy or a republic.

    It sure does.

    Add your comment.


  20.    Labour announces 'fiscal credibility rule' – BBC News

    John McDonnell:

    … we will only borrow for the long term, and that means for investment – investment in our infrastructure, in the homes that we need, the railways, the roads, the renewable energy.

    "And in new technology to grow our economy."

    Why in the world is John McDonnell talking about borrowing rather than debt-free money financing? For crying out loud, he's playing right into the deficit hawks hands. Where's the People's QE plan Labour was talking about before, rather than this borrowing nonsense?

    Add your comment.


  21.    John McDonnell on why Labour will make the economy work for everyone and not just the rich – John McDonnell – Mirror Online

    Here he is again.

    … now is the time for governments to increase public investment.

    At a time when borrowing is so low that people are almost paying to lend to us, he is refusing to increase public investment while we have creaking infrastructure and inequality is rising.

    Where's the helicopter money? Man oh man! He's flunking alternative media's "Econ 101." Here we are trying to generate a movement, and these guys are stuck in a rut of the banksters' making. What are they, hypnotized? What's with constantly forgetting where money comes from (hint: it ain't taxes) and can come from (directly from the treasury) and how to avoid inflation problems by increasing both supply and demand in reasonable balance by planning ahead a little?

    Disappointing.

    Add your comment.


  22.    The 4 Main Strategies Of Commercial Real Estate Investing | Seeking Alpha

    This post focuses on equity investments, or acquiring commercial real estate assets directly, which generally can be categorized as: core, core-plus, value-added, and opportunistic.

    Add your comment.


  23.    How Distributed Battery Storage Will Surpass Grid-Scale Storage in the US by 2020 | Greentech Media

    I suggest thinking ahead of how you'll handle solar-panel and battery-storage installations at your rental properties.

    It's still too early to say whether residential demand charges for solar customers imposed by Salt River Project in Arizona will boost battery storage, or whether Nevada's drastic cuts to net metering will encourage self-supply. The economic value remains minimal, and vendors haven't developed sophisticated sales strategies.

    "It takes time for companies to get into these markets, educate local installers and understand local interconnection requirements. There's always a delay and a lag. You're seeing some of that going on," said GTM Research's Manghani.

    Meanwhile, a number of states and utilities are working on policies aimed at helping distributed storage.

    Add your comment.


  24.    Affordable Housing Taking Shape at Sprawling Greenpoint Landing on Waterfront | Brownstoner

    Since last fall's update, construction has steadily moved forward at Park Tower Group's Greenpoint Landing mega-development in Greenpoint.

    Add your comment.


  25.    New Proposed Law in German Bundestag to Damage Economic Research. | crude data lash

    What is the rationale for this proposed legislation? It sound suspicious, like certain people may not want to leave behind any evidentiary trail to follow concerning criminal behavior even to the point of utterly irrational paranoia. Can you say Volkswagen-emissions fraud? They aren't the only ones.

    Add your comment.


  26.    This unbelievable image gives a frightening perspective on our energy crisis | The Canary

    Though supposedly in favour of sustainability, the Tories are clearly driven by the neoliberal ideology that puts profits before anything else. Secretary for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd admitted that radically altering our energy infrastructure is possible and would go some way to securing our future, but that rather than the government choosing to begin that transition:"

    "Government is the enabler. The market will reveal which one works and how much we need of both."

    The market evidently does no such thing.

    It is worthy of a dystopia described in a post-war novel.

    Add your comment.


  27.    Tankless Water Heaters: When, Why, and How to Buy One | Zillow Porchlight

    … you might consider upgrading to a unit with a larger capacity, or opting for a more energy-efficient tankless unit so you can shrink your monthly bills (water heating can account for up to 30 percent of the average household's energy costs).

    Add your comment.


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