Tight inventory meant existing-home sales were down slightly in March, but prices were up, according to the National Association of Realtors(R). Data released Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 showed that the median sales price of existing-homes across all housing types was $184,000 in March. This represents an 11.8 percent increase over the same period last year.
Lack of inventory has been increasingly an issue affecting home sales in recent months, but is creating favorable conditions for sellers, many of whom have been waiting years to sell due to rocky conditions in the real estate market.
Today’s home shoppers should be prepared to move quickly when they find a property they are interested in, make a strong offer (including a pre-approval letter from a mortgage company,) and may need to make offers on multiple homes before one is ultimately accepted.
Forbes released their 2013 Forbes China Philanthropy List on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, and leading the pack of generous donors was real estate developer Hui Ka Yan of Evergrande Real Estate based in Hong Kong.
This is Hui’s second consecutive year in the number one position on this list. In 2012 he gave $68 million to charities.
A recent report from Bloomberg.com reveals that construction appears to have outpaced demand in the Washington DC area, meaning there will likely be more rental properties available than people looking to live in them.
Washington is predicted to be one of only two of the most populated twenty cities in the Nation to see a decrease in rentals (the second is Detroit.) This is atypical for the US in general where many cities are seeing high demand for rental properties.
This should welcome news for renters who may be able to find slightly better deals on rentals, though prices aren’t expected to fall drastically in this city where real estate is traditionally expensive, whether it’s rented or purchased.
Construction of multi-family properties is slowing due to the surplus, but it’s not expected to take long for job growth to generate enough new demand to create a more balanced supply. One expert predicted that the process might take until 2016.
Read the full article here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-23/washington-faces-apartment-glut-after-boom-real-estate.html
Though it’s the relative newcomer in the social media world this site is the mother of all websites when it comes to visual inspiration. In fact, it’s even led to the phrase “pinspiration.” Browse through countless pictures of beautiful rooms, outdoor spaces, exteriors, and individual elements to help you create (or at least envision) your dream home.
Another visual powerhouse, this site is dedicated exclusively to home design and decor. Filter images by style, room type, and even location. In addition to bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc., you can also browse through some pretty impressive closets, pantries, home offices, art studios, and more. Information on the products used to create the look generally accompany the photos.
The Swedish “lots of assembly required” furniture superstore has a pretty great website with lots of room inspiration to be found. Think beyond bookshelves as Ikea also has great (and cheap!) frames, curtains, linens, rugs, and everything you could need for the kitchen from dishes, to pots and pans, to glassware, to cooking tools. The ideas on the website are particularly good for making good use of small spaces.
Turn to this site for house tours, tutorials, gorgeous photos, and links to other blogs and sites you’re likely to love. Other aspects of owning or renting a home in addition to design are discussed here as well.
Find unique finishing touches either to purchase, often directly from the artists and craftsmen or women, or get ideas to DIY. There’s something for every style from preppy to vintage to bohemian and more. Look for artwork, textiles, accessories, and even furniture.
Without saying exactly what would be done when the economy has recovered to a point where the Federal Reserve no longer feels the need to drive down long term interest rates by buying mortgage backed securities and Treasuries, Chairman Ben Bernanke discussed the issue last month. There are potential implications of selling the assets too quickly, which could cause a steep rise in interest rates, or of holding onto the securities until they mature, which would risk inflation. Whatever exit strategy is chosen it’s clear the Fed will take these factors into account and aim to minimize any negative effects on a newly recovered economy.
Read more on this in this March 11th story on Bloomberg.com: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-11/bernanke-provokes-mystery-over-fed-stimulus-exit.html
Visited the Pasadena Rosebowl flea market this past Sunday. Had a great time rummaging through the abundance of antiques and brick a brac. The inventory ranges from dolls to rugs to framed insects. It’s a veritable feast for the eyes.
Amazingly I found the object I was looking for - an…
Planning to buy a new home? Many home shoppers are drawn between the allure of a newly built home, where you’d be the first owners, and the appeal of an older home, one that’s been lived in and settled into. Here are a few new construction pros and cons to get your wheels turning.
Benefits of New Construction:
Have some input in the design and details. Even if it’s a spec home and not a custom build you can often pick from a few preapproved choices of tile, paint color, counter top, cabinets, fixtures, etc. Of course this could be a pro for those that have very specific tastes and want to make the home their own, and a con for those who are easily overwhelmed by having to make lots of little decisions like these.
Everything is brand new. Roof, appliances, siding, plumbing and electrical systems, and the list goes on and on…they are all new and most likely under warranty for some period of time. While there are no guarantees, you can be relatively confident that you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket (though some warranties carry a deductible) for any issues that crop up in the short term.
Cons of New Construction:
Cost of Upgrades. You might see a new construction home that is priced comparably to an existing home with similar square footage in the same area, but it’s important to factor in what it might cost to make those homes truly comparable. For example, does the existing home have a remodeled gourmet kitchen, mature landscaping, pool or hot tub, fenced in back yard, play gym for the kids, or some other highly desirable feature? When you buy an existing home its value is generally not increased by the full cost of adding that element to the home, whereas when you purchase new construction you’ll likely have to pay more to add a similar feature.
It’s all a little too perfect. This will bother some homeowners more than others, but when moving into a pristine new construction home that first scratch on the floor, ding on the wall, or spill on the carpet can be particularly painful. A lived in home means purchasing someone else’s first scratches and spills, which can make for a more pleasant transition.
Which would you prefer? If you were buying a new home tomorrow would you ideally choose new construction or an existing home?
Think all the A-listers live in L.A.? Although many may be bi-coastal, there is a lot to be said for owning digs near the Big Apple. Teenage prodigy turned “Soul Queen”, Alicia Keys must agree. The Grammy-winner has been residing in the former Manhattan penthouse of actor/singer Lenny Kravitz, and now she and her husband are said to be closing in on a home purchase in nearby Englewood, NJ.
According to the N.Y. Daily News, Keys and her husband, Swizz Beatz, are looking for a more family-friendly spot to raise their son, Egypt. Comedian Eddie Murphy’s Georgian estate appears to fit the bill and Keys and Beatz are reported to have the 13,076 square foot home under contract. The sprawling 7-bedroom estate sits on 4-gated acres in Englewood, NJ, which is just 15 miles from NYC.
Murphy has had the home on and off the market for the last few years and the price keeps dropping. Originally listed for $30 million, Keys is said to be closing in on a steal deal price of $12 million. Two-year old Egypt will certainly have plenty to keep him busy, with the amenity-filled home. Along with a recording studio for mom, there’s a pool, racquetball court, bowling alley, movie theater, gym, tennis court, and unique playground. Potty training should also be a snap, considering that the property boasts 13 bathrooms!
On November 6th, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, or GLVAR, reported that single-family home sales for October were 2,983 units. While that is a 4.3 percent decrease in the y-o-y analysis, it marks an 11.9 percent increase from September’s sales. The median price held steady also, and remained at $140,000. This is viewed as a positive sign, especially since the price reflects a 15.7 percent increase from one year ago.
The inventory of available homes is down by 21.9 percent from the 2011 total as well. October’s total number of listings only gained 3 from September and stood at 16,778. The GLVAR report noted that there were 3,285 new listings in October. That figure reflects an 18 percent drop in the y-o-y review. Some positive news for Sin City sellers is that the median listing price rose by 15.3 percent from this time last year to $149,900.
The president of the GLVAR is Kolleen Kelley. She observed that, “Investors are still a big part of the market, cash buyers accounted for 54.1 percent of October home sales, with many of them coming from out of the country.” Kelley also affirmed that REO sales or bank-owned sales only made up 11.6 percent of the market. Kelley noted that only a few years ago, this category comprised close to half of all Las Vegas home sales.
While sales are expected to slow significantly during the holiday season, housing industry professionals are hopeful that sales will not lose too much ground. The Las Vegas Review Journal published the GLVAR report, along with several other articles on current real estate trends.