Linking ≠ endorsement.
↑ One in three Americans are spending too much on rent
… big demand for rental housing and has helped push rents more than 21% higher since the housing market peaked in 2006.
Meanwhile, renters have been getting squeezed on another front: Real income — income after inflation is taken into account — has fallen some 14% over the past six years, according to Chris Herbert, the research director at Harvard’s housing studies center.
↑ Cash house sales hit high as smart money retreats | HousingWire
… as the big boys pull out, the mom and pops, the home flippers, and the remoras scramble for whatever is leftover.
Looking at these trends — investors still pushing up prices, flat wage growth, the declining pool of qualified buyers, rising affordability gap, and the fact that mortgage credit availability continues to slip — this is not going to end well, or soon.
↑ George Osborne: Bank of England can act to cool housing market | Money | theguardian.com
George Osborne has suggested he will not intervene to try to tackle a housing bubble, despite growing concern that spiralling property prices could lead to a crash.
He said responsibility to cool the housing market lay with the Bank of England, which he said should not hesitate to use its powers to ensure economic stability. He said the government should “let them make the assessment” about the housing bubble.
↑ Euro Falls The Most In Weeks After ECB President Mario Draghi Signals Easing Monetary Policy
The euro fell the most in the past seven weeks against the dollar, after the European Central Bank, or ECB, signaled that it would ease monetary policy in June.
↑ LA Times – Mortgage rates defy forecasts
Wiping some egg off their faces, economists said unforeseen factors have led worried investors to embrace the safety of high-quality bonds this year. And when demand for bonds rises, their effective interest rates fall. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, at 3% when the year began, has slipped to about 2.6%, and home lending rates have followed, as they generally do.
Fortunately, we had no such egg.
↑ Natural Gas Boom Is Attracting Manufacturing To The US From Overseas To Take Advantage Of Cheaper Fuel, Feedstock
We’ve reported on this trend before, but here are some details.
While a decade ago, American manufacturing jobs were flowing to China, this year, more than 50 percent of $1 billion-plus U.S. companies with operations in China are considering moving all or part of their production back home, according to Boston Consulting Group. For example, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) plans to move about $50 billion in manufacturing to the U.S.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, the exodus is due to high Chinese energy prices compared to America’s, escalating wages in China, lack of protection for intellectual property, air pollution and land prices.
Lower energy costs in the US have always been associated with improving the economy. The great question concerns the CO2 buildup in the atmosphere from burning carbon-based fuels, which is causing what is called the greenhouse effect (warming).
↑ Why Economists Are Finally Taking Inequality Seriously | The Fiscal Times
Inequality in the US is approaching levels that could begin to undermine economic growth, and there are those who argue we are already there. For this reason the failure to fully understand the reasons for rising inequality, and the consequences of inequality and redistribution for important economic outcomes such as economic growth, could have dire effects on the economy.
It is good to see economists finally treating these questions as serious academic research.
↑ Why did the labor force shrink so much in April? – CBS News
The main reason for the fall in labor force is a large decline in the number of new entrants rather than an increase in the number of “discouraged workers” (those who want to work but can’t find a job) exiting the labor force. Plus, the decline appears to be concentrated among younger workers who have not yet decided to begin seeking work.
↑ With Elections Nearing, Republican Senators Take On Yellen on Jobs – NYTimes.com
“We can see that going out 20, 30, 50 years without some further shifts in fiscal policy, it’s projected that the ratio of debt to G.D.P. will rise to unsustainable levels,” Ms. Yellen told the committee, referring to the country’s gross domestic product. “I would join my predecessor in saying that I do think it’s important that Congress address that issue.”
Does she want to see lower spending, higher taxes on the super-rich, or both?
↑ California real estate recovery means higher property taxes for many | Reuters
California’s recovering real estate market means higher property taxes for homeowners whose bills were reduced during the economic downturn, despite tough protections against tax hikes imposed by voters decades ago, a new report says.
↑ Bed bug infestation at Seatac apartment complex | Q13 FOX News
“I actually got bed bugs on August 14th of 2013. I found out that the two neighbors; well the neighbor down here had had them since April 2013. The ones above say they’ve had them all year and then the one above that said he had them since April 2012,” tenant Cheryl Talbert said.
Talbert says several units have been treated for a bed bug infestation, but she says unless they treat the entire building, the bed bugs will simply move from one unit to another.
The landlord is responsible for providing proper treatment, correct?
↑ Bidding Wars erupt in Seattle Area | KING5.com Seattle
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service says the housing supply, in King County, is less than half of normal and has prompted multiple bids, and conversely, prices that are well above listing prices.
↑ City Tracks Growing List of Nuisance Properties | KCRG-TV9 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa
A rental business training will unfold in Cedar Rapids on Monday.
It’s the second to last one. The trainings are part of a relatively new program called SAFE-CR, which stands for Safe and friendly Environments in Cedar Rapids.
↑ Dallas single-family home prices continue to outpace rest of nation – CultureMap Dallas
… numbers are down slightly from those reported in February 2014, when there was an 11.3 percent bump in Dallas home prices and a 12.2 increase across the country. But the March numbers were still good enough to put Dallas in the No. 7 spot nationally.
CoreLogic researchers were slightly concerned by March’s numbers and attribute the increase in home prices to an imbalance in supply and demand.
↑ Ypsilanti home prices on the rise as housing market rebounds – Ypsilanti Courier – Heritage Newspapers
“When I started three years ago, I would never write somebody an offer at the list price. We always went in lower,” Weston said. “Now on occasion we’re able to get the houses for a little bit less, but most times they’re selling pretty close to what they’re listed as, and sometimes a little bit more.”
Greg Drake, of The Drake-Jordan Team Realty Experts, agreed that a small housing inventory is a big reason that prices are going up.
↑ The Realities of Real Estate: Enjoying your waterfront home – CapitalGazette.com: Realities Real Estate
In last week’s column, we wrote about the issues and opportunities you should keep in mind when purchasing a waterfront home. Specifically, we spoke about the more practical aspects of waterfront ownership, things like the layout of a lot, the home’s relationship to the water and how government restrictions can limit what you do around the water.
In this week’s column, we’ll continue our examination of waterfront by addressing the more personal aspects of that lifestyle. Namely, we’ll give you some ideas of what to look for in a waterfront house to ensure it will meet your expectations and help deliver the quality of life you want to achieve.
The two articles together provide a great deal of food for thought concerning waterfront properties. There’s plenty more that wasn’t covered, so do your homework.
↑ Housing market sizzling in Plano – Star Local: News
While Roddy believes the foreclosure numbers will soon stabilize, he said the lack of supply in the housing market makes now a good time for real estate investors to purchase foreclosed properties, fix them up and put them back on the market.
“You have the best of both worlds right now,” he said. “There is a hot real estate market and plenty of foreclosed properties to purchase. You have a demand from buyers right now that sellers are not able to meet.”
↑ Severe Water Crises in Arizona town near Grand Canyon | Techsonia
Residents of Williams will be fined for washing their cars and watering their lawn. Businesses are transporting water from other regions for swimming pools.
↑ Sriracha Maker Says Factory Will Remain In California | WUTC
… Tran has decided to stay in his Irwindale factory. He’s lived in California for more than 30 years, and he says he’s not planning to move.
But he might open another site, outside Southern California.
↑ Piketty’s Wealth Tax Isn’t a Joke – Bloomberg View
I’ve complained about Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” and I still think it’s been vastly overpraised, but I don’t go along with every criticism others have made. As a matter of fact, I think one idea that’s been roundly dismissed by fans and critics alike deserves to be taken more seriously: the proposal for a global wealth tax.
Plutocrats are mobile and can live and work where they please. They can hire teams of lawyers to advise them on domicile, residence, citizenship and any of a thousand factors that will affect their tax liabilities. Co-operation among tax authorities in closi ng loopholes is therefore necessary. But it’s happening, and is likely to go further.
Piketty’s nightmare of rule by oligarchs rests partly on his assumption that international tax competition will drive capital taxes to zero. In fact, greater co-operation among governments is already helping to ensure that the very rich pay their taxes. Combine this with reform at the national level to recapture unrealized capital gains for tax purposes and you could tax global wealth without ever needing a “global wealth tax.”
↑ Mortgage Rates : How Soon Until 30-Year Fixed Falls Below 4%?
As the U.S. economy moves forward past last decade’s recession, jobs growth continues to lag and there’s a dearth of solid evidence that the recovery is on solid ground. This has helped to keep mortgage bonds in demand, which helps to move mortgage rates lower.
In addition, inflation rates are low.
Inflation erodes the value of dollar-denominated assets, a class which includes mortgage-backed bonds. When inflation rates rise, then, demand for mortgage bonds sink which causes prices to drop and rates to move higher.
In the absence of inflation, the opposite occurs; demand for bonds increases and mortgage rates sink. Today’s inflation rates are well below what the Fed has deemed “optimal”. This is helping to hold rates down, too.
… investors seek “safe” assets during periods of uncertainty and mortgage-backed bonds are among the safest of all assets.
It’s a trading pattern known as Flight-to-Quality.
↑ Texas panhandle wildfire 75% contained – CNN.com
A Texas panhandle wildfire that destroyed 100 homes and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate is 75 % contained, authorities said Monday.
↑ Video: Farming on a Rooftop
In New York City, farming on a rooftop is not just an idea. Brooklyn Grange farms more than two and a half acres of rooftops in Brooklyn and Queens, and then sells what it produces to New Yorkers. A special soil mixture is used to minimize weight on the roofs and allow rapid drainage during heavy downpours. The farmed rooftops also house chickens and an apiary.
Click to learn more about cities’ growing rooftop-farming movement. By 2050 we’ll need to feed two billion more people. Click here for a special eight-month series exploring how we can do that—without overwhelming the planet.
We like it.
↑ Already in the Lowflation Trap – NYTimes.com
As inflation falls, real interest rates will rise, tending to depress the economy further. Also, debtors will find their debt growing because inflation isn’t as high as they expected, so that you have a debt-deflation cycle even if you don’t yet have deflation.
↑ 0094 Upgrades Vs Home Improvements In That Low Income Rental – YouTube
This is part 2 of the series, “I’m not going to live there so I’m not going to pay for ______.” From biggerpockets. View original article here:https://www.biggerpockets.com/renew sbl…
As new investors, especially in low income neighborhoods there is a mindset that some people suffer from called the “I’m not going to live here” mindset.
There can be times when it comes to spending money on a renovation, where this is a perfectly valid mindset but many times it can lead new investors to giving a subpar renovation, thus attracting subpar tenants.
Related: Have Some Pride in Your Low Income Rentals!
Part 2 of the series focuses on some strategic times when this mindset can do more harm than good when it comes to capital repairs and how resetting your mindset to view every expenditure through defraying long term maintenance costs and protecting your asset, should be the ultimate determining factor for what to spend your money on for renovations, especially for buy and hold investors.
↑ Venture Capital: Transaction Blocked (E40) – YouTube
Russia wants to create its own credit card payment network as it examines the country’s vulnerability to the US payment system in the wake of sanctions. Visa and MasterCard temporarily blocked transactions at several Russian banks, but can a Russian replacement really work?
↑ Breakingviews: Wrong time for ‘Abbot-sterity’ in Australia – YouTube
Australians are bracing for the toughest government budget in decades, but too much austerity could add to the woes associated with the end of a mining boom, says Breakingviews’ Andy Mukherjee.
↑ Inside the Most Expensive Home For Sale in America – YouTube
The legendary Beverly House is currently the most expensive house listed for sale in the United States, priced at $135 million. The Mediterranean mansion was built by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies. It is a star in its own right, hosting JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy for their honeymoon and appearing in the films “The Godfather” and “The Bodyguard.”
It sounds like a hotel, doesn’t it?
↑ Court: Sewage spill mess not city’s problem – seattlepi.com
… Dunn missed a deadline to file a negligence claim against the city. Instead, Dunn pursued a claim that says the city effectively took her property, and she deserves money for it.
To prove that, Dunn had to show that the August 2005 sewage damage was a natural consequence of the city of Milwaukie’s high-pressure cleaning of its sewer systems.
Cities can “take” property for the purposes of eminent domain. To build a highway, for instance, it can judge that an owner’s property is needed, and compensate the owner for the property it took.
“The United States Supreme Court has recognized that there is a nearly infinite variety of ways that government action or regulation can affect property interests,” Justice Virginia Linder wrote in the decision. “Because of that, no ‘magic formula’ has been identified to enable federal courts to determine, in every variety of case, whether a given interference with property is a taking.”
At least two morals of the story: 1) Don’t miss the deadline (statute of limitations) to file a negligence claim and 2) understand your policy concerning “sewer backup” (typically by endorsement) and that different jurisdictions (courts, etc.) interpret policy language differently.
↑ Twister fears rouse interest in shelters and safe rooms in Oklahoma, but waiting list is long | Fox News
“I think this tornado scared a lot of mothers,” she said. “There were two little boys lost in the Vilonia storm, so I think a lot of mothers are saying, ‘Forget those granite counter tops or sunroom, let’s put in a shelter.'”
↑ Bismarck home damaged in fire
The fire remains under investigation, though the fire department believes it was accidental and may have originated in a compost bin against the outside wall.
↑ Stokes: “Too Soon” To Determine Fault In Cha | WBAL Radio 1090 AM
Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes, who represents Charles Village tells WBAL News that it is too soon to say who is at fault for the wall and street collapse on 26th Street that occurred eleven days ago.
Stokes says the residents 19 homes that were evacuated will remain out of their homes for at least another month.
↑ Businesses incur losses after chemical spill – Washington Times
Across the area, it was hit or miss whether policies would cover interruption of business losses from the spill, said Matthew Ballard, president/CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance, a local chamber of commerce.
Without seeing the policies, we can’t render an opinion. Some businesses may not have been carrying business-interruption insurance (business income and extra expense).
↑ Africa’s Climate Change ‘Hotspots’ Revealed in New Study : Environment : Nature World News
Parts of Sudan and Ethiopia, the Central African nations surrounding Lake Victoria and the continent’s southwest, including parts of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are considered climate change overlap hotspots Müller and his team report.
“These regions are the ones in sub-Saharan Africa where, by the end of the century, a combination of high likelihood and possibly severe climate change impacts hits territories with relatively high population and high poverty rates,” the authors said in a statement.
↑ Nearly 50 Percent Crops in RR District Damaged – The New Indian Express
The heavy rains in the last few days have damaged more than 50 per cent of the agricultural and horticultural crops in Ranga Reddy district [India].
↑ Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt – NYTimes.com
… the melting from both Greenland and Antarctica is expected to be far more important in the future. A United Nations scientific committee, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has warned that the global sea level could rise as much as three feet by the end of this century if stronger efforts are not made to control greenhouse gases. The new findings suggest the situation is likely to get far worse in subsequent centuries.
The effects will depend in part on how much money future governments spend to protect shorelines from a rising sea. Research published in 2012 found that a rise of less than four feet would inundate land on which some 3.7 million Americans live today. Miami, New Orleans, New York and Boston are all highly vulnerable.
↑ San Diego Affordable Housing Company Honored For Solar Power Efforts | KPBS
“Solar panels on a San Diego affordable housing development”:
“When people are spending a more reasonable amount on their rent and their utilities, they have more money to spend at your local store,” Wilson said. “It broadens the money that goes out into the economy.”
↑ PC [Panama City, Florida] may halt state and fed funding for low income housing
City commissioners will be considering a moratorium on projects funded by state and federal programs in certain parts of the city which fall under the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) classification of “qualified census tracts” (QCT) during their meeting Tuesday. HUD designates QCTs for purposes of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. However, some officials are concerned the moratorium could exclude the city from potentially receiving as much as $30 million of federal money this year.
↑ Impact of Leverage on Commercial Real Estate Returns – YouTube
Watch quantitatively how the use of leverage can effect real estate returns negatively or positively
Too bad it’s a one-channel (sound) video.
You might ask after watching the video why big institutional investors pay all cash for residential properties. They’re typically publicly traded and use their stock revenues and other low- or no-cost financing means. Why not lever up anyway? Well, they pay all cash to get faster and better purchases too. They can close very quickly, and sellers like the streamlining that all cash represents.
↑ State takes action against mortgage consultants – chicagotribune.com
The state is taking action against several individuals, licensed and unlicensed, that it has charged with wrongly offering home loans or mortgage modification services to at least 10 Chicago-area consumers last fall.
↑ Idea of Rehabbing Properties — CreativeSuccessAlliance.com
Among the reasons to be in real estate, quick cash is one of the most attractive upsides, especially for new investors looking to get started in a new business/career. When investors think of what it means to invest in real estate, there are two common things that come to mind. One is the holding of rental properties. The other is fixing up rundown properties and selling them for a profit.
I’ll be discussing the idea of holding properties, particularly apartments in later articles and also cover this extensively in my training programs. I’d like to briefly discuss the idea of rehabbing properties and how this fits into your model for generating quick cash in real estate.
↑ How Long Does it Take to Fix and Flip a Home? | Invest Four More
It takes a lot of experience and hard work to fix and flip a home. The time it takes to complete a flip catches many people off guard and it must be accounted for in the holding costs.
There are ways to decrease the time it takes to flip a home, but many things that cannot be controlled can greatly increase that time. Do your best to fix and flip a home quickly , but be ready if you have to hold onto the property.
↑ EconoMonitor – Is the Bull Market in Housing a Bubble?
Measured by the recent price-to-income ratio (a measure of affordability) relative to its long-run average, Belgium leads the way in “over-valuation,” according to the OECD. For the price-to-rent ratio (a measure of the profitability of owning a house), Norway’s at the top of the list.
↑ [Highly recommended] The Myth of the Great Moderation: Keynes vs Greenspan – YouTube
L. Randall Wray said this is “About as good as it gets.” We agree. Wray further said:
Haiku Charlatan has done it again with another excellent video that contrasts Greenspan’s era of the “great moderation” against the “Keynesian” golden age of capitalism. Yes, you can quibble about exactly how “Keynesian” that period from WWII until 1970 really was. I was there, and there was a lot wrong with our economy and our society. But you cannot quibble about the destruction of our society and economy at the hands of the NeoLibs, NeoCons, and Regressives—the period since the early 1970s has been an unmitigated disaster for most Americans.
Enjoy, and if you’ve been a libertarian rather than a mixed-economy capitalist, consider the real facts/stats shown in the video. Let us know what you think in either case.
↑ Home prices climb in fewer U.S. cities as housing demand cools | The Detroit News
Prices for single-family homes climbed in 74 percent of U.S. cities — including Metro Detroit — in the first quarter, fewer than a year earlier, as the nation’s housing rebound cools.
The median transaction price rose from a year earlier in 125 of 170 metropolitan areas measured, the National Association of Realtors said in a report Monday. In the first quarter of 2013, 89 percent of markets showed year-over-year gains.
↑ China c.bank tells banks to quicken mortgage lending-sources | Reuters
This is rather fickle, isn’t it?
China’s central bank has asked commercial banks to quicken the pace of extending home mortgages and to set mortgage rates at reasonable levels, four sources told Reuters on Tuesday, underlining efforts to support the cooling property market.
↑ Foreclosures May Raise Neighbors’ Blood Pressure
A new study has found that people who live within 100 meters (about 300 feet) of a foreclosed home tend to have slightly higher blood pressure than other people in the neighborhood. And each additional foreclosed property located in the 100-meter radius appeared to create extra increases in blood pressure, the researchers found.
… Daviglus noted that the study does not prove a direct cause and effect link between foreclosures and blood pressure. “When you find an association, you report it and you try to make sense of why this could be happening,” she said.
General economic deterioration.
↑ [Highly recommended] TED Talk: William Black: How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is) – YouTube
William Black is a former bank regulator who’s seen firsthand how banking systems can be used to commit fraud — and how “liar’s loans” and other tricky tactics led to the 2008 US banking crisis that threatened the international economy. In this engaging talk, Black, now an academic, reveals the best way to rob a bank — from the inside.