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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider
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    FILE PHOTO: White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner listens during President Donald Trump's joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. on March 17, 2017.  REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo

    • White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's company faked paperwork about three apartment buildings it owned in order to make a huge profit.
    • In the documents, obtained by the AP, the company said it didn't have any tenants living in rent-controlled units in the apartment, when in fact it had hundreds.
    • The company pushed people out of the buildings in order to sell the properties at 50% more than it paid for them.
    • People reported being forced out and harassed once the company took over the buildings.

    NEW YORK (AP) — When the Kushner Cos. bought three apartment buildings in a gentrifying neighborhood of Queens in 2015, most of the tenants were protected by special rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a tidy profit.

    But that's exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, and with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold all three buildings for $60 million, nearly 50 percent more than it paid.

    Now a clue has emerged as to how President Donald Trump's son-in-law's firm was able to move so fast: The Kushner Cos. routinely filed false paperwork with the city declaring it had zero rent-regulated tenants in dozens of buildings it owned across the city when, in fact, it had hundreds.

    While none of the documents during a three-year period when Kushner was CEO bore his personal signature, they provide a window into the ethics of the business empire he ran before he went on to become one of the most trusted advisers to the president of the United States.

    "It's bare-faced greed," said Aaron Carr, founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenants' rights watchdog that compiled the work permit application documents and shared them with The Associated Press. "The fact that the company was falsifying all these applications with the government shows a sordid attempt to avert accountability and get a rapid return on its investment."

    Kushner Cos. responded in a statement that it outsources the preparation of such documents to third parties that are reviewed by independent counsel, and "if mistakes or violations are identified, corrective action is taken immediately."

    "Kushner would never deny any tenant their due-process rights," it said, adding that the company "has renovated thousands of apartments and developments with minimal complaints over the past 30 years."

    Details of the company's fraud

    For the three Queens buildings in the borough's Astoria neighborhood, the Kushner Cos. checked a box on construction permit applications in 2015 that indicated the buildings had zero rent-regulated tenants. Tax records filed a few months later showed the company inherited as many as 94 rent-regulated units from the previous owner.

    In all, Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed at least 80 false applications for construction permits in 34 buildings across New York City from 2013 to 2016, all of them indicating there were no rent-regulated tenants. Instead, tax documents show there were more than 300 rent-regulated units. Nearly all the permit applications were signed by a Kushner employee, including sometimes the chief operating officer.

    Had the Kushner Cos. disclosed those rent-regulated tenants, it could have triggered stricter oversight of construction crews by the city, including possibly unscheduled "sweeps" on site by inspectors to keep the company from harassing tenants and getting them to leave.

    Instead, current and former tenants of the Queens buildings told the AP that they were subjected to extensive construction, with banging, drilling, dust and leaking water that they believe were part of targeted harassment to get them to leave and clear the way for higher-paying renters.

    "It was noisy, there were complaints, I got mice," said mailman Rudolph Romano, adding that the Kushner Cos. tried to increase his rent by 60 percent, an accusation the company denied. "They cleaned the place out. I watched the whole building leave."

    Tax records show those rent-regulated units that numbered as many as 94 when Kushner took over fell to 25 by 2016.

    The company broke the law and harassed tenants

    East Village NYC

    In Kushner buildings across the city, records show frequent complaints about construction going on early in the morning or late at night against the rules, improper or illegal construction, and work without a permit.

    At a six-story walk-up in Manhattan's East Village that was once home to the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, the Kushner Cos. filed an application to begin construction in late 2013 that, again, listed zero rent-regulated tenants. Tax records a few months later showed seven rent-regulated units.

    "All of a sudden, there was drilling, drilling. ... You heard the drilling in the middle of night," said one of the rent-regulated tenants, Mary Ann Siwek, 67, who lives on Social Security payments and odd jobs. "There were rats coming in from the abandoned building next door. The hallways were always filled with lumber and sawdust and plaster."

    A knock on the door came a few weeks later, and an offer of at least $10,000 if she agreed to leave the building.

    "I know it's pretty horrible, but we can help you get out," Siwek recalls the man saying. "We can offer you money."

    Siwek turned down the cash and sued instead. She said she won a year's worth of free rent and a new refrigerator.

    New York City Council member Ritchie Torres, who plans to launch an investigation into permit applications, said: "The Kushners appear to be engaging in what I call the weaponization of construction."

    Rent stabilization is a fixture of New York City that can bedevil developers seeking to make money off buildings. To free themselves of its restrictions, landlords usually have to wait until the rent rises above $2,733 a month, something that can take years given the small increases allowed each year.

    A pattern of abuse by landlords

    Submitting false documents to the city's Department of Buildings for construction permits is a misdemeanor, which can carry fines of up to $25,000. But real estate experts say it is often flouted with little to no consequences. Landlords who do so get off with no more than a demand from the city, sometimes a year or more later, to file an "amended" form with the correct numbers.

    Housing Rights Initiative found the Kushner Cos. filed dozens of amended forms for the buildings mentioned in the documents, most of them a year to two later.

    "There is a lack of tools to go after landlords who harass tenants, and there is a lack of enforcement," said Seth Miller, a real estate lawyer who used to work at a state housing agency overseeing rent regulations. Until officials inspect every construction site, "you're going to have this incentive for landlords to make life uncomfortable for tenants."

    New York City's Department of Buildings declined to comment specifically on the false application documents but said it is ramping up its monitoring of construction, hiring 72 new inspectors and other staff under city laws recently passed to crack down on tenant harassment.

    "We won't tolerate landlords who use construction to harass tenants — no matter who they are," said spokesman Joseph Soldevere. He added that two of the Queens buildings are under investigation by a tenant-harassment task force.

    Exactly how much money the Kushner Cos. earned from the buildings mentioned in the documents is unclear. Of those 34 buildings, only the three in Queens and a fourth in Brooklyn appear to have been sold. The company also likely made money by reducing the number of rent-regulated tenants and bringing in those who would pay more.

    Jared Kushner, who stepped down as CEO of the Kushner Cos. last year before taking on his advisory role at the White House, sold off part of his real estate holdings as required under government ethics rules.

    But he retained stakes in many properties, including Westminster Management, the Kushner Cos. subsidiary that oversees its residential properties. A financial disclosure last year showed he still owns a stake in Westminster and earned $1.6 million from the holding.

    Back in Queens, the mailman Romano was one of the few rent-regulated tenants who fought back.

    He hired a lawyer who found out he was protected from the 60 percent rent hike by law, something Romano did not know at the time. And he said his rent, which was set to increase to $3,750, was restored to $2,350.

    Romano is still in the building where he has lived for nine years, with his wife, four children and his guests from the construction days — the mice.

    "I still haven't gotten rid of them."

    SEE ALSO: Qatar reportedly says it has unearthed damaging information on Jared Kushner — but didn't give it to Mueller because it's scared of Trump

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Neo-Nazi groups let a journalist in their meetings and rallies — here's what he saw

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    home sold sign

    • Buying a home in America is the most affordable it's been since 1980, according to new data from Trulia.
    • Mortgage rates have dropped, which increases long-term affordability for homeowners.
    • Only three of the 100 largest metros — Denver, Miami, and Portland, Oregon — have become less affordable since 1990.
    • Rising mortgage rates and the new tax law, which reduced the mortgage-interest deduction cap, could threaten affordability.

    The US housing market is favorable for sellers and tough for buyers right now. Prices are steep thanks to strong demand and low supply, particularly for starter homes.

    But all things considered, buying a home is more affordable for millennials now than it was for their parents, according to new data from Trulia's housing-economics research team.

    "Thanks to low mortgage rates, buying a home is actually more affordable now than in the past 40 years,"Alexandra Lee, a housing data analyst at Trulia, told Business Insider.

    Mortgage interest rates hit 16.6% in 1981 in response to massive inflation in the US. In 2016, interest rates fell to about 3.5%, and they're about 4.5% right now.

    But if interest rates continue rising as expected, homebuying affordability could soon be threatened.

    Because of the Republican tax bill that President Donald Trump signed into law in December, new homeowners who deduct mortgage interest are limited to deducting the interest they pay on $750,000 worth of debt, down from $1 million.

    The mortgage-interest deduction has been a huge incentive to homeownership, but the new limits could deter first-timers. Millennials are increasingly renting longer and are able to save up a bigger pot of money for a larger down payment, Zillow's CEO, Spencer Rascoff, said on an episode of Business Insider's podcast "Success! How I Did It." Ultimately, he said, millennials are skipping starter homes and going straight to the $1 million range.

    Mortgage rates are crucial for affordability

    Mortgage interest rates are a crucial variable for homebuyers. For a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate remains the same for the life of the loan. When interest rates are low at the time of purchase, monthly mortgage payments remain low. This increases long-term affordability for the homeowner, regardless of home price or interest-rate swings.

    In its latest report, Trulia found the "maximum affordable price" for the median-earning household in 100 metros every year since 1980, assuming a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed mortgage at the annual average interest rate. The calculation included the cost of property taxes and insurance.

    An affordability score for each metro was calculated by dividing the maximum affordable price by actual home prices, and multiplying by 100. Anything above 100 is considered affordable.

    Trulia found that the typical household in 1980 could afford only about three-fourths of the median home price, compared with the median household in 2016, which could afford a home 1 1/2 times the median home price.

    Twenty-two US metros crossed the threshold from unaffordable to affordable over the past four decades, according to the data. The markets that are too expensive for the average buyer now, including San Francisco, Seattle, and San Jose, California, were always too expensive.

    "Of the largest 100 US metros, only Miami flipped from being affordable in 1990 to being unaffordable in 2016," Lee said.

    affordability metros

    Trulia ultimately found that Americans' homebuying power has strengthened in the past 40 years.

    Take Salt Lake City, for example. From 1990 to 2016, home prices increased 53%, but the affordability index jumped to 131 from 122. That is because interest rates dropped to 3.4% from 10% during that time. Homeownership in Salt Lake City became even more affordable over the 26-year period — and the case appears the same for many of the largest US metros.

    Only the Denver, Miami, and Portland, Oregon, metro areas dropped in affordability during that time, Lee said.

    By the end of 2017, a monthly mortgage payment on the median home in the US required just 15.7% of the typical household income, according to a report by Trulia's parent company Zillow. Back in the late 1980s and 1990s, a mortgage payment took up 21% of the typical American's income.

    Still, this doesn't make buying a home any easier, especially for first-time buyers, Lee said.

    "Starter homes have become increasingly scarce and priced higher each year," she said. According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials represent the largest share of homebuyers at 36% — 65% of whom are becoming homeowners for the first time.

    "To be a competitive buyer in today's market, we recommend working with an agent that knows the market, getting pre-approved for a loan, and having your down payment ready," Lee said.

    SEE ALSO: Owning a $1 million home is no longer considered a luxury in America

    DON'T MISS: How Trump's new tax law affects homeowners at every income level from $83,000 to $336,000 a year

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time

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    elon musk mars bfr rocket spaceship launch earth launch transportation system youtube

    Elon Musk is working on something out-of-this-world in Los Angeles.

    The founder of SpaceX has spokenfor years about building the Big Falcon Rocket: a giant reusable launch system designed to get people to and from Mars (and perhaps around Earth).

    Most recently, Musk said SpaceX hopes to begin short up-and-down launches of the BFR system's 157-foot-tall spaceship in early 2019. The testing will occur on the company's McGregor, Texas, campus.

    Until now, however, SpaceX has been mum about where, exactly, it plans to build such enormous rockets.

    On Monday, a member of the r/SpaceX community on Reddit noticed a curious move by the Board of Harbor Commissioners in Los Angeles. The organization recently and quietly approved a 788-page plan by SpaceX to lease an 18-acre site in the Port of Los Angeles, including a 200,000-square-foot facility to "to manufacture large commercial transportation vessels".

    Eric Berger at Ars Technica has since anonymously confirmed that the facility "is, indeed, intended for the manufacture of the BFR."

    A source close to the matter told Business Insider that SpaceX is likely just weeks away from being officially offered a lease to the site.

    Here's what we know about the proposed plan, and what SpaceX's "state-of-the-art" Mars rocket factory may look like when finished.

    SEE ALSO: SpaceX has some competition — here are 9 futuristic rockets of the new space race

    DON'T MISS: Elon Musk has achieved an incredible feat: Making SpaceX launches increasingly boring

    Musk has dreams of colonizing Mars with reusable BFR spaceships that can carry up to 100 people or 140,000 lbs into space. Eventually, he'd like 1 million people to colonize the red planet over decades, as a backup plan for Earth.

    Source: Business Insider (1, 2)

    Fully assembled, the BFR will be about 348 feet tall — some 40 feet bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

    To transport the rocket's enormous spaceship and booster to a launch site, the company will need to use a boat. Because of that, SpaceX's campus in Hawthorne isn't a practical location to build and assemble the BFR since it's not on the water.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Waldorf Astoria, exterior

    • Chinese regulators have been buckling down on major real-estate investors, including Anbang Insurance and HNA group. 
    • In efforts to pay off debts, the two companies have been selling US commercial real-estate assets.
    • The sell off could hurt sales and put upward pressure on cap rates, or the rate of return on investments, for American hotels.

    Two huge real-estate investors based in China are strapped for cash, and that could mean trouble for some commercial property valuations in the US.

    Chinese regulators started buckling down on Anbang Insurance (AI) and HNA Group (HNA) last year, and now the companies are scrambling to pay off debts. They're getting rid of properties left and right, many in the US. 

    The selloff will likely hurt sales and put upward pressure on cap rates (the rate of return on an investment) for commercial real estate assets in certain American cities, according to Jonathan Woloshin, head of Americas Fundamental Research at UBS Wealth Management's Chief Executive Office.   

    "We agree that there could be some near-term disruption in certain asset classes as these two companies divest CRE assets," Woloshin wrote in a note to clients. 

    Last month, the Chinese government seized Anbang — which owns the Waldorf Astoria and has stakes in Hilton Hotels, LaQuinta Inns & Suites, Motel 6 and Wyndham Worldwide — for violating economic laws and regulations. It's likely they will quickly divest the company's assets, putting pressure on hotel values in key cities.

    Over the past several months, HNA — which owns a piece of Park Hotels & Resorts and recently sold its stake in Hilton Grand Vacations — has divested approximately $3 billion of assets in the US commercial real-estate market. It plans to sell about $16 billion in assets by June, according to Bloomberg.

    "Over the longer term, we do believe it is reasonable to conclude that the absence of some of these highly acquisitive Chinese companies could cap values for certain CRE assets in select geographies," Woloshin wrote. 

    However, strong demand in the commercial real-estate sector could slightly reduce negative impacts.

    "The copious amount of global capital targeted towards CRE investment will likely help mitigate some of the downside pressure," Woloshin wrote. 

    SEE ALSO: Real estate players are looking to corner the market on both baby boomers and millennials

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Facebook can still track you even if you delete your account — here's how to stop it

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    Jared Kushner

    • A New York City building regulator is investigating Kushner Companies for allegedly filing false paperwork when applying for construction permits. 
    • The false filings were made while Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and his senior adviser, was the head of the company, the regulator claims.
    • The false documents allowed the Kushner Companies to escape extra scrutiny during construction at 34 of its buildings, according to the regulator,

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s buildings regulator launched investigations at more than a dozen Kushner Cos. properties Wednesday following an Associated Press report that the real estate developer routinely filed false paperwork claiming it had zero rent-regulated tenants in its buildings across the city.

    The Department of Buildings is investigating possible “illegal activity” involving applications that sought permission to begin construction work at 13 of the developer’s buildings, according to public records maintained by the regulator. The AP reported Sunday that Kushner Cos. stated in more than 80 permit applications that it had zero rent-regulated tenants in its buildings when it, in fact, had hundreds.

    The false filings were made while Kushner Cos. was run by Jared Kushner, now senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. The false filings were all signed by a Kushner employee, sometimes by its chief operating officer. None were signed by Jared Kushner himself.

    The false documents allowed the Kushner Cos. to escape extra scrutiny during construction at 34 of its buildings, many which showed a sharp decline in rent-regulated units following the work. Housing Rights Initiative, a watchdog group that uncovered the false filings, says that made it easier for the Kushner Cos. to harass the low-paying, rent-regulated tenants so they would leave, freeing up apartments for higher-paying tenants.

    The Kushner Cos. said Wednesday that it is the victim of “politically motivated attacks.” It said it values and respects its tenants and operates under “the highest legal and ethical standards.”

    In earlier statements the company said it outsourced preparation of its permit applications to third parties, and described the wrong information as “mistakes or typographical errors.” It also said it corrected mistakes as soon as it spotted them.

    The buildings department confirmed on Wednesday that its building marshal’s office had launched investigations into possible false paperwork.

    “Our building marshal is a key part of our Tenant Harassment Task Force,” spokesman Joseph Soldevere said. “And when they inspect a building they look into everything from the roof to the cellar to find illegal construction, and that’s what they are doing.”

    The agency has disciplined a contractor involved in false filings at two Kushner buildings, he said.

    The Kushner Cos. filed more than one permit application at many of the buildings under investigation. At least 10 of the 29 applications under investigation were filed by prior owners.

    On Monday, the city council launched a joint investigation with Housing Rights Initiative into the false filings.

    The heads of the joint investigations, Councilman Ritchie Torres, a Democrat, and Housing Rights Initiative founder Aaron Carr, said in a statement that they were encouraged by the buildings department probe, but that more needed to be done.

    “The predatory practices of Kushner Companies is symptomatic of a systemic failure in DOB enforcement,” it said.

    SEE ALSO: Jared Kushner's company filed fake rent-control paperwork about its properties in order to turn a massive profit

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    steven chen

    • Steve Chen purchased a $4.85 million condo at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco in 2007. 
    • Between fixing the condo up and property taxes, Chen spent millions on the condo.
    • Chen decided to sell the Ritz-Carlton property, losing a net of $4.53 million.

    A lot, as the co-founder of YouTube is finding out.

    At a certain level of wealth, these things aren’t the end of the world. But they do add up.

    Back in September 2007 – so 10.5 years ago – at absolute peak frenzy of the Housing Bubble in San Francisco, the co-founder of YouTube, Steve Chen, purchased a two-level 3,030 square foot condo, #2402, at the high-rise Ritz-Carlton Residences on 690 Market Street for $4.85 million. At the time, it was an unfinished empty shell.

    He then built it out as “überswank bachelor pad,” as SocketSite called it, including a double-height and double-wide living area, with a build-out budget “estimated to have been nearly as much as the shell.”

    So in terms of the build-out costs, let’s round that down to the nearest million: $4 million. OK, bear with me; if we’re off by a few hundred thousand bucks, no big deal because these are adding up to be really big numbers.

    At this point, not counting Home Owner Association (HOA) fees, property taxes, insurance, mortgage interest, and other expenses, he has plowed $8.85 million in it.

    But then, without ever having lived in his trophy condo, he got married, had kids, and moved down the Peninsula. “And according to a plugged-in source, Chen is finally giving up the penthouse,” SocketSite reported in October 2012, when the pristine, unlived-in unit came on the market for the first time. His asking price, to get out from under it: $8 million. But it didn’t sell, and he pulled it off the market.

    A few days ago, according to and Zillow, the still unlived-in condo came back on the market but at a big discount from what the aspirational price had been in 2012. Now the asking price has been cut to $5.95 million.

    So let’s do the math of how much money Chen might have by now plowed into this condo over those 10.5 years without ever having lived in it.

    Property taxes: According to, the property taxes were:

    • 2015: $80,728
    • 2016: $81,456
    • 2017: $81,310.

    Property taxes in California can only increase by a maximum of 2% per year while under the same ownership, thanks to Proposition 13. When the property is sold, the next owner gets to pay property taxes based on the new assessed value, and that often means a large increase for the buyer.

    Chen bought at the peak of the last Housing Bubble. Prices in San Francisco declined from late 2007 through 2011, bottomed out in January 2012 and then began to surge again.

    So let’s assume Chen’s property tax bill started at $70,000 in 2007 and rose to $81,300 by 2017 in equal increments. This would amount to an average of $75,600 a year or $794,000 for the 10.5-year period.

    Home Owner Association fees. Zillow lists monthly HOA fees of $3,640. Let’s assume that they started out lower, say at $3,200 a month and increased in equal increments, for an average of $3,420 a month. That’s $35,910 per year, and about $377,000 for the 10.5-year period.

    Brokerage commission. The condo is listed by Sotheby’s. If the unit sells at asking price, and if the brokerage commission is 6%, it would amount to $357,000.

    So the estimate costs, not counting insurance and mortgage interest:

    • Acquisition: $4,950,000
    • Build-out: $4,000,000
    • Property taxes, 10.5 years: $794,000
    • HOA fees, 10.5 years: $377,000
    • Sales commissions: $357,000

    Subtotal: $10.48 million.

    So after a sale at asking price of $5.95 million, minus the $10.48 million in costs over the 10.5-year period, Chen would have lost $4.53 million on his bachelor-condo adventure, without ever having lived in it. This loss would be almost equal the original purchase price of $4.85 million. Let that sink in for a moment: to lose $4.53 million on real estate that had original been acquired for $4.85 million!

    This assumes that he didn’t insure it and that he didn’t finance any part of it, and that he can sell it at the current asking price. In the unlikely scenario that he financed $8 million in purchase price and build out costs, it would add about $2.5 million to his total costs before taxes.

    Perhaps he can sell the unit at the current asking price. But that’s not a certainty. After a historic construction boom, San Francisco is awash in high-end units. For example, there are five other units listed for sale on Zillow in the same building on 690 Market Street – and OK, I get it, they’re not “überswank bachelor pads,” but still, they’re on the market competing with each other in the same building:

    • #202: 1 BR, 1.5 bath, $1.15 million, 29 days the market.
    • #504: 2 BR, 2.5 bath, $1.75 million, 29 days on the market.
    • #701: 1 BR, 1.5 bath, $1.395 million, 29 days on the market
    • #505: 2 BR, 2.5 bath, $1.795 million, 29 days on the market
    • And interestingly, #1702: 2 BR, 2.5 bath to be sold in a pre-foreclosure auction, at a foreclosure estimate of $1.2 million.

    This is in addition to the inventory on the market from brand-new condo towers in the area.

    Now if Chen has to cut the price by another $1 million to unload the unit, and sell it for $4.95 million, and this takes another year of running expenses, his loss (including lower broker commission) will jump to around $6.1 million, not including interest and insurance, for a unit he’d originally acquired for $4.85 million.

    So I wish Chen the best of luck in getting out from under his bachelor-condo adventure in a pain-minimizing manner.

    SEE ALSO: All the crazy things happening in San Francisco because of its out-of-control housing prices

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Puerto Vallarta mexico

    • Exotic locales from Canada to South America draw millions of tourists every year.
    • But some vacationers are looking for more than a one-time visit — they want a home away from home.
    • Based on Google searches originating in the US, these are the top 30 countries in North, South, and Central America where people are eyeing a vacation home.


    If you've ever fantasized about turning your getaway dreams into reality, you've got company.

    Approximately 14% of realtor respondents in the National Association of Realtors' Profile of International Activity in US Residential Real Estate said they had a US client seeking property abroad — 87% of those clients sought to use the property as a vacation home.

    In a recent report, Point2 Homes revealed the most popular spots Americans were looking tobuy a vacation home.

    To compile this data, they ranked US users' Google searches from January 2017 to January 2018 using keywords regarding homes for sale abroad in countries located in the Americas. The countries were then ranked based on average monthly search volume.

    Below, check out the top 30 countries Americans are dreaming of making their home away from home.

    SEE ALSO: American homes are more affordable than they've been in 40 years — but that could change sooner than you think

    DON'T MISS: How much homes cost right now in the Hamptons, one of America's most elite summer vacation destinations

    30. British Virgin Islands — The 60-island archipelago has specifically seen an uptick in demand for high-end properties, particularly in Tortola and Virgin Gorda, its two most populated islands.

    Monthly Google searches: 1,990

    Source:Global Property Buying Guide

    29. Saint Martin — The French side of the island has no shortage of luxury villas and sea views, with homes for sale under $200,000.

    Monthly Google searches: 2,160

    Source:Point2 Homes

    28. Turks and Caicos Islands — It's easy to see the appeal of the last outpost of the Caribbean thanks to its 250 days of sunshine. With the promise of its first-ever cliffside residences come 2020, the islands might rank even higher on this list in a few years.

    Monthly Google searches: 2,210

    Source:Turks and Caicos Tourism,AOL

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    • Vacationing in the Hamptons is one of the most elite destinations in America.
    • Many rich celebrities, hedge fund managers, CEOs, socialites, and politicians own multi-million dollar summer homes in the Hamptons.
    • The high volume of mansions in the Hamptons — and its waterfront locale — makes it one of the most expensive real estate markets in the US.

    A waterfront home in the Hamptons— whether that's bayfront or ocean view — will cost you millions.

    Hallmarked by countless famous and flush residents, hedge fund managers, celebrities, CEOs, and socialites alike own vacation homes in the Hamptons. Bill and Hillary Clinton have long vacationed on Georgica Beach in East Hampton. And Southampton even has its very own "Billionaire Lane" reserved for the rich and powerful.

    Such prestige doesn't come cheap. At least seven towns in the Hamptons have a median home listing price of around $1 million. That means half the houses for sale in those places are priced under seven figures, and half are priced above. What's more, at least 11 towns have median home prices between $2.2 million to $5.6 million.

    That's according to StreetEasy, which recently launched a new Hamptons platform, Out East, for sale and rental listings in the Hamptons. Out East provided Business Insider with a list of 14 of the best waterfront homes for sale under $10 million right now — a relative bargain in a place with oceanfront properties listed for up to $175 million.

    Below, take a look at the stunning waterfront homes:

    SEE ALSO: How much homes cost right now in the Hamptons, one of America's most elite summer vacation destinations

    DON'T MISS: American homes are more affordable than they've been in 40 years — but that could change sooner than you think

    Water Mill: $5.495 million

    Set on half an acre, this bungalow has only 1.5 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms, but the sunset views over Mecox Bay are unparalleled.

    Source: Out East

    Montauk: $5.75 million

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    New Haven homeowners

    • Millennials today represent 36% of homebuyers in the US.
    • A new housing community called New Haven, in Ontario, California, reports a millennial homeownership rate of more than 50%.
    • New Haven offers modest homes from $200,000 to $500,000.

    California is no paragon of affordability, particularly when it comes to housing.

    In five California metro areas — including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego — the salary needed to qualify for a mortgage to buy a median-priced home is over $100,000 a year.

    Homeownership in California on a typical income isn't feasible for many of today's would-be buyers, at least in the state's biggest metropolitan hubs.

    In the US, millennials (generally defined as people born between 1981 and 1996) represent 36% of all homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors' most recent trend report. Their median income is $88,200.

    As a result, millennials who want to own homes are moving to the suburbs.

    "I've wanted to be a homeowner for a while — it was high on my priority list," Sam Shwetz, 25, told Business Insider.

    Shwetz and his wife, Sydney, were renting in Costa Mesa, California, when they started to seriously consider becoming homeowners after Shwetz left the Army in 2016. They realized that buying in Orange County, where the median home price hovers around $714,500, was not feasible for them.

    The young couple looked to the so-called Inland Empire, the large swath of desert and foothills that broadly includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It's the fastest-growing US metro area as measured by the number of new millennial residents, according to data from RCLCO, a real-estate-analytics company.

    In a sleepy town about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, called Ontario, a community named New Haven — part of Ontario Ranch, a subdevelopment spanning 8,200 acres — caught their eye.

    "You have to drive through ranches and cows," Sam Shwetz said. "It's like, am I still in California?"

    New Haven

    It's remote, but that doesn't matter. There are parks, pools, recreation centers, new shops, and schools under construction, plus some of the fastest internet speeds in Southern California.

    New Haven is a gigabit community, meaning that for $60 a month residents enjoy download speeds of 1,000 megabits per second (so it takes about six seconds to download a movie). It's great for streaming and gaming, Shwetz said.

    Millennials accounted for 53% of all home sales in New Haven last year, according to Brookfield Residential, the developer and builder of the community and many others like it throughout Southern California and across the US.

    For new homes, "the price range was fantastic," Shwetz said. Townhouses, condos, and single-family homes in New Haven start in the high $200,000s and top out about $500,000 — a bargain the Shwetzes couldn't pass up.

    They both found new jobs in the area (he's a property manager; she's an events assistant at a university) and last October they purchased a 1,900-square-foot home in New Haven for $445,000.

    After the 20% down payment, Shwetz said, they pay about $100 more a month for their mortgage payment than they were paying to rent an 800-square-foot apartment in Costa Mesa, a 45-minute drive away.

    "It takes us less than an hour to get to the beach," Shwetz said. And they still attend the same church in Orange County and meet up with friends there on the weekends.

    New Haven

    Even though New Haven is a Mello-Roos district, which imposes a special tax on homeowners in new communities in California, and a $117-a-month homeowners-association fee, Shwetz said it's worth it.

    Ontario Ranch won't be fully developed for another decade, at least, as it aims to house about 162,000 residents in 47,000 homes, with enough schools and retail and business space to accommodate. The Shwetzes are early adopters of sorts.

    "It's a trade-off — there are not a lot of amenities yet, but there are plans to do it," Shwetz said. "In my mind, that's why housing prices are cheap, and as they build up, housing values will go up."

    He added: "It's a pretty screaming deal."


    SEE ALSO: American homes are more affordable than they've been in 40 years — but that could change sooner than you think

    DON'T MISS: Rich millennials are ditching the golf communities of their parents for a new kind of neighborhood

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    NOW WATCH: Millennials are paying $40 a night to live in these tiny 'pods'

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    Donald Trump and his wife, Ivana, pose outside the Federal Courthouse after she was sworn in as a United States citizen, May 1988.

    • President Donald Trump and then-wife Ivana purchased a Connecticut mansion for $4 million in the early 1980s.
    • During the couple's divorce, Ivana got the house.
    • Ivana sold it in 1998 for $15 million — and it's now on the market again for $45 million.

    A Connecticut mansion, once owned by President Donald Trump and then-wife Ivana is currently on the market for $45 million.

    In the early 1980s, Trump and Ivana purchased the Greenwich mansion for $4 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The home's current owners, financier Robert Steinberg and his wife, Suzanne, purchased the home from Ivana in 1998.

    After Trump and Ivana divorced in the early '90s, the home went to Ivana — who sold it to the Steinberg's for $15 million. Listing agent Tamar Lurie of Coldwell Banker told the Wall Street Journal that when the Steinberg's moved in, there was much more gold decor: "When Donald and Ivana had it, they had it decorated very lavishly," Lurie said. 

    The Stienberg's have since redecorated. Originally, they put the home on the market for $54 million — then reduced its price to $45 million as Trump's presidential campaign was ramping up. It was taken off the market for some time, but is once again listed for $45 million.

    See below to peek inside the home that President Trump and then-wife Ivana once lived in.    

    SEE ALSO: Porn star Stormy Daniels says she had an affair with Trump a year after he married Melania — here's a timeline of the president's many marriages and rumored affairs

    The home sits on 6-acres of property in Greenwich, Connecticut.

    The house is 19,773 square-feet, and has eight bedrooms.

    Its green lawns overlook the Long Island Sound.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    san francisco

    • The median price of a single-family home in San Francisco in March increased 25% year-over-year.
    • But in February, it was even higher — at $1.7 million.
    • Over six years, the median price has surged 143%. 

    Condo price volatility causes whiplash. But the single-family house price surge is just crazy.

    Get this: The median price of a single family house in San Francisco in March soared by 25% year-over-year, or by $337,500, to $1,687,500. But that’s down a notch from February, both in magnitude and nuttiness, when the price had skyrocketed 31% year-over-year, or by $410,000, to the record of $1.7 million flat.

    Over the six years since March 2012, the median house price has ballooned by 143%:

    Screen Shot 2018 04 05 at 8.08.14 AM

    Condos – a category we lump together with TICs (tenancy in common, a specialty in San Francisco), co-ops, and lofts – had been about flat-lining since early 2015, despite major ups and downs in between. The construction boom is putting a lot of new units on the market, though most of them are high end.  So in February the median price dropped 7% year-over-year, or by $80,500, to $1,104,500.

    But in March, all heck re-broke loose, and the median price surged 10% year-over-year, or by $114,750, to a new record of $1.25 million:

    Screen Shot 2018 04 05 at 8.09.11 AM

    “Virtually every market segment in the city is currently experiencing a feverish high-demand, very-low-supply dynamic,” said Patrick Carlisle, Chief Market Analyst at Paragon Real Estate Group, who provided the data. In his report on the San Francisco market, he added:

    Fear of possible impending interest rate increases may be playing a role in demand, but consumer confidence has also been soaring over the past year. Recent financial market volatility, so far, appears to be having little effect on local real estate markets, but it still early to measure this.

    Median price means half of the homes were sold at prices above it, and half at prices below it. March data reflects closings in March. This measure is very different from the Case-Shiller Home Price Index for San Francisco, which tracks price movements not only in San Francisco but in a five-county area; it’s based on comparing sales pairs of the same dwelling, and uses a rolling three-month average that is published with a one month delay. So it will be several months before the first signs of the March spike in median prices show up in the Case-Shiller index.

    San Francisco is becoming a city of multi-family buildings. Over the past decades, nearly all the new units coming on the market were condos and rental apartments. Practically no single-family houses have been built recently. Hence condo sales represent the majority of the market. In total, 275 condos were sold in March, compared to 183 single-family houses. In other words, it doesn’t take a lot of sales at the high end to move the price needle.

    The next two charts below are on the same scale. The first chart depicts the year -over-year change in the median price of condos. The second chart depicts the year-over-year change in the median price of single-family houses. Note the difference in the vertical bars – and in the condo chart, note the 10 red bars since 2015, denoting year-over-year price declines:

    Screen Shot 2018 04 05 at 8.11.00 AM

    Condo price volatility can give you whiplash, for sure. But the year-over-year house price surges are just plain nuts:

    Screen Shot 2018 04 05 at 8.11.38 AM

    Put together, the median price of all types of dwellings jumped 16% year-over-year, or by $193,500, to $1.41 million:

    So who gets the credit for this nuttiness? Timing is key. These sales that closed in March weren’t necessarily negotiated in March. Many of them were negotiated sometime between late last year and late January. These were the times of a booming stock market. Over the 14 months from Trump’s election through January 26 this year, the S&P 500 stock index surged over 30%! The markets were particularly exuberant late last year and in January. San Francisco is uniquely dependent on the stock market, and the ebullient mood – the Trump bump – that lasted until January 26 likely added fuel to the housing market. Which is ironic, considering all the talk of how the new tax law was designed to target the expensive markets in California. Those effects might still set in later. But in March, the Trump bump ruled.

    SEE ALSO: An eerie trend that helped caused the financial crisis is back

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    Brooklyn brownstones.

    • New York real estate has seen huge increases in property prices — particularly in the area known as Williamsburg.
    • The median home value in the North Side-South Side of Brooklyn rose 41% between 2012 and 2016.
    • Six of the top ten New York neighborhoods with rising prices are in Brooklyn. 

    New York real estate has an estimated market value around $1.26 trillion as of 2018, according to the New York Department of Finance. Some New York neighborhoods are more popular than others, putting upward pressure on home values and mortgage costs. Below we look into the phenomenon to find the New York City neighborhoods with the fastest-growing home values.

    We looked at 2012 and 2016 data on median home values for New York City neighborhoods. Check out our data and methodology below to see where we got our data and how we put it together.

    Key findings

    • Brooklyn homes are the hottest — According to our data, homes in Brooklyn are appreciating the fastest. In total six of our top 10 neighborhoods with the fastest growing home values are in Brooklyn.
    • Staten Island falls behind — Staten Island's highest scoring neighborhood was Grymes Hill-Clifton-Fox Hills which ranked 70th and had an 5.8% increase in median home value.

    NYC_Home_values_map 2

    1. North Side-South Side, Brooklyn

    North Side-South Side refers to a portion of Brooklyn's famously gentrified neighborhood of Williamsburg. Located just across the East River from Manhattan, this neighborhood has seen the fastest-growing home values in New York.

    According to our data, the median home value shot up over 41% in the five years between 2012 and 2016. In total the median home was worth $688,433 in 2012 and grew to $971,633 by 2016 — an increase of nearly $300,000 in value.

    2. DUMBO-Vinegar Hill-Downtown Brooklyn-Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

    Another Brooklyn neighborhood takes second. Like North Side-South Side this neighborhood is located on the water facing Manhattan. In 2012, the median home was worth just under $594,000. By 2016 that figure had risen to just shy of $809,300. That is equivalent to an increase of over 36%.

    According to our data, this neighborhood went from having the 50th-highest median home value in 2012 to the 13th-highest in 2016.

    3. East Harlem North, Manhattan

    East Harlem covers the northeastern quadrant of Manhattan running north to south from 96th Street to 140th Street and west to east from 5th Ave to the East River. Residents who have lived in northern part of this area recently will have seen a remarkable increase in property values.

    Census Bureau data shows the median value of homes in this neighborhood increased by about $30,000 per year from 2012 — 2016, for a total increase of $150,000 or 30%.

    4. Ocean Parkway South, Brooklyn

    Located in southern Brooklyn, Ocean Parkway South has seen the fourth-highest increase in median home values. Homeowners should be happy to hear the median home has seen its value increase by $180,000 in this neighborhood. That is equivalent to a 26% increase.

    If you are looking to buy a home here to take advantage of rising property values you will need some serious savings. The median home here is now worth $863,000, meaning for a 20% down payment, you'll need $172,500.

    5. Carroll Gardens-Columbia Street-Red Hook, Brooklyn

    South of the DUMBO-Vinegar Hill-Downtown Brooklyn-Boerum Hill neighborhood is fifth-place Carroll Gardens-Columbia Street-Red Hook. Homes here even in 2012 were pricey. According to Census Bureau data, the median home in this neighborhood was worth $781,300 in 2012. By 2016, our data shows that figure moved up to $978,000.

    That's an increase of over 25% — not a bad return for people who bought a home in 2012, but probably bad news for the area's renters.

    6. Gravesend, Brooklyn

    If you are looking for an affordable home with potential to grow, Gravesend may be your best bet. The average home in this south-central Brooklyn neighborhood was worth $632,500 in 2016.

    However if you bought a home here in 2012, you would have gotten a better deal. Census Bureau data shows the median home was worth $515,000 in 2012. That means from 2012 — 2016 the median home's value increased by 23%.

    7. Midtown-Midtown South, Manhattan

    One of the most touristy and commercial parts of New York, Midtown-Midtown South takes the seventh spot. In total the median home saw its value increase by 23% from 2012 to 2016. The most recent data shows the median home here is now worth $813,600, which would make it the 11th-most expensive neighborhood in the data set.

    8. Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

    The median home in Prospect Heights was worth about $7,000 more than the median home in Midtown-Midtown South (the No. 7 neighborhood) in 2012 and by 2016 the median home in Prospect Heights was worth $6,000 more than the median home in Midtown-Midtown South. In total, the median home in Prospect Heights has seen its value increase by 22% from 2012 to 2016.

    9. East Concourse-Concourse Village, Bronx

    The only Bronx neighborhood to occupy this top 10 is East Concourse-Concourse Village. The median home here was worth $70,000 more in 2016 than it was in 2012, for a total increase of 20%. That is roughly an increase in home values of $14,000 per year.

    The most recent Census Bureau shows that the median home in this Bronx neighborhood is worth $433,300.

    10. Kew Gardens, Queens

    Our list ends in Kew Gardens, Queens. The median home here is worth 20% more in 2016 than in 2012. In total the median home in this neighborhood went from being worth $260,000 to being worth $312,000. That is great news for most homeowners. However an increase in property values comes with an increase in property taxes.

    NYC_Home_values_table 1 1

    Data and methodology

    In order to rank the New York City neighborhoods with the fastest-growing home values, we looked at data for 174 neighborhoods. We came up with the list of neighborhoods by mapping Census Tract data from the 2010 New York City Census. We ranked the neighborhoods using the following two data points.

    • 2012 median home value. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2012 5-year American Community Survey.
    • 2016 median home value. Data comes from the Census Bureau's 2016 5-Year American Community Survey.

    We found the percent change in median home values for every Census Tract in the city. To ensure the quality of our data, we excluded any Census Tract which had a standard error above 20%. Then we found the change in median home values in each neighborhood by finding the average percent change in home values for all the Census Tracts in that neighborhood. We ranked the neighborhoods from highest to lowest based on median home value change.

    SEE ALSO: 5 things I wish someone had told me before I took out student loans

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    fisher island florida

    Fisher Island, Florida, is as exclusive as it gets.

    The 216-acre, man-made island sitting pretty off the coast of Miami Beach is reachable only by boat — most often yacht. It's considered America's most millionaire-dense ZIP code, but less than 20% of the island's residents permanently reside there.

    With its mix of condos, private homes, and hotel rooms, the lush island exists as a retreat for the ultra wealthy, who spend their days golfing, playing tennis, lounging on the beach, boating, and simply relaxing.

    According to 2015 IRS data analyzed by Bloomberg, Fisher Island residents have an average annual salary of $668,900.

    The illustrious Vanderbilt family were the original stewards of Fisher Island, and their penchant for opulence remains.

    Below, find out how Fisher Island became America's most affluent enclave.

    SEE ALSO: How many years it took the 23 richest people in the world to go from millionaire to billionaire

    DON'T MISS: 14 of the best waterfront homes in the Hamptons you can buy for under $10 million

    Though Fisher Island is billed as a world-class travel destination, about 650 families live in private residences on the island. More than 80% of them are seasonal residents. The median listing price of homes for sale as of February was $3.2 million, according to Zillow.

    Source: Zillow, Fisher Island Club

    Fisher Island maintains more than 100 boat slips for yacht-owning residents. Yacht and 24/7 public ferry are the only way to access the island.

    Source: Fisher Island Club

    Fisher Island has been rumored to draw celebrities in search of privacy. Oprah Winfrey owned a condo on Fisher Island for several years, but listed the property for just over $2 million in 2008. Other past residents reportedly include tennis legend Boris Becker and actor Mel Brooks.

    Source:Variety, Forbes

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Google CEO Sundar Pichai Google Assistant

    • Google acquired Chelsea Market in the first quarter for 2.4 billion.
    • It more than doubled the total volume of sales.
    • With the Google deal, total transaction volume jumped to $4.52 billion.

    Chinese entities – such as the conglomerates – were once the dominant buyer in US trophy office markets, such as Manhattan. It ended with a big bang in the second quarter of 2017 when Chinese entities accounted for half of the commercial real estate volume in Manhattan, including its sixth largest transaction ever, the $2.2 billion purchase of 245 Park Avenue by the conglomerate HNA Group. It paid $1,282 per square foot, as it was called, “among the highest price per pound for this type of asset.” It was the last big Chinese property purchase in Manhattan.

    But Google blew that deal out of the water, with its $2.4 billion acquisition of the iconic eight-story Chelsea Market at 75 Ninth Ave in Q1 this year. This was the second largest deal ever to close in Manhattan. And Google paid a breath-taking $2,181 per square foot. We will never again laugh about the inflated prices Chinese buyers were paying.

    The property, built in 1934, now has 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space. It used to be the factory of National Biscuit Co. (later renamed Nabisco) where the Oreo cookie was invented and produced.

    Nowadays, the property houses an eclectic mix of high-profile tenants, including Google, YouTube, the Food Network, and EMI. New owner Google also owns the building across the street at 111 Eighth Ave., which it acquired back in 2010 for $1.8 billion.

    And here is what that Google deal did to the Manhattan office market: It more than doubled the total volume of sales! Without the Google deal, total transaction volume would have been $2.12 billion. With the Google deal, it jumped to $4.52 billion!

    With only nine major deals in Q1 (red line, left scale in the chart below), Google’s mega-deal seriously moved the needle. But there weren’t enough of these mega-deals to bring back the good old days of Q1 2015, when 21 deals were made for a total of $10.1 billion (blue bars, left scale):Screen Shot 2018 04 13 at 2.32.14 PM

    This according to CommercialCafé, which used Yardi Matrix data to analyze all Manhattan office transactions recorded through April 5, 2018, of $5 million or more, and larger than 50,000 square feet. In the case of mixed-use properties, only those with over 50% office space were taken into account.

    And the dizzying price of $2,181 per square foot that Google forked over pushed the average price per square foot to a record $1,266, up 70% from Q1 last year:

    Screen Shot 2018 04 13 at 2.33.00 PM

    While Google’s huge price-per-square foot inflated total sales volume as measured in dollars, total sales volume as measured in square footage wasn’t so hot, at 3.6 million square feet:

    Screen Shot 2018 04 13 at 2.33.36 PM

    Google’s mega deal, at $2.4 billion, was five times larger than the second largest deal, 1700 Broadway, which was acquired for $464 million by Rockpoint Group.

    Former Chinese buyers have turned into sellers. HNA Group, the same that did the last Chinese mega deal in Manhattan in Q2 2017, sold (in conjunction with MHP Real Estate Services) its building on 1180 Avenue of the Americas, for $305 million, the fifth largest transaction in Q1.

    And there’s plenty of supply coming on the market in Manhattan. In Q1, three projects totaling 1 million square feet were delivered. In Q2, eight new projects totaling 6.5 million square feet are scheduled to be delivered, according to Yardi Matrix data, including the 2.5 million-square-foot 80-story tower, 3 World Trade Center.

    Ironically, this tower, which was planned years ago, will put on the market precisely what everyone now needs absolutely the most of, going forward, as the industry is struggling with the brick-and-mortar meltdown: five floors of brick-and-mortar retail space; and it will share an additional 350,000 square feet of underground brick-and-mortar retail space with the WTC Transportation Hub.

    SEE ALSO: A historical dive into Google's new New York property, Chelsea Market

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    houses housing homes toronto canada

    • Canadian real estate prices have stalled across the country.
    • The Teranet-National Bank House Price Index is at levels making moves it has never made before outside of a recession. 
    • The March composite index usually increases by at least 0.20%, but did virtually nothing this year. 

    Canadian real estate prices are acting a little skittish. The TeranetNational Bank House Price Index, shows real estate prices stalled across the country. In addition, the index is making moves we haven’t seen outside of a recession.


    If you’re a regular reader, feel free to skip this. For those that don’t know, The Teranet-National Bank HPI is a different measure of real estate data, that relies on property registry information instead of sales. Many misinformed agents refer to this as a “delayed” measure, but that’s not the case. The use of registry data means that the information is “late” compared to the MLS, but it’s more accurate.

    Using registry information means only completed sales are included. In contrast, the MLS uses just sales. In a hot market, few sales fall through, so the MLS is definitely a faster read. In a cooling market, sales can start to fall through, as some buyers look for a way out while prices drop. This is often not reflected in MLS data, since a transfer occurs 30 to 90 days after a sale. They each have their trade offs, and neither is better or worse than they other. If you’re really into housing data, it’s best to check both to get a real feel for the market.

    Screen Shot 2018 04 16 at 2.59.24 PM

    Canadian Real Estate Prices Are Unchanged

    Canadian real estate prices didn’t do a whole lot in March. The 11 City Composite index remained virtually unchanged compared to February. Prices are up 6.61% compared to the year before. National Bank analysts noted this is “the first time outside a recession when the March composite index was not up at least 0.2%” It was also the first time that only 4 out of the 11 markets saw an increase, outside of a recession. The unusual move is definitely worth noting from a macro perspective.

    Screen Shot 2018 04 16 at 3.00.13 PM

    Toronto Real Estate Prices Are Flat

    The Toronto real estate market has no idea what to do right now. The index showed prices remained flat from last month, and up 4.31% from last year. Prices are down 7.3% from the July peak when adjusted, and 7.9% when non-adjusted. This is the lowest pace of annual price growth since November 2013.

    Screen Shot 2018 04 16 at 3.01.33 PM

    Funny thing to note is experts, including some bank executives, are saying the correction is over. Technically speaking, a correction hasn’t even begun according to this index. A correction is when prices fall more than 10% from peak, in less than a year, which we haven’t seen yet. If I didn’t know any better, it would appear that mortgage sellers bank executives are misinformed. How strange.

    Vancouver Real Estate Prices Hit A New All-Time High

    Vancouver real estate prices, driven entirely by condo appreciation, hit a new all-time high. Prices increased 0.5% from the month before, and are up 15.43% from the same month last year. Prices on the index showed monthly increases in 13 of the past 15 months. Teranet-National Bank analysts noted that gains are tapering, and this is “consistent with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.”

    Screen Shot 2018 04 16 at 3.02.15 PM

    Montreal Real Estate Prices Drop 0.2%

    The market brokerages have been attempting to rocket, appears to be a failure to launch. The index showed that prices declined 0.2% in March, and are up just 4.27% from the same month last year. Annual price increases peaked in December at just under 6%, and has been tapering ever since. Technically speaking, Montreal has yet to outperform the general Canadian market. Despite what you may have read in Montreal media.

    Screen Shot 2018 04 16 at 3.02.53 PM

    Canadian real estate prices are acting unusual compared to movements typically made outside of a recession. However, they are moving in a typical real estate cycle. A gain as large as we’ve seen nationally, has never not been followed by a negative price movement. Try to act surprised when you see it. Bank economists will.

    SEE ALSO: Manhattan rents tumble by the most in nearly 7 years even after landlords offer a ton of freebies

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    • HSBC's Expat Explorer allows you to find the best countries for expats using any combination of criteria.
    • Job security, wage growth, safety, and a good quality of life are important factors when choosing a country to settle in.
    • Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland are the best countries for expats based on those factors.

    Living in a foreign country can be a scary experience, but it can be easier if you live somewhere with strong job security, a safe environment, and a fun social life.

    According to HSBC's Expat Explorer Survey, the average expat has an income of $99,900, a 25% increase from their salary in their home country, and many expats report a better quality of life and better work/life balances than they had in their home country.

    Wage growth is a vital economic factor for many people as they look to become expats. The countries where expats see the highest income increase are Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and United Arab Emirates. Expats' income grows by at least 50% when they move to one of these three countries. Switzerland also has the highest annual income for expats at $193,006.

    But it's not all about the money. HSBC's global report also found that safety and quality of life are important indicators for people looking to live abroad. Cost of living also matters for people living in a new country.

    Business Insider looked at the best countries for expats that have high marks in five categories: job security, wage growth, safety, quality of life, and social life.

    Along with each country, we listed the monthly rent for a two-bedroom house, subway fare, the price of a cappuccino, the price of a McDonald's Big Mac meal, and the cost for one month of internet service. For the few countries where subway data was not available, bus fare was used instead.

    Below, check out 27 of the best countries for expats.

    SEE ALSO: Highly skilled foreign workers are still flowing into the US — and in some cities, they make more than $100,000 yearly

    DON'T MISS: How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen

    27. United Kingdom

    Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $4,300-$5,730

    Subway fare: $4.87

    McDonald's Big Mac meal: $8.58

    Cappuccino: $4.58

    Internet per month: $40.11

    26. Belgium

    Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $1,484

    Subway fare: $2.60

    McDonald's Big Mac meal: $9.89

    Cappuccino: $3.71

    Internet per month: $44.52

    25. Portugal

    Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $1,484

    Subway fare: $1.79

    McDonald's Big Mac meal: $6.80

    Cappuccino: $1.86

    Internet per month: $30.92

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Stephen Gilpin, former Trump University professor and author of "Trump U: The Inside Story of Trump University," explains what it was like to work at the for-profit real estate training program before it went defunct amidst class action lawsuits and allegations of fraud. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Donald Trump: At Trump University we teach success. That's what it's all about. Success. It's going to happen to you.

    Stephen Gilpin: This wasn't your average college student. Even though there was some of them that were young enough. These are middle-aged students. These are the single housewives where their husband had passed away.

    These are the people that wanted to make a difference in their life through real estate and you know Donald Trump's ads and videos on YouTube and everything its, "You too can be rich in real estate.""You can be a millionaire." And you know what a person? Everybody believed it.

    These people were taking their life savings or some cases their life savings or taking their retirements and some of them were even maxing out their credit cards to pay $35,000 to get that coaching, the infill, some retreats. You heard of Donald Trump and you thought real estate empire, self-made man.

    And then I came up from Florida and the interviewing process realized that in the beginning a lot of people asked me questions about real estate transactions, real estate deals, state laws, real estate contract laws. It was pretty much easy to answer but I felt like from my get-go I was teaching and educating the people that actually worked there.

    I was delusional at the time because I thought to myself what kind of business does this Trump U is and what kind of business is it and especially when it seems like no one inside that's interviewing me really knows real estate. They picked me to actually work as their inside house coach mentor and at that point in time it wasn't totally honest what was going on.

    In the beginning I admired Trump. In the beginning I actually looked forward to working for him. I loved working with the students. I loved to be in the advisor position. It wasn't until I started noticing things where they started attending these live events because I would get phone calls from students saying well I was taught this at this live event in New York City or in Texas or in Florida. And at that point in time I was like well you can't do that. That's illegal in your state.

    So, then I went to Michael Sexton and the owners and the people that were in charge and I said to them I said somebody needs to go and audit these live events because I think something's being taught not kosher or illegal. So I was the guy who had to be attending those live events and they took that and they used it to do more upsells and sells and all and I was the inside guy coming back thinking to myself these people don't really know real estate.

    They're sharks in the water and they're just high pressured sales people. So I was credentialed and I had to prove it. Why didn't they have to prove it? And here we found out later through the subpoenas and through the whole entire court process that I went through is that they weren't. And that they were lying and through the students calling me in and telling me through the hotlines. That's when we realized that uh oh. This is not gonna go far and it's gonna go downhill.

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    • The housing market is tight, with rising demand and limited supply.
    • But despite surging house prices, many existing homeowners aren't selling homes. 
    • That's because of two main market dynamics at play. 

    In March, the housing market continued to underperform its potential. Actual existing home sales are 4.5 percent below the market potential for home sales, according to our Potential Home Sales model. The lack of supply is the primary culprit. The inventory of homes for sale in most markets remains historically tight, yet demand continues to rise as millennials further age into homeownership. Limited supply and rising demand means house prices are surging, so why aren’t more existing homeowners selling their homes? Two market dynamics are at play.

    Market Dynamic 1: Locked to Your Mortgage Rate

    Many existing homeowners are ‘rate-locked.’ The majority of existing homeowners have mortgages with historically low rates and, now that rates are rising, they are hesitant to sell their homes. They recognize that once they sell and purchase a new home, they will have a higher mortgage rate. There is limited incentive to sell when, due to higher mortgage rates, it will cost you more each month just to borrow the same amount from the bank. As mortgage rates rise further, more existing homeowners may become rate locked into their existing homes.

    Market Dynamic 2: Prisoner to the Market

    The root of the second dynamic at play is that the housing market is not like most markets. Typically, the seller, or supplier, makes their decision about adding supply to the market independent of the buyer, or source of demand, and their decision to buy. Yet, in the housing market, the seller and the buyer are, in many cases, actually the same person – the existing homeowner. In order to buy a new home, you have to sell the home you already own, and then find a home you like better. Every home is different, an almost perfectly heterogeneous product so, when supply is constrained like it is in today’s market, it becomes difficult to find a home better than what you already own.

    Potential sellers face a prisoner’s dilemma, a situation in which individuals don’t cooperate with each other, even though it seems in their best interest to do so. If sellers all choose to sell, they would all benefit as buyers because they would increase the inventory of homes available and alleviate the supply shortage. However, the risk of selling if others don’t in a market with a shortage of inventory prevents many existing homeowners from selling. The result is prices are further bid up by competition for the increasingly short supply.

    Our Potential Home Sales Model estimates the expected level of existing-home sales based on market fundamentals. The market potential for home sales based on current fundamentals is currently estimated to be 6 million at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR). The market for existing-home sales is underperforming its potential by 4.5 percent and this market performance gap is growing.

    The housing market is facing a deluge of demographically-driven demand, and the greatest supply shortage in 60 years of record keeping, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The increasing pace of new construction, particularly completions, will alleviate some of the supply shortage in the longer run, but in the meantime there are two reasons why existing homeowners have become prisoners in their own castles -- the rate lock-in effect and the seller’s prisoner’s dilemma.

    March 2018 Potential Home Sales

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

    • Potential existing-home sales increased to a 6.04 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR), a 0.3 percent month-over-month increase.
    • This represents a 61.8 percent increase from the market potential low point reached in February 2011.
    • The market potential for existing-home sales increased by 3.4 percent compared with a year ago, a gain of 201,190 (SAAR) sales.
    • Currently, potential existing-home sales is 1.25 million (SAAR), or 17.1 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 4.5 percent or an estimated 273,000 (SAAR) sales.
    • The market performance gap increased by an estimated 22,700 (SAAR) sales between February 2018 and March 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: Here's where Americans are moving to and from

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    home buyer real estate agent house tour

    • Monthly costs of an "entry-level home" on a nationwide basis surged 9% in March from a year ago. 
    • Rising housing costs siphon off the new owner’s income, which then can't be used for other things.
    • Potential buyers are looking for housing further away and incurring commute costs.

    Home prices have been surging in many markets, mortgage rates have been rising, and incomes have plodded along with little growth, and the disconnect is getting bigger and bigger. This is not a problem for well-to-do Americans who’ve owned a lot of assets and benefited from the rampant asset price inflation over the past eight years, but it is a problem for those trying to buy a home based on their wages, especially first-time buyers, which now include more and more millennials.

    Freddie Mac reported on Thursday that its weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 4.47%, the highest since January 2014, which is still very low historically. On Friday, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate for top tier borrowers rose to 4.58%, according to Mortgage News Daily, on a day when the Treasury 10-year yield surged to 2.96%, the highest since 2014.

    This comes to the drumbeat of ballooning home prices.

    So, the monthly costs of an “entry-level home” on a nationwide basis surged 9% in March from a year ago, according to a note by John Burns Real Estate Consulting Senior Research Analyst Devyn Bachman.

    The report defined “entry-level home” as one that sells for 80% of the median price (resale and new) in that particular market. It assumed a 5% down-payment and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the remainder. The monthly costs include principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and private mortgage insurance. But they do not include maintenance and other costs associated with owning a home.

    In the San Francisco Bay Area – a diverse area that includes San Francisco, Silicon Valley, much of the East Bay, and parts of the North Bay – the monthly costs of this entry-level home surged 14% in March compared to a year earlier, to $4,673!

    This is the highest monthly cost of any major Metropolitan Statistical Area in the US. But this is based on the median price of a large and diverse area. In some cities within the Bay Area, monthly costs of the “entry-level home” are lower, in others far higher.

    For example, in San Francisco, where the median home is $1.4 million, and the “entry-level home” $1.12 million, the monthly mortgage payment (interest and principal) would come to about $5,400 for an entry-level home. Property taxes would come to about $633 a month. So already over $6,000 a month. Plus insurance and private mortgage insurance. So pretty soon, this “entry-level home” costs about $75,000 a year, not including utilities, maintenance, and other expenses. If it’s a condo – and at this price, it certainly is a condo – the homeowner association fees will have to be added on top.

    This is why even the median Facebook employee (not to be confused with its contract workers), making over $240,000 a year in total compensation before income taxes, is feeling the squeeze.

    In the Seattle metro, the monthly costs of the entry-level home jumped 13% from a year ago to $2,790 – the second highest in the country.

    The report finds that in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the Seattle metro, “home buyers have become overly exuberant.” To put it mildly.

    In the vast and divers New York City metro area, the costs of an entry-level home inched up 1% to $2,634 – third highest in the country.

    However, the median price in Manhattan was $1.1 million in Q1 and the average price was nearly $2 million, according to the Elliman Report. Within Manhattan, there are huge differences. In TriBeCa, the most expensive spot, the median sales price was $3.6 million, according to PropertyShark. In SoHo, it was $3.2 million, in the West Village it was $2.3 million. These are condos or coops. Talk about “overly exuberant” home buyers.

    There simply are no “entry-level homes” in these neighborhoods. This is the case in many areas of Manhattan. So just forget it.

    Of the largest 31 metro areas, 23 have an affordability problem that is “notably worse than the long-term norm,” the report finds.

    So here’s Burns’ list of the monthly housing costs of the top 31 metros, in order of their year-over-year percentage increases. The San Francisco Bay Area is at the top with a 14% jump in costs. The New York and Washington D.C. metros are at the bottom with increases of 1% (I added the red marks):

    Screen Shot 2018 04 23 at 8.48.41 AM

    “In conclusion, home buyers can afford less homes today than they could one year ago,” the report says. This is the effect of rampant asset price inflation. It hits real life in this way:

    • The costs of housing will siphon off the new owner’s income that cannot be used for other things.
    • Potential buyers are looking for housing further away, thus incurring the costs and hassles of longer commutes.
    • Buyers end up with something even smaller (not as if homes in New York City or San Francisco are palatial in size to begin with).
    • They’re looking for condos instead of single-family houses.

    And starting in 2018, there will be additional costs due to the new tax law – on top of home-price increases and jumpy mortgage interest rates: the mortgage interest deductibility has been further reduced.

    So first-time buyers, having missed out on the home-price surge of the past eight or so years – this includes most millennials – bear the brunt of the costs of this asset price inflation in the housing market. That lunch was free for some. But others are paying for it. And those folks, including the millennials, can go to the Fed and complain about it since it was the Fed that set out to “heal” the housing market after the Financial Crisis by purposefully inflating home prices – or more precisely, devalue the fruits of labor for buying assets.

    Bonds, junk bonds, spreads, commercial real estate, leveraged loans, over-leveraged companies… all get named as risks to the banks. This is why “gradual” tightening will continue for a long time. 

    SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: A steadfast source of stock market turmoil is poised to make a comeback

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     North Palm Beach Florida 3

    • Tiger Woods and his ex-wife, former Swedish model Elin Nordegren, divorced in 2010 after six years of marriage.
    • In 2011, Nordegren purchased property in North Palm Beach, Florida, and custom built a mansion.
    • The 11-bedroom mansion is now listed for $49.5 million.


    Tiger Woods' ex-wife Elin Nordegren, who was married to the pro golfer for six years, has placed her 11-bedroom Florida mansion on the market for $49.5 million. Woods and 38-year-old Nordegren divorced in 2010.

    The property was purchased by Nordegren in 2011 for $12.25 million, and the custom-built mansion was completed in 2014.

    The 23,176 square-foot oceanfront home is in Seminole Landing — a private, gated community in North Palm Beach, Florida. The property comes with 11 bedrooms, 15 full baths, a guest house, and a four-car garage.

    Other perks inside include a wine cellar, theater, fitness center, a catering kitchen, and a three-story Swarovski crystal chandelier. The home is inspired by British West Indies architectural design, and if the beach doesn't impress, there's also a swimming pool equipped with a waterslide and spa, lounge areas with fire pits, a half basketball court, and a putting green.

    The listing is held by Cristina Condon and Todd Peter of Sotheby's International Realty.

    Keep scrolling for a full tour of the mansion.

    SEE ALSO: An elite networking group that counts professional athletes and fashion executives as members is turning an island off Finland into the next Soho House

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    In total the mansion is 25,878 square feet.

    The home sits on 1.4 acres of land.

    The design was inspired by British West Indies architectural design.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider