Redefy Housing News 11-21-2016
This week in housing news you can use, homeless veterans get help, new home starts rise, Chinese buyers scoop up U.S. properties, the best and worst markets are ranked, and typos make for interesting listings.
U.S. housing starts surged to 9-year high
Groundbreaking on new homes in October jumped 25.5 percent to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 1.32 million units, according to the Commerce Department. It’s the highest level since August 2007. Single-family building jumped 10.7 percent to 869,000 units. Permits for future construction went up .3 percent overall, with a 2.7 percent rise for single-family homes.
Source: Reuters via CNBC
Healthiest coastal cities in America
The healthiest coastal cities in America were selected based on Money magazine’s latest Best Places to Live in 2016 ranking. The cities were chosen based on rates of chronic illness (plus common problems such as heart disease and obesity), numbers of docs and hospitals, percentage of individuals with health insurance, and a poll of those who “felt healthy”. The winners, according to Coastal Living, are:
- Ko’olau Poko, Oahu, HI, median sales price $1.22M;
- Greeenwich, CT, median sales price $1.7M;
- Quincy, MA, median sales price $397,600;
- San Rafael, CA, median sales price $822,500; and
- Augustine, FL, median sales price $218,100.
Unique housing project could solve vet homelessness
More than 48,000 veterans in the U.S. are homeless; the majority are over 55. Two Massachusetts companies decided to help vets in their area, with several projects they hope will be a catalyst for change across the country. Peabody Properties and Windover Construction built two communities on VA land through the Enhanced-Use Lease (EUL) program by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
The goal is to create affordable, long-term housing communities with onsite amenities that cater to veterans’ needs, including onsite case managers and being next to a VA facility. The success of the two projects, Valley Brook Village and Bedford Green, has become the VA’s blueprint for other cities to hopefully solve veteran homelessness.
The 5 best and worst U.S. real estate markets
The PwC and the Urban Land Institute’s annual Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report ranked cities based on economic data, survey responses and interviews with industry leaders. The best U.S. real estate markets were hailed for a combination of economic factors, employment and relative affordability:
- Austin, TX, median home value $305,600;
- Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX, median home value $153,900;
- Portland, OR, median home value $394,900;
- Seattle, WA, median home value $594,600; and
- Los Angeles, CA, median home value $590,400.
The worst U.S. real estate markets were cited mostly for poor economic growth and unemployment factors compared to home prices (not whether the home prices are increasing):
- Buffalo, NY;
- Hartford, CT;
- Deltona/Daytona Beach, FL;
- Providence, RI;
- Virginia Beach/Norfolk, VA.
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Chinese investors buying US properties at record pace
Chinese investors bought $15 billion in overseas real estate in the first half of 2016 – that’s more than they spent in all of 2015. Much of their buying shifted to U.S. cities such as Orlando, Seattle and Houston after Hong Kong and other non-U.S. cities imposed a 30 percent tax on foreign property owners. London-based CBRE economist Richard Barkham said similar tax measures could be adopted in the U.S. under the Trump administration.
Source: Business Insider
Listing typos make for good bloopers
Canadian agent Peggy Blair enjoys scouring the listings for amusing typos. Her latest installment included some confusing wording that probably didn’t help the properties for sale. Here are a few highlights (lowlights?):
- “This home has undergone a recent sympathetic renovation.” Perhaps the homeowner apologized to the house for altering its original look.
- “Freshly pained spacious brick bungalow.” Ouch, that remodel hurt.
- “The whole home is fleshly painted.” Not sure what constitutes flesh color, but apparently the painters had an idea.
- “This home is wheelchair friendly, in 2008.” Know someone who needed access eight years ago?
- “Main bath also tastefully renovated with heated floors, just another quirk!” Apparently, good taste is an oddity in these parts.
Source: Real Estate Magazine
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