The Fed, Communes and Barges

Redefy Real Estate housing news 092616 barge by BIG
An Urban Rigger barge complex. Image: Urban Bjarke Ingels Group

Redefy housing news 9-26-2016

This week in housing news you can use, the Fed wrestles with rates, millennials find value in co-housing, and barges may solve some housing shortages.

Feds disagree about rates

Yet again, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged – this time with some definite debate about timing. After a vote of 7 to 3, the Fed board agreed to follow its leader, Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who was optimistic about the economy yet confident in holding back rates. “We’re generally pleased with how the economy is doing,” she said at a recent press conference. “The economy has a little more room to run than might have previously been thought. That’s good news.”

Redefy Real Estate. For the Important Things (not real estate commissions)

Other board members believe the central bank should act faster to move borrowing costs back to normal. So for now, enjoy the low rates and buy while they’re low. It’s only a matter of time before the Fed votes in favor of an increase. Likely, there will be no decisions until after the election. That decision to wait has brought about criticism to the Fed regarding partisanism, reports the New York Times.

More millennials go communal

Redefy Real Estate housing news 092616 synchronicity LA
Privacy vs. cost of living: is co-housing a viable solution? Image: Synchronicity LA

Citing limited affordable housing options, low starting salaries and the cost of childcare, The Atlantic tracks a growing trend with millennials: co-housing. Co-housing, or communal living, isn’t a new concept. It goes back to man’s early history where multi-generational housing was a way of life. In the absence of family members nearby, a growing number of young families are getting creative to recreate this structure. Housing projects such as Synchronicity LA are cropping up around the country.

The nation’s hottest zip codes

Redefy Real Estate housing news feds 092616 hottest zip codes by NAR
Click on the image for more information on these areas. Source: NAR/

The search for affordable housing in economically growing areas has propelled some second-tier markets into front-running hot spots for home buyers, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Some markets see improving inventory

Redefy Real Estate housing news feds 092616 ft myers house free image courtesy E Fetzer
Fort Myers, Florida boasts miles of canals, with many homes that have pools and private docks. The median sales price is $201,000 (Trulia).

A USA Today report based on a Trulia study revealed that 21 of the 100 largest housing markets saw a rise in inventory in the third quarter. Six metro areas saw increases over 20 percent from last year: Fort Myers, Fla.; Miami; Las Vegas, Nevada; Fresno, Calif.; Sarasota, Fla; and Oklahoma City.

The National Association of Realtors reported that home inventories nationally fell 10.1 percent in August; however, those numbers don’t reflect new construction which accounts for 10 percent of total available housing.

“My belief is this is the start of a turnaround in inventory in the U.S.,” Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin told USA Today. McLaughlin said it could take six months to a year before a shift is evident in a significant part of the country.

Denmark designers create solution for affordable housing problem

Redefy Real Estate housing news feds 092616 urban rigger
Image: Urban Rigger

Urban Rigger, a design firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark believes it has the answer to the affordable housing problem: floating barge-based communities made from shipping containers.

Due to the high price of land in Copenhagen, the company’s housing development took to the water. Partnering with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the barges are comprised of six residences. Stacked and arranged with a central common area, the units will rent for $600 per month. In classic Scandinavian fashion, the units are minimalist but bright. Fortune says they’re starting with governments and universities, but if successful could expand to the private sector for rent or purchase.

The best of the worst get famous

Redefy Real Estate feds 092616 Terrible RE Agent Photos

While shopping for a home, Scottish buyer Andy Donaldson kept finding incredibly bad listing photos. Some were so bad, they were downright funny. So he started a blog called Terrible Real Agent Photographs with his own quirky captions of poor quality, strange and sometimes creepy pics. The blog went viral and he even got a book deal out of it. Got a bad or funny pic? Don’t put it on your listing – submit it to the blog for a few laughs.

When you list with Redefy Real Estate, you’ll save thousands with #flatfeefullservice and you’ll get great pics, too!

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