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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    Airbnb business traveler

    • Buying a rental property is a good way to earn passive income and build wealth.
    • Some American real estate investors prefer to keep their portfolio local, but you can also earn money as a landlord if buy rental property abroad.
    • The three best countries to buy rental property outside the US are the Philippines, UAE, and Costa Rica.

    Buying a rental property is a wise way to earn passive income.

    As a landlord, you're getting paid to own something, rather than paying to own it. The mortgage is often covered by rental income from tenants, and if you play your cards right you'll profit after covering insurance, taxes, and maintenance costs.

    But while some American real estate investors prefer to keep their portfolio local, others may want to take their business international.

    For its latest study, GOBankingRates found the best countries to buy investment property based on the potential return on investment. GOBankingRates turned to Global Property Guide to source the following three data points for more than two dozen countries:

    • Average monthly rent for a 1,292 square-foot home.
    • Rental income tax rate, assuming a monthly rental income of $1,500.
    • Average rental yield, or the amount that a landlord can expect as return on an investment before taxes, maintenance fees, and other costs (expressed as a percentage).

    Each metric was assigned a score, and the three scores were then combined for each country to form an overall score, which determined the final ranking. The higher the score, the higher the potential income for property owners.

    The final list is dominated by several European and South American countries. Remember that before you decide to buy property in a foreign country, it's important to understand the laws and tax codes that go along with it. Or better yet, consult a professional.

    Below, find out the best countries to buy rental property and make money as a landlord.

    Are you a US resident who owns rental property in a foreign country and earns a profit? Would you like to share your story? Email tloudenback@businessinsider.com.

    SEE ALSO: Forget San Francisco and New York: These are the 19 best places to live where the typical home costs less than $260,000 and monthly rent is under $1,000

    DON'T MISS: 30 irresistible places Americans dream of owning a vacation home

    25. Turkey

    Rental yield: 3.62%

    Effective rental income tax: 21.94%

    Monthly rent: $1,128



    24. Latvia

    Rental yield: 3.8%

    Effective rental income tax: 17.25%

    Monthly rent: $1,074



    23. Portugal

    Rental yield: 5.45%

    Effective rental income tax: 26.44%

    Monthly rent: $1,939



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    seoul

    • The Prime Global Cities Index rose 4.8% over the 12 months through March.
    • Seoul ranked number one on the index, with luxury house prices soaring 25%.
    • But in some cities, prices of high-end houses are falling quickly. 

    Prices boil over in some cities and hot air hisses out of others.

    So how is the luxury housing market doing in the top cities around the world, as they’re facing “significant risks ahead in the form of rising debt, inflation, and greater housing market regulation?”

    Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index rose 4.8% over the 12 months through March, compared to a year earlier. But the index averaged out the drama playing out on the ground: In some cities, luxury  prices skyrocketed, and in other cities prices dropped sharply.

    Seoul ranked number one on the index, with luxury house prices soaring 25% over the 12 months through March. Over the past six months alone, prices soared 20%, despite efforts by authorities to tamp down on these price surges, according to Knight Frank:

    Across a large part of the city new macro prudential measures, including new taxes for owners of multiple properties and tighter lending restrictions, are cooling growth, but the prime area of Gangnam is still seeing strong speculative activity.

    The ranking of the cities in the index is figured not in terms of absolute prices, but in terms of price growth. The index considers “luxury” those sales whose prices are in the top 5% in that market, except in US cities, where the index uses the “High Tier” index from Case Shiller, and in Tokyo where home sales over ¥100 million are deemed luxury.

    The top two US cities are San Francisco and Los Angeles, ranked in 8th and 11th place respectively with price growth rates of 9% and 8% for the past 12 months. Luxury prices are barely ticking up in Miami and are stalling in New York.

    Though overall home prices in Sydney and Melbourne are now down from a year ago, according to CoreLogic, as hot air is hissing out of their historic housing bubbles, prices at the luxury end of the market still increased 8.7% and 8.3% respectively – “with supply constraints supporting prime prices.” These price surges put both cities in the top ten.

    The opposite is happening in super-bubble city Vancouver, where the lower end of the market (condos) is still seeing significant price increases, while the luxury market has just now begun to deflate, with prices down 7.6% over the past six month.

    London’s famed oligarch-driven luxury housing boom is wheezing, with prices down 1.1% over the past 12 months, which is a terrible embarrassment. Knight Frank is looking for the silver lining: “In London, while the market remains sensitive to political events there is a sense of (relative) stability being restored.”

    At the bottom of the list of 43 top cities is Stockholm, where luxury house prices dropped 8.4% over the past 12 months, with price drops accelerating: over the past six months along, prices have fallen 9%.

    The table below shows the top 43 cities, ranked by changes in luxury home prices. The bottom 11 cities have experienced price declines over the past 12 months. The list also shows price changes over the past six and three months.

    Screen Shot 2018 05 11 at 12.38.20 PM

    Screen Shot 2018 05 11 at 12.39.51 PM

    Knight Frank obtained the data from its global network except for Tokyo (Ken Corporation); New York (StreetEasy); Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco (S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller); Tel Aviv (Israel Central Bureau of Statistics); Berlin and Frankfurt (Immobilienscout); Stockholm (Svensk Maklarstatistik); Toronto (Real Estate Board of Toronto); Vancouver (Vancouver Real Estate Board); Zurich and Geneva (Wüest Partner). Price changes are calculated in local currency.

    SEE ALSO: US Postal Service gets whacked with a $1.3 billion loss as it struggles to keep up with Amazon

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Tina Brown: Why Melania Trump is the best aspect of the Trump presidency


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    Ivankajaredkushnerhouse

    • Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have lived in a $5.5 million Washington, DC home since early 2017.
    • They reportedly rent it from Chilean billionaire Andrónico Luksic for $15,000 a month.
    • They're now looking for a larger place, according to Politico.

    Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have lived in a $5.5 million home in the Kalorama section of Washington, DC, since early 2017.

    Now, they're looking for a new home, according to a report in Politico.

    "They are actively looking because they're unhappy with the place they're in," an insider told the site.

    The couple is reportedly looking for a home larger than the 7,000-square-foot one they currently live in and have already toured at least one property. They're looking to live in Kalorama or Georgetown, Politico reports.

    They're renting their current house from billionaire Andrónico Luksic, who bought it for $5.5 million through a shell company in December 2016. The Chilean national is renting the home to the family for a sum of $15,000 a month, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    Luksic is also the owner of a mining conglomerate — Antofagasta PLC and its subsidiary, Twin Metals Minnesota LLC — which is feuding with the US government over a mineral deposit worth billions of dollars.

    Kalorama is the same neighborhood where the Obama family lives. The relatively small area is popular with politicians and DC insiders for its seclusion and privacy.

    Photos via a Zillow listing.

    SEE ALSO: See inside the $5.3 million Washington, DC home of the Obama family

    The home was designed by architect Waddy Wood and built in 1923.



    It was recently given a full renovation.



    The home does not have much of a front yard, which is common for the neighborhood. It's close to the street, but the front door sits high with double steps leading up.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Chicago The Loop

    • Chicago boasts some of America's best restaurants, theaters, and public art.
    • The city's downtown financial district is known as The Loop, and includes one of the most expensive real estate markets in the city.
    • The Loop's zipcode 60603 had an average home sale price of $577,500 in 2017.

    Chicago's financial district in the downtown area isn't just filled with skyscrapers and office buildings such as the Chicago Stock Exchange — the area known as The Loop is also one of the more bustling and lively areas of the city.

    With easy access to Millennium and Grant Park, plenty of theaters, and incredible restaurants, The Loop boasts the city's most expensive residential real estate. For the months of May through August of 2017 Trulia reported that the average sales price of a home in the 60603 zip code was $577,500 — the highest average in the city.

    We recently toured the neighborhood to see what 60603 has to offer. Between its rich history — including a 120 year old restaurant and easy access to public works of art — we can see why it's so popular.  

    SEE ALSO: I tried one of the most famous hot dogs in Chicago and it was delicious — but I made one huge mistake while ordering

    Chicago's first elevated train car was built in 1892 — and a loop of elevated train cars were built and completed in the downtown area by 1897. This line of transportation gave the neighborhood its nickname: The Loop.



    One of the driving factors of the higher average sale price of homes in the neighborhood is the The Legacy at Millennium Park tower. The luxury condo tower is 72-stories and is located at 60 East Monroe St.

    Source: Property Shark



    The 60603 zip code extends from The Art Institute of Chicago down six blocks to Wells St. The Institute boasts works from Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    old people housing debt

    • Millennial demand for homes is rising. 
    • The number of baby boomers increased more than 30% in the last 30 years to more tha 75 million.
    • 85% of surveyed baby boomers said they don't plan to sell their homes.

    Baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – have steered economic trends for decades and have the highest rate of homeownership in the country, approximately 80 percent. Now, as the oldest members of the generation edge into their 70s, they are deciding to stay in their homes. According to a Realtor.com housing shortage survey, boomers have the least interest in selling their home. Approximately 85 percent of baby boomers surveyed indicated they are not planning to sell their home in the next year. The main reason, according to the survey, is that their current home meets the needs of their family.

    “Aging in place” is not a foreign concept to the housing market. However, the housing market has never experienced an increase in the population of 55 to 74 year olds of this magnitude. In the last 30 years, this population increased more than 30 percent. This may pose an issue for housing affordability as a tight housing market continues to get tighter, driving up prices.

    “With baby boomers living longer and staying in their homes, and the housing market facing a housing shortage, the need for new construction is more important than ever.”

    It’s no secret that millennial demand for housing continues to rise. There were 83.1 million millennials born between 1982 and 2000, and many are now looking to enter the housing market. There are 75.4 million baby boomers, and many indicate they have no intention of selling their homes. So, when it comes to housing, millennials would benefit from boomers selling their homes and adding more supply to the market, but that appears unlikely.

    Consider that the share of baby boomer homeowner households has stayed fairly constant. In 2000, the share of baby boomer homeowners was 43.5 percent. In 2010, that number fell slightly to 42 percent, and has since stayed at 41 percent. But, are there markets where the share of baby boomer homeowners is declining, possibly signaling an uptick in future housing supply?

    Using the top 50 largest cities from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, we identified cities with the largest decreases in the share of homeowners that are baby boomers between 2010 and 2017.

    The top 5 cities where baby boomer homeownership decreased the most from 2010 to 2017:

    1.) Salt Lake City, Utah

    2.) Raleigh, NC

    3.) Hartford, CT

    4.) Washington, DC

    5.) San Jose, CA

    Salt Lake City, the market with the largest drop, experienced a 12.9 percent fall in baby boomer homeownership. The bottom five markets’ share of baby boomer homeowners fell an average of 10.7 percent in 2017 from 2010.

    The top 5 cities where baby boomer homeownership increased the most from 2010 to 2017:

    1.) Seattle, Washington

    2.) Orlando, FL

    3.) Jacksonville, FL

    4.) Charlotte, NC

    5.) Miami, FL

    In the top market, Seattle, baby boomer homeownership increased from 26.3 percent in 2010 to 39.0 percent in 2017. The top five markets experienced an average increase of 10.1 percent in baby boomer homeownership in the seven-year period.

    Screen Shot 2018 05 15 at 1.43.29 PM

    The chart below shows the annual percent change in the share of baby boomer homeowners for the most recent data, 2016 to 2017. Interestingly, among the top 50 markets, 21 show increasing homeownership for baby boomers.

    Screen Shot 2018 05 15 at 1.44.33 PM

    In 2017, there were approximately 36 million baby boomer homeowner households in the United States, which is 6 percent more than in 2000. As a point of reference, the silent generation had 24 million homeowner households when they were the age of the oldest baby boomer. That’s a difference of 12 million homeowner households. With baby boomers living longer and staying in their homes, and the housing market facing a housing shortage, the need for new construction is more important than ever.

    Odeta Kushi contributed to this article.

    SEE ALSO: Bank of America lays out the scenario for the next big selloff — and it hinges on one key thing

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a tiny camera startup is taking on Amazon and Google


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    iPad Tower James Law 1

    • Hong Kong architect James Law is developing The Pad tower that looks like an iPod and is full of technology that adapts to the environment.
    • Law compares the architecture of the Dubai building to Iron Man's suit of armor in that it enhances the capabilities of those who live in it.
    • Law's approach to modern architecture that takes technology and the environment into design is what he calls "cybertecture."

     

    Hong Kong architect James Law is nearing completing on the construction of a building whose design was inspired by an iPod and is filled with so much technology that he likens it to Iron Man's suit of armor. 

    The building, known as The Pad. and once called the iPad Tower, has been under construction in Dubai's Business Bay since 2006. After more than a decade of work, the building is set to open later this year. 

    The building is the culmination of Law's architectural approach, which he says aims to fuse technology, software, and architecture to create structures that are more responsive to the needs and desires of people today.

    Architecture "used to just be about the concrete, steel, and the glass, and the shape of a building. But now I think we're living in a world where those materials are just the basic materials," Law said. "There are now new materials like technology, smart material, bytes of content, and interactivity."

    Law's design for The Pad, which mimics the shape of an iPod tilted in a docking station, won an international competition in which he beat out renowned architects Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster.

    The 24-story tower contains 231 "intelligent" apartments that include a virtual reality projection wall that changes locations, a bathroom that analyzes residents' health in real time and displays reports on the mirror, and RFID tags instead of keys for apartments.

    "You are selling more than just space," Law said. "You are selling the infinite possibilities of participating with all our technology in that space." 

    Law compared the building's ability to augment the lives of its inhabitants to the armor that comic book hero Iron Man wears. 

    "In this sense, once you put this armor on, you have extra capabilities and extra possibilities about how you can experience life," Law said. Like the Iron Man armor, he added, the apartments are "able to adapt to the environment."

    Here's what life is like inside The Pad:

    SEE ALSO: A Hong Kong architect thinks 'tube homes' made from concrete pipes can be a solution to the world's housing crisis

    DON'T MISS: An architecture expert reveals 19 of the ugliest McMansions in America

    The Pad is due to be opened later this year after a decade of work. The building is tilted at a 6.5 degree angle to mimic an iPod in a dock. It is the culmination of Law's "Cybertecture" philosophy to architecture.



    "Some bricks are the old clay bricks and the concrete bricks, and then there are the new bricks, which are technology, the new bricks of new ideas, new strategies, new forms, new models, new typologies," Law said.



    The Pad has 231 "intelligent" apartments with various features that enhance the capabilities of those who live in it, including health monitoring, air filters, and virtual reality walls. Law believes that in the future residents will be able to add features to their apartments in the way one downloads apps from Apple's App Store.

     

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jared Kushner

    • Kushner Companies is closing in on a major deal with a company tied to the government of Qatar to save its financially imperiled Manhattan tower. 
    • If the bailout is finalized, it will likely raise concerns about Jared Kushner's work as the White House lead on Middle East policy. 
    • This comes amid reports that the president's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, solicited $1 million from the government of Qatar in 2016 for access and insight into the Trump administration. 

    Jared and Charles Kushner's $1.8 billion purchase in 2007 of 666 Fifth Avenue, a 41-story tower in midtown Manhattan, has long been ridiculed in New York real estate circles as a reckless move.  

    Indeed, the office building has faced financial struggles for years — today it brings in only half of its annual mortgage fees and 30% of its space is empty, according to The New York Times.

    But Kushner Companies — the real estate firm owned by Jared, the president's son-in-law and top White House adviser, and his father Charles — are closing in on a game-changing bailout from a company whose second-largest shareholder is the government of Qatar, The Times reported Thursday.

    The company, Brookfield Properties, has worked hand-in-hand with the Gulf country's sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, on several major US building projects, including Manhattan West, a retail and residential complex currently under construction. 

    Jared Kushner meets with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani

    Jared, who remains a stakeholder in his family business despite leaving it to work in the White House (where he leads Middle East policy), lost his top-secret security clearance in February amid concerns that he is vulnerable to foreign influence as a result of his business dealings.  

    If this deal is finalized, it will likely raise new concerns about Jared's potential conflicts of interest. 

    The midtown tower attracted attention in late 2016, when the Kushners neared a different deal with a Chinese insurance company and a Qatar billionaire. That deal fell apart amid criticism of Jared's dual political and business roles.

    Brookfield plans to take control of the building's operation, and will spend hundreds of millions of dollars renovating it. 

    This comes amid multiple reports that the president's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, solicited $1 million from the government of Qatar in late 2016 for access and insight into President Donald Trump's administration.

    (Multiple companies, including AT&T, Novartis, and a financial firm with ties to a Russian oligarch, have confirmed recent reports that they paid Cohen hundreds of thousands of dollars for insight into the Trump administration). 

    Cohen is currently under investigation by both special counsel Robert Mueller and the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. 

    SEE ALSO: Scaramucci reached out to publicist who set up Trump Tower meeting with Kremlin-connected lawyer

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What will probably happen with the North and South Korean peace treaty


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    single family home for sale

    • The cost per square foot for homes can vary drastically from city to city.
    • You can get a lot more space in Dallas or Chicago than in New York or the Bay Area.
    • To compare home size across housing markets, real estate listing site Trulia pulled listings in the $500,000 range for the 25 biggest US metros.

    Space is hard to come by in some of America's most popular housing markets.

    Homebuyers in New York, for instance, are paying over $1,000 per square foot right now, while buyers in Detroit and Chicago are paying closer to $400 per square foot.

    To find out how home sizes compare across America, we asked Trulia to gather listings in the $500,000 range for the country's largest metro areas by population.

    Below, check out how much square footage buyers get for homes priced between $499,000 and $525,000 in 25 popular cities, ordered from lowest to highest cost per square foot.

    SEE ALSO: Half of the biggest housing markets in the US are overvalued — and it could spell trouble for homebuyers

    DON'T MISS: Many millennials are itching to become homeowners — here are the 17 best cities to put down roots

    Orlando, Florida

    Listing price: $500,000

    Square feet: 3,609

    Price per square foot: $139



    Fort Worth, Texas

    Listing price: $499,999

    Square feet: 2,975

    Price per square foot: $168



    Phoenix, Arizona

    Listing price: $495,000

    Square feet: 2,748

    Price per square foot: $180



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    how much does it cost to live in NYC

    • The cost of living in Manhattan is more than double the US average.
    • The NYC cost of living is so high partly due to its exorbitant housing market — the average rent for a Manhattan apartment is $3,667.
    • RENTCafé broke down the average rent for different Manhattan neighborhoods, and we ranked them from most to least affordable, from SoHo to the East Village.

    City life comes with a lot of dollar signs — especially in Manhattan.

    The cost of living in New York City is at least 68% higher than the US average, according to SmartAsset. If you think that's a lot, the cost of living in Manhattan specifically is more than double the national average.

    At the center of it all is New York City's high-cost housing market. Asking rents in New York City increased by 33% from December 2009 to June 2017 at roughly 3.9% a year, reports StreetEasy.

    And while the NYC rental market has seen declining prices this year, the average rent for an apartment in Manhattan remains exorbitant at $3,667 — a 10% decrease compared to $4,085 the previous year. To put things in perspective, that's only a few hundred dollars shy of the typical US worker's average monthly income of $3,895.

    That number is even more shocking considering that the average size for a Manhattan apartment is only 703 square feet.

    Even then, some neighborhoods in Manhattan are notoriously more expensive than others. Rent in Battery Park City, for example, is 52% higher than the Manhattan average.

    average rent for apartment manhattan

    To highlight such differences, RENTCafé broke down the average rent in Manhattan neighborhoods for all rentals, one-bedroom apartments, and two-bedroom apartments. Using this data, we narrowed down the top 28 Manhattan neighborhoods according to the largest number of rental units overall (in apartment communities of 50 units or larger), which was provided by Yardi Matrix.

    Scroll through below to see which Manhattan neighborhoods have the highest average rent, ranked from the least expensive to the most, from SoHo to the Upper East Side.

    SEE ALSO: Inside New York City's hidden neighborhood where Wall Street big shots, celebrities, and billionaire heirs mingle

    DON'T MISS: These are the priciest homes for sale in New York City

    28. Washington Heights

    All rentals: $2,176

    One-bedroom: $1,980

    Two-bedroom: $2,777

    Number of rental units: 1,000–1,500

     

     



    27. Roosevelt Island

    All rentals: $3,379

    One-bedroom: $3,211

    Two-bedroom: $3,558

    Number of rental units: 1,200–2,000



    26. East Harlem

    All rentals: $3,412

    One-bedroom: $3,258

    Two-bedroom: $3,471

    Number of rental units: 1,700–2,500



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    shutterstock_136580777

    • House sizes in America have nearly doubled since the 1960s. 
    • Owning a large home with a wealth of amenities has become intrinsically linked with living the 'American dream.'
    • These homes raise a number of ethical concerns. For example, the upkeep they require is generally facilitated by low-wage laborers. 

     

    The Conversation

    The United States is facing a housing crisis: Affordable housingis inadequate, while luxury homes abound. Homelessness remains apersistent problemin many areas of the country.

    Despite this, popular culture has often focused on housing as an opportunity for upward mobility: theAmerican Dream wrapped within four walls and a roof. The housing industry has contributed to this belief as it has promoted ideals of "living better." Happiness is marketed asliving with both more space and more amenities.

    As anarchitect and scholarwho examines how we shape buildings and how they shape us,I've examined the trendtoward "more is better" in housing. Opulent housing is promoted as a reward for hard work and diligence, turning housing from a basic necessity into an aspirational product.

    Yet what are the ethical consequences of such aspirational dreams? Is there a point where "more is better" creates an ethical dilemma?

    The better housing craze

    The average single-family home built in the United States in the 1960s or before wasless than 1,500 square feetin size. By 2016, the median size of a new, single-family home sold in theUnited States was 2,422 square feet, almost twice as large.

    Single-family homes built in the 1980s had a median of six rooms. By 2000, themedian number of rooms was seven. What's more, homes built in the 2000s were more likely than earlier models to havemore of all types of spaces: bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms, dens, recreation rooms, utility rooms and, as the number of cars per family increased, garages.

    Today, homebuilding companiespromote these expanding spaces— large yards, spaces for entertainment, private swimming pools, or even home theaters — as needed for recreation and social events.

    Each home a castle?

    Living better is not only defined as having more space, but also as having more and newer products. Since at least the 1920s, when the "servant crisis" forced the mistress of the house totake on tasksservants had once performed, marketing efforts have suggested that increasing the range of products and amenities in our home will make housework easier and family life more pleasant. The scale of such products has only increased over time.

    In the 1920s, advertising suggested that middle-class women who had once had servants to do their more odious housework could now, with the right cleaners, be able toeasily do the job themselves.

    By the 1950s, advertisements touted coordinated kitchens as allowing women to save time on their housework, so they couldspend more time with their families. More recently, advertisers have presented the house itself as a product that will improve the family's social standing while providing ample space for family activities and togetherness for the parent couple, all the whileremaining easy to maintain. The implication has been that even if our houses get larger, we won't need to spend more effort running them.

    Inmy research, I note that the housework shown — cooking, doing laundry, helping children with their homework — is presented as an opportunity for social engagement or family bonding.

    Advertisements never mentioned that more bathrooms also mean more toilets to scrub, or that having a large yard with a pool for the kids and their friends means hours of upkeep.

    The consequences of living big

    As middle-class houses have grown ever larger, two things have happened.

    First, large houses do take time to maintain. An army of cleaners and other service workers, many of them working for minimal wages, are required to keep the upscale houses in order. In some ways, we have returned to the era of even middle-class households employing low-wage servants, except that today's servants no longer live with their employers, but are deployed by firms thatprovide littlein the way of wages or benefits.

    Second, once-public spaces such as municipal pools or recreational centers, where people from diverse backgrounds used to randomly come together, haveincreasinglybecome privatized, allowing access only tocarefully circumscribed groups.Even spaces that seem public are often exclusively for theuse of limited populations. For example, gated communities sometimes use taxpayer funds — money that by definition should fund projects open to the public — to build amenities such as roads, parks or playgrounds that mayonly be usedby residents of the gated community or their guests.

    Limiting access to amenities has had other consequences as well. An increase in private facilities for the well-off has gone hand in hand with areduction of public facilitiesavailable to all, with a reduced quality of life for many.

    Take swimming pools. Whereas in 1950,only 2,500 U.S. families owned in-ground pools, by 1999 this number had risen to 4 million. At the same time, public municipal pools were often no longer maintained and many were shuttered, leaving low-income people nowhere to swim.

    Mobility opportunities have been affected, too. For example, 65 percent of communities built in the 1960s or earlier had public transportation; by 2005, with an increase in multi-car families,this was only 32.5 percent. A reduction in public transit decreases opportunities for those who do not drive, such as youth, the elderly, or people who cannot afford a car.

    Redefining the paradigm

    "Living better" through purchasing bigger housing with more lavish amenities thus poses several ethical questions.

    In living in the United States, how willing should we be to accept a system in which relatively opulent lifestyles are achievable to the middle class only through low-wage labor by others? And how willing should we be to accept a system in which an increase in amenities purchased by the affluent foreshadows a reduction in those amenities for the financially less endowed?

    Ethically, I believe that the American Dream should not be allowed to devolve into a zero-sum game, in which one person's gain comes at others' loss. A solution could lie in redefining the ideal of "living better." Instead of limiting access to space through its privatization, we could think of publicly accessible spaces and amenities as providing new freedoms though opportunities for engaging with people who are different from us and who might thus stretch our thinking about the world.

    Redefining the American Dream in this way would open us to new and serendipitous experiences, as we break through the walls that surround us.

    SEE ALSO: America is facing a housing shortage — here's why more people aren't selling their homes

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I ate nothing but 'healthy' fast food for a week — here’s what happened


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    Jared Kushner

    • Cadre, a real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner, is seeking an investment of at least $100 million from a private fund backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
    • Cadre was reportedly approached by SoftBank Vision Fund, a Japanese conglomerate which receives much of its funding from Gulf governments. 
    • Questions have been raised about Kushner and his business dealings with foreign entities.


    A real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is seeking an investment of at least $100 million from a private fund backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Sources familiar with the plans told Bloomberg a senior executive at Cadre, which was co-founded by Kushner, recently met with representatives of SoftBank Vision Fund, a Japanese conglomerate which receives much of its funding from the Saudi and UAE governments. 

    The technology investment fund claims investors such as Apple, Foxconn, Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, and Qualcomm. Nearly half of its $100 billion is financed by the Saudi government's Public Investment Fund, Bloomberg said. At least $15 billion has been invested by the UAE sovereign wealth fund. 

    According to the report, Cadre officials said Kushner doesn't play an active role in the business, and sources close to the discussions said Softbank approached Cadre with investment plans. 

    Still, Kushner reportedly has stakes in the parent company that owns Cadre, valued between $5 million and $25 million, according to his updated financial disclosure last year.

    The discussions are especially sensitive as Kushner's and his family's business dealings with foreign entities have been called into question. 

    Kushner Companies took out four loans from Israel's largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, which is currently under investigation by the US Department of Justice.

    Kushner himself has a close personal relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and has been instrumental in securing deals between the US and Saudi Arabia. He reportedly leaked classified information to the Saudi crown prince, who is said to have secretly boasted about having Kushner under his control.

    In March, House Democrats called for an FBI probe into Kushner's personal ties to the Saudi royalty. Officials from several other countries, including China, have also bragged about having influence over Kushner.

    Kushner Companies has also been linked to troubled Chinese insurance fund AnbangSpecial counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly investigating contact between Kushner and foreign investors, particularly his links to Anbang.

    SEE ALSO: Top Trump fundraisers who sought to negotiate $1 billion in business deals with Middle East princes called Jared Kushner a 'Clown Prince'

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    • Paula Pant and her husband had a combined income of $63,000 when they bought their first property together in Atlanta.
    • They used the rent paid by the occupants to cover the mortgage, and spent a year saving up for their next home. 
    • Now, they own a condo in Las Vegas, a triplex building in Atlanta, and four single family homes.
    • They redecorated the properties themselves and proceeded to rent them out. Last year they earned $125,618 in rent.

    When Paula Pant was 27 years old, she and her future husband Will were paying $400 a month for a single bedroom in a triplex apartment building in Atlanta, sharing a kitchen and bathroom with three other roommates they'd met on Craigslist. Finally, they decided to buy a place of their own, taking about a year cobble together the down payment.

    But a starter home was not in their future.

    Instead, they paid $225,000 for the apartment building across the street, which was almost identical to the one where they were already living. When they moved in, their roommates came too. The rent the couple collected was enough to cover their housing costs, allowing them to live for free.

    "A lot of our friends were living in places with granite countertops," says Pant. "All we were thinking about was being as frugal as possible."

    Seven years later the move has paid off. Pant (now 34) and Will (now 38), no longer live in that first apartment building. But they still own the three units — along with five other properties they've bought along the way.

    Pant, who came to the U.S. from Kathmandu in Nepal as an infant, says the properties provide her with enough extra income that she's been willing to forego the security of a 9-to-5 job and pursue passion projects like her blog and podcast.

    "I don't have a sister who lives in the U.S. whose couch I can sleep on. I don't have grandparents or uncles," she says. "For me knowing there's a safety net is really important."

    With home prices in many cities at or near record highs, the idea of becoming a homeowner — much less a landlord — can seem beyond the grasp of many millennials. Indeed, home ownership for those in their 20s and 30s is lower than it's been in decades.

    But Pant's example shows, with careful decision and, of course, some real sacrifices owning a home (or a few homes) can be an attainable goal.

    Skip cable — and expensive cities

    Pant and her husband were lucky to graduate from college with little in the way of debt. They both went to state schools and worked various jobs to help defray the cost. But they also had a thrifty lifestyle. When they bought their first home, she was working as a freelance writer, while her husband had a regular 9-to-5 job at a transportation company. Together they earned $63,000. In addition to paying just $400 in rent, Pant says she drove a 15-year-old car, skipped cable, and rarely spent on items like clothes.

    It also helped that they lived in Atlanta, where the median home price is $205,000, about $40,000 less than the U.S. median. With their roommates now covering the mortgage of their first home, Pant says it took a year of saving (and getting up the nerve) to buy their second home for just $21,000.

    The property was in foreclosure and in an unfamiliar section of the city where foreclosures were common at the time. Paul says she spent hours in the neighborhood, walking the streets and eating fried pickles at a local fast-food shop, until she was comfortable with the location.

    Once the couple bought it, they spent their weekends fixing it up. While Will had acquired some home repair skills working construction jobs in college, the couple mostly figured it out as they went, watching YouTube videos to pick up tips. It wasn't always easy.

    "Every weekend from Friday afternoon until late Sunday we spent at the property," Pant says. "I remember feeling like my 20s were slipping away. I wanted to have a weekend."

    Eventually, the work paid off. In addition to the original triplex, Pant and her husband own four single-family homes and a condo in Las Vegas where they now live. While the couple pays a management property company to oversee a few of the properties, others they take care of themselves with the help of a long-time contractor. Some weeks, Pant says, she spends little or no time managing the buildings, other weeks it's just short of a full-time job.

    Pant discuses her finances in detail on her blog. Last year, she says the rental properties brought in $125,618. After expenses like mortgages and taxes, she and her husband were left with $43,200 to supplement her husband's salary and her earnings as a blogger and podcast host. Despite the occasional indulgence (she recently bought a car), Pant says she and her husband save as much of that as they can, hoping to expand their real estate mini-empire.

    Forget the Joneses

    Pant's parents came to the U.S. with little but their suitcases. While many of her adult friends grew up in leafy suburbs surrounded by stores like Starbucks and Panera Bread, Pant lived in a less affluent neighborhood with gas stations and mom-and-pop shops.

    When it came time to buy her own home, Pant says the lack of pretension became an unlikely advantage. "I felt at home in the neighborhoods where my friends who grew up in Starbucks neighborhoods might not have felt at home," she says.

    Her background has also made her cautious about a potential trap that ensnares many other ambitious real estate investors: debt. While Pant and her husband do have modest mortgages on several properties, they prefer to pay in cash. While borrowing more aggressively might have allowed them to expand more quickly, it would also add risk – and a lot of stress. Pant says that would negate the reason she wanted to own them in the first place: to be financially secure enough ditch a nine-to-five job.

    "Nepalese immigrant culture is very debt averse," she says. "Sometimes I look back a few years and think, 'If we had borrowed as much as we could then, just imagine how much we would have now.' But we have enough. To have a financial safety net without anxiety – to me, it was worth it."

    SEE ALSO: Being a wedding guest is expensive — here's how to save money when you have multiple to attend

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    toronto canada night

    • Toronto, one of last year's hottest real estate markets, is cooling down fast as shown by the April sales-to-new listings ratio. 
    • Greater Toronto and its suburbs saw the biggest decline with a ratio of 46.4% in April, down 36.18% from last year year.
    • Canadian markets are shifting to regain balance. 

    Last year’s hottest real estate markets, are this year’s fastest cooling ones. Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) numbers show the majority of markets saw the sales-to-new listings ratio (SNLR) decline significantly in April. There were a few markets that are seeing the ratio rise, almost all located East of Toronto. The fastest cooling markets were around the Greater Toronto region.

    Sales-To-New Listings Ratio (SNLR)

    The sales-to-new listings ratio (SNLR) is the indicator that CREA uses to determine a buyer’s or seller’s market. When the SNLR is between 40 and 60 percent, the market is considered balanced. Above the range is a seller’s market. This is when sellers can start demanding more concessions, like higher prices. Below the range is a buyer’s market. This is where buyers can start demanding more concessions, like lower prices. Over the past ten years, Canadian markets have averaged 53.4%. Last year’s numbers were irregular for the whole country.

    The indicator is helpful, but it’s not perfect. When the indicator is moving quickly (fast rising or falling), the “buyer’s” or “seller’s” labels may not apply. Sometimes the indicator makes a brief pit stop in the range, before heading to where it needs to be. It’s a great indicator, but it should be your starting point for investigating market trends – not your conclusive evidence. That said, let’s look at the numbers.

    Canadian Real Estate Markets With The Fastest Rising SNLR

    The regions with the fastest rising SNLR are all East of Toronto. Ottawa is the fastest rising market with a SNLR of 67.6%, up 17.16% from last year. Halifax has the second fastest rising SNLR with a ratio of 60.7%, up 14.96% from last year. Montreal is in third with a ratio of 65.9%, up 14.01% from last year. These markets did have a big jump, but all three of them barely climbed into seller’s market territory.

    Canadian Real Estate Sales-To-New Listings Ratio – April 2018

    The ratio of sales to new listings for Canadian real estate markets with more than 500 sales in April 2018.

    Canadian Real Estate Sales

    Greater Toronto Real Estate Markets Have The Fastest Falling SNLR

    On the flip side of the market, Greater Toronto and its economic suburbs experienced the biggest declines in SNLR. Toronto led the pack with a ratio of 46.4%, down 36.18% from last year year. Niagara did slightly better with a ratio of 62.8%, a 29.2% decline from last year. Hamilton saw the third largest drop with a ratio of 60.4%, a 28.94% decline. The concentration in the region is likely to have a stronger impact on the region’s economy.

    Canadian Real Estate SNLR Percent Change – April 2018

    The percent change of SNLR for Canadian real estate markets with more than 500 sales in April 2018.

    Canadian Real Estate SNLR Percent Change

    Canadian markets are shifting to restore balance across the country. Markets with the fastest rising SNLR, didn’t enjoy the massive sales volume the year before. These markets are just entering into seller’s market territory, and starting to warm up. The markets with the fastest declining SNLRs are located in regions that were overheated last year. The movements are largely expected, but that won’t stop people from being surprised.

     

    SEE ALSO: The surging dollar could push oil prices off a cliff as soon as next year

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    GettyImages 860230628

    • Barbara Corcoran recently made the point that bitcoin is perfectly suited to the real estate market.
    • According to Corcoran, the attraction of bitcoin is the privacy it permits the buyer and seller, cutting out the middleman.
    • However, she admits she will personally be refraining from investing in cryptocurrency due to its associated risks.


    Think buying and selling homes for bitcoins sounds like a fad? To Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran, it sounds like the future.

    "It makes great common sense," Corcoran said in a recent interview with MONEY. "I'm being very optimistic because, as a long-term play, it's perfectly suited for real estate transactions."

    Bitcoin's involvement in real estate is uncommon, but not unheard of. Properties have reportedly been sold for cryptocurrency from Texas to Manhattan, and there are currently 140 units for sale or rent on Zillow that mention Bitcoin in their listings. Corcoran, who sold the New York City real estate agency she founded for $66 million in 2001, says bitcoin home sales will only become more common in the future.

    Why? "It's peer-to-peer, with no central anything, and that's why it's so powerful," Corcoran says. Such transactions, she explains, allow buyers greater privacy. "The main idea is to eliminate the middle guy."

    In fact, Corcoran predicts bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will eliminate the need for banks.

    "I really don't expect banks to be around 10 years from now unless they change their model," Corcoran says. "I don't see why it's going to be needed if bitcoin does what I believe it's going to do."

    Not everyone believes cryptocurrency will catch on in the long run. Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett called bitcoin "probably rat poison squared," while Vanguard's Jack Bogle has warned investors to "avoid bitcoin like the plague." And, while Corcoran is optimistic about cryptocurrency in real estate, she says the concept does face some challenges.

    For one thing, in a peer-to-peer crypto-sale there's no insurance or appraisal, she says, which makes people uncomfortable. And then there's the cryptocurrency's notorious volatility.

    "I could agree, this week, that that unit is worth $3 million," Corcoran says. "If, by next Thursday, the bottom falls out and [the bitcoin] is worth $2 million, that $3 million agreement is useless."

    And there's one reason Corcoran says she's personally staying away from cryptocurrency.

    "I lose my credit cards at least once a week, I lose my cell phone once a month," Corcoran says, "and I can't even imagine being like that guy in England, what did he lose, $127 million because he lost his private key code?"

    Still, Corcoran believes cryptocurrency will survive these bumps in the road — and anyone who says otherwise is "guarding the old guard."

    "That, to me, is the death knell of an old business," Corcoran says. "The big guys that control the marketplaces are always the last guys to see the train coming."

    SEE ALSO: My husband and I bought our first rental property on a combined income of $63,000 — and now we earn over $100,000 in rent a year

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    real estate agent

    • The housing market underperformed in April, with existing-home sales more than 6% below the market potential. 
    • Some fear that as interest rates rise under a more aggressive Federal Reserve, the housing market will continue to hurt. 
    • But the driving force behind the increase are healthy economic conditions that are favorable to consumers.

    In April, the housing market continued to underperform its potential. Existing-home sales were 6.5 percent below the market’s potential for existing-home sales, according to our Potential Home Sales Model. Lack of supply remains the primary culprit. The inventory of homes for sale in most markets remains historically low, yet demand continues to rise as millennials further age into homeownership.

    “Understanding the resiliency of the housing market to a rising mortgage rate environment puts the likely rise in mortgage rates into perspective – they are unlikely to materially impact the housing market.”

    One reason housing supply remains limited is because the majority of existing homeowners have 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with historically low rates. Now that rates are rising, they are hesitant to sell their homes because there is less incentive to sell. If they sell, they would lose the low mortgage rate they currently have and replace it with a higher rate and a more expensive monthly loan payment. As mortgage rates rise further, more existing homeowners will become rate-locked into their current homes.

    Given April’s 30-year, fixed mortgage rate of 4.47 percent, the market potential for existing-home sales at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) is 5.99 million. The early estimate of the annualized rate of existing-home sales in April was 5.60 million, so the market is underperforming its potential by an estimated 392,000 (SAAR) sales.

    Surprise – Rate Increases of 25 or 50 Basis Points Have Little Impact on Market Potential

    But, what may happen if mortgage rates increase another 25 or 50 basis points? According to our Potential Home Sales Model, if the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increases another 25 basis points, market potential for existing-home sales would fall by 11,500 sales. If the mortgage rate increased by 50 basis points, the market potential for existing-home sales would fall by 23,000 sales. While both increased rate scenarios reduce the market potential for existing-home sales, the reduction is small compared with the overall market potential for existing-home sales – almost 6 million sales.

    Understanding the resiliency of the housing market in a rising mortgage rate environment puts the likely rise in mortgage rates into perspective – they are unlikely to materially impact the housing market. While interest rates may rise, the driving force behind the increase are healthy economic conditions that are favorable to consumers. The healthy economy encourages more homeownership demand and spurs household income growth, which increases consumer house-buying power. Mortgage rates are on the rise because of a stronger economy and our housing market is well positioned to adapt.

    Screen Shot 2018 05 24 at 2.15.52 PM

    April 2018 Potential Home Sales

    For the month of April, First American updated its proprietary Potential Home Sales model to show that:

    • Potential existing-home sales increased to a 5.99 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), a 0.7 percent month-over-month decrease.
    • This represents a 60.6 percent increase from the market potential low point reached in February 2011.
    • The market potential for existing-home sales increased by 1.9 percent compared with a year ago, a gain of 114,000 (SAAR) sales.
    • Currently, potential existing-home sales is 1.29 million (SAAR), or 17.7 percent below the pre-recession peak of market potential, which occurred in July 2005.

    Market Performance Gap

    • The market for existing-home sales is underperforming its potential by 6.5 percent or an estimated 392,000 (SAAR) sales.
    • The market performance gap decreased by an estimated 39,000 (SAAR) sales between March 2018 and April 2018.

    What Insight Does the Potential Home Sales Model Reveal?

    When considering the right time to buy or sell a home, an important factor in the decision should be the market’s overall health, which is largely a function of supply and demand. Knowing how close the market is to a healthy level of activity can help consumers determine if it is a good time to buy or sell, and what might happen to the market in the future. That is difficult to assess when looking at the number of homes sold at a particular point in time without understanding the health of the market at that time. Historical context is critically important. Our Potential Home Sales Model measures what we believe a healthy market level of home sales should be based on the economic, demographic and housing market environments.

    About the Potential Home Sales Model    

    Potential home sales measures existing-homes sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate based on the historical relationship between existing-home sales and U.S. population demographic data, income and labor market conditions in the U.S. economy, price trends in the U.S. housing market, and conditions in the financial market. When the actual level of existing-home sales are significantly above potential home sales, the pace of turnover is not supported by market fundamentals and there is an increased likelihood of a market correction. Conversely, seasonally adjusted, annualized rates of actual existing-home sales below the level of potential existing-home sales indicate market turnover is underperforming the rate fundamentally supported by the current conditions. Actual seasonally adjusted annualized existing-home sales may exceed or fall short of the potential rate of sales for a variety of reasons, including non-traditional market conditions, policy constraints and market participant behavior. Recent potential home sale estimates are subject to revision in order to reflect the most up-to-date information available on the economy, housing market and financial conditions. The Potential Home Sales model is published prior to the National Association of Realtors’ Existing-Home Sales report each month.

    SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: Stock traders should consider a bold strategy designed to help them fight back against market turbulence

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    Bubble

    • Prices of US houses and condos surged 6.5% in March compared to a year ago.
    • The index is now nearly 8% above the peak of the housing bubble in July 2006. 
    • The jump comes from mini housing bubbles that are forming in cities across the country.

    Some beautiful spikes too.

    Prices of houses and condos across the US surged 6.5% from a year earlier (not seasonally-adjusted), according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index for March, released today. The index is now 7.8% above the crazy peak of “Housing Bubble 1” in July 2006 just before it all came apart, and 48% above the trough of “Housing Bust 1”:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.06.21 PM

    Real estate is local though prices are heavily impacted by national and global factors, including monetary policies and offshore investors who consider “housing” in the US an asset class and perhaps also escape route. These local and global factors inflate local housing bubbles. When enough local housing bubbles come together at the same time, even as some housing markets remain calm, they turn into a national housing bubble. See chart above.

    That last housing bubble — “Housing Bubble 1” in this millennium — wasn’t some state of calm that the US needed to return to. It was the definitive housing bubble that then collapsed and helped bring the global financial system to the brink.

    The Case-Shiller Index is based on a rolling three-month average; today’s release is for January, February, and March. The index, based on “home price sales pairs,” compares the sales price of a home in the current month to the last transaction of the same home years earlier. The index, which incorporates other factors and uses algorithms to arrive at a data point, was set at 100 for January 2000; so an index value of 200 means prices as figured by the index have doubled.

    So here are the most splendid housing bubbles in major metro areas in the US:

    Boston:

    The Case-Shiller home price index for the Boston metro jumped 1.2% from the prior month, to a new record, and is up 5.8% from a year ago. Note that little dip in the chart late last year, when prices made a feeble effort at a seasonal decline. During Housing Bubble 1, from January 2000 to October 2005, the index soared 82% before dropping. It now tops that crazy peak by 14.7%:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.07.42 PM

    Seattle:

    The Seattle metro index spiked 2.8% from the prior month to a new record. Late last year, it had experienced the first monthly declines since the end of 2014, now left behind as seasonal blips. The index soared 13.0% from a year ago and is now 27.4% above the peak of Housing Bubble 1 (July 2007). Note the historic spike over the past two months:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.08.32 PM

    Denver:

    The index for the Denver metro spiked 1.4% from prior month, the 29th relentless increase in a row. It’s up 8.6% from a year ago, and is up 53% from the crazy peak in July 2006:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.09.22 PM

    Dallas-Fort Worth:

    The Dallas-Fort Worth metro index rose 0.7% from a month earlier, its 50th monthly increase in a row, and 5.8% from a year ago. Since its peak during Housing Bubble 1 in June 2007, the index has surged 45%:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.11.04 PM

    Atlanta:

    The Case-Shiller index for the Atlanta metro, after a brief seasonal flat spot late last year, rose 0.8% from a month ago and 6.2% from a year earlier. It now exceeds the peak of Housing Bubble 1 in July 2007 by 4.9%:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.12.02 PM

    Portland:

    The Portland metro index, which had been flat for five months last year, has now risen four months in a row. The index is up 1% from a month ago, 6.7% from a year earlier, and 22% from the peak of Housing Bubble 1 in July 2007. It has ballooned 127% since 2000:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.13.14 PM

    San Francisco Bay Area:

    The Case-Shiller home price index for “San Francisco” includes the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo, a large and diverse area consisting of the city of San Francisco, the northern part of Silicon Valley (San Mateo county), part of the East Bay and part of the North Bay. The index spiked 2.1% from a month earlier and 11.3% from a year ago. It’s up 37% from the totally crazy peak of Housing Bubble 1, and 162% since 2000:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.13.57 PM

    Los Angeles:

    The Case-Shiller index for the Los Angeles metro rose nearly 1% for the month and 8.1% year-over-year. Between January 2000 and July 2006, the index had skyrocketed 174%. The crash was nearly as steep, as the chart below shows. The index now exceeds the peak of the housing insanity in 2006 by 1.6%. So a big round of applause. The Case-Shiller data for neighboring San Diego is very similar.

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.14.44 PM

    New York City Condos:

    Case-Shiller’s index for condos in New York City rose nearly 0.6% from a month ago and is up 3.4% from a year ago. From 2000 to February 2006, the index had surged 131%. But even during the subsequent bust, its decline was halted when QE kicked in, and along with it the bonuses on Wall Street. Then global investors arrived again, and by 2012, it was once again party time. The index is now 19% above the peak of Housing Bubble 1, having surged 176% in 17 years:

    Screen Shot 2018 05 30 at 1.15.32 PM

    The acceleration in many markets of this home price inflation might well be a reaction to mortgage interest rates that have surged and are scheduled to surge more, as the Fed continues to raise rates “gradually” and as it continues to unwind QE. So households may be rushing to lock in the current rates – and thereby also locking into their own budgets the current prices of Housing Bubble 2.

    SEE ALSO: US economy's growth revised lower as consumer spending slows

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    St. Louis home $1 M

    • Million-dollar listings have become commonplace in the US real estate market.
    • But when you compare the cost-per-square-foot for million-dollar listings across the country, you'll find very different results.
    • In Tampa, Florida, $1 million will fetch more than 5,000 square feet, while the same priced home in New York City buys less than 900 square feet.

     

    Million-dollar listings once heralded true luxury for Americans who could afford it, but now more than 4% of all homes across the 100 largest US metros are worth at least $1 million.

    Still, how much space seven figures will buy in different parts of the country ranges drastically. A million dollars could fetch buyers as little as 846 square feet in New York City and as much as 5,392 in Tampa, Florida. 

    That's according to our friends at Trulia, who rounded listings in the $1 million range for the 25 largest metros in the US by population to find out how home sizes compare. 

    Below, check out what a million-dollar listing looks like around the US, ordered from lowest to highest cost per square foot.

    SEE ALSO: What a $500,000 home looks like in 25 major cities across America

    DON'T MISS: Many millennials are itching to become homeowners — here are the 17 best cities to put down roots

    Tampa, Florida

    Listing price: $999,000

    Square feet: 5,392

    Price per square foot: $185



    Newark, New Jersey

    Listing price: $979,000

    Square feet: 4,885

    Price per square foot: $200



    Baltimore, Maryland

    Listing price: $989,900

    Square feet: 4,570

    Price per square foot: $217



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    toronto

    • Toronto home sales plunged 22% in May compared to a year ago, to 7,834 homes.
    • Housing costs in the city had been soaring, with the Home Price Index up 32% in 2017 from a year earlier.
    • The irony is that “housing affordability” is fundamentally impacted by prices and interest rates.

    Average price of single-family house plunges 13%, or by C$160,000 from peak. Sales of homes priced over C$1.5 million collapse by 63%. Condos still hanging on.

    Housing in the Greater Toronto Area is, let’s say, retrenching. Canada’s largest housing market has seen an enormous two-decade surge in prices that culminated in utter craziness in April 2017, when the Home Price Index had skyrocketed 32% from a year earlier. But now the hangover has set in and the bubble isn’t fun anymore.

    Home sales plunged 22% in May compared to a year ago, to 7,834 homes, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). It affected all types of homes, even the once red-hot condos:

    • Detached houses -28.5%
    • Semi-detached houses -29.4%
    • Townhouses -13.4%
    • Condos -15.5%.

    It was particularly unpleasant at the higher end: Sales of homes costing C$1.5 million or more plummeted by 46% year-over-year to 508 homes in May 2018, according to TREB data. Compared to the April 2017 peak of 1,362 sales in that price range, sales in May collapsed by 63%.

    But it’s not just at the high end. At the low end too. In May, sales of homes below C$500,000 – about 68% of them were condos – fell by 36% year-over-year to 5,253 homes.

    The TREB publishes two types of prices – the average price and its proprietary MLS Home Price Index based on a “composite benchmark home.” Both fell in May compared to a year ago.

    The average price in May for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) fell 6.6% year-over-year to C$805,320, and is now down 12.3%, or an ear-ringing C$113,000, from the crazy peak in April 2017.

    There are no perfect measures of home prices in a market. Each has its own drawbacks. Average home prices can be impacted by the mix and by a few large outliers – but over the longer term, it gives a good impression of the direction. The chart below shows the percentage change in average home prices in the GTA compared to a year earlier:

    Screen Shot 2018 06 05 at 2.38.13 PM

    The TREB’s proprietary Home Price Index is based on a “composite benchmark home” and strips out the impact of changes in mix and large outliers that may afflict the average price. And the HPI Composite Benchmark fell by 5.4% year-over-year.

    All home types except condos experienced year-over-year price declines in the HPI, with detached homes also getting hit the hardest:

    • Detached houses: -10.2%
    • Semi-detached houses: -8.5%
    • Townhouses: -4.3%
    • Condos: +8.3%

    The inventory of homes for sale rose by 13.2% in May compared to a year ago, to 20,919 active listings. At the rate of sales in May, this worked out to a supply of 2.7 months, up from 2.3 months in April and from 2.1 months in March. The average days-on-the-market before the home was sold or before the listing was pulled without sale jumped to 20 days in May from 11 days a year ago.

    With some irony, the TREB cited a survey, conducted between May 18 and May 22 in the GTA, that found that concerns about “affordability” — surprise, surprise! — ranked high among a lot of people:

    Among 9 listed issues (health care, government spending/balancing budget, taxes, housing affordability, energy costs, economy, transportation/traffic, environment/climate change, enhancing social programs), 25% of GTA residents rank housing affordability in their top two most-important issues for the Ontario election campaign;

    69% agree (35% strongly/34% somewhat) that a party’s platform on housing affordability will influence who they vote for on election day.

    The irony is that “housing affordability” is fundamentally impacted by prices and interest rates. Interest rates have come up a tiny bit from historic lows and remain historically low. But prices have surged for two decades. What will make the Toronto housing market more affordable for many people would be a substantial decline in prices. So if the TREB wants to enhance housing affordability for folks in Toronto, it should advocate for policies that will bring down home prices – of the kind that the government has been implementing – and not advocate against them. But advocating against them is precisely what the TREB, as real estate lobbying group, has been doing with a passion for a year.

    Chicago’s rents are in free-fall, Washington DC’s rent suddenly plunge, New York’s rents fall to third place. But rents soar in Southern California and other parts. Bay Area and Seattle are “mixed.” 

    SEE ALSO: The stock market's biggest bear unloads on the 'economic Ponzi scheme' he says will cause the next crash — and explains why this meltdown feels different

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    Hong Kong

    • A single parking space in Hong Kong that was bought for $430,000 less than a year ago was just resold for $760,000.
    • A local couple initially bought the spot in the luxury Ultima complex in 2017 and resold it nine months later for nearly double that, setting a new property world record. 
    • Hong Kong continues to break property records, and the Ultima complex now tops of the list of most expensive places in the world to park a car.


    A single parking space in Hong Kong that was bought for $430,000 less than a year ago was just resold for HK$6 million ($760,000), setting a new property world record. 

    The parking space at the luxury Ultima project located in the Kowloon district was initially bought in September 2017 by a local couple for HK$3.4 million ($430,000), according to land registry documents seen by the South China Morning Post

    Nine months since buying the space, the couple just resold the spot for HK$6 million ($760,000), turning a HK$2.6 million ($330,000) profit. 

    The 16x8 foot parking spot equals out to roughly HK$44,444 ($5,600) per square foot, nearly three times the average per square foot of a residential property in Hong Kong, which is one of the priciest places in the world

    "The development is in a luxury residential area. The residents have a lot of cash and simply do not care about a few million dollars when a flat there costs about $12.7 million (HK$100 million)," Sandia Lau, a director at Centaline Property Agency, told the Post. "Their convenience is more important." 

    Ultima now tops of the list of most expensive places in the world to park a car. In April, a car space in the complex was rented out for HK$10,000 ($1,274) a month, making it the city’s most expensive rented car park. The Ultima project has only 370 car spaces for its 527-units, which caused the prices of parking spaces to increase substantially.

    Hong Kong has broken several world records as the price of real estate continues to skyrocket. In November, two of the most expensive apartments in Asia sold for a combined HK$1.16 ($149 million) to a single buyer.

    SEE ALSO: Hong Kong is so expensive that a single parking space just broke a property record

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    Project Milestone netherlands 3D printed homes

    • A Dutch city will be home to the world's first habitable 3D-printed homes.
    • Five concrete homes will be constructed in Eindhoven as part of a collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology and various partners.
    • The first house built through Project Milestone will be single-story but the team eventually hope to build houses up to three stories tall using the construction technique.


    The world's first habitable 3D-printed homes are to be built in the Dutch city of Eindhoven - a move which developers hope will help transform the construction industry.

    The five concrete houses will be created later this year as part of Project Milestone, a collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology and various partners who will ensure the houses meet living standards and be occupied.

    "The project is the world's first commercial housing project based on 3D concrete printing," a spokesperson for the university said. "The houses will all be occupied [and] they will meet all modern comfort requirements."

    It is not the first time a house has been 3D-printed, although all previous attempts have been prototypes or part of research projects.

    Project Milestone netherlands 3D printed houses

    The first house built through Project Milestone will be single-story but the team eventually hope to build houses up to three stories tall using the construction technique.

    Initially, parts will be printed at the university but the intention is to shift the entire operation to the construction site.

    The group behind the latest construction project previously printed the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is currently used by cyclists in the Dutch village of Gemert.

    The team said that the precise nature of 3D-printing means less building materials are wasted during the construction process, while also making it easier to customise houses to meet individual wishes.

    "3D printing of concrete is a potential game changer in the building industry," a spokesperson for Eindhoven University of Technology said.

    "Besides the ability to construct almost any shape, it also enables architects to design very fine concrete structures. Another new possibility is to print all kinds, qualities and colours of concrete, all in a single product."

    SEE ALSO: Designed for a community of tech elites, these tiny homes are 3D printed, run by Tesla batteries, and cost $250,000

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