When a Home Is Suddenly Called Historic

BY  ON OCTOBER 14, 2019

What happens when you try to sell a property and a 3rd party throws a wrench into the process at the last minute?  That’s what happened to a couple in Florida that had a contract to sell their house (and adjacent lots) for a new development but a neighbor put in an application to have their home designated as a historic property.  According to the Wall Street Journal article (as reposted by Realtor.com), everything then “stopped in its tracks.”  Indeed….

“Third-party historic designation is among the most contentious tools that historic preservationists have at their disposal. It pits homeowners against local preservation enthusiasts, and some who the owners suspect have motives unrelated to historic preservation.”

“Local historic districts date to the 1930s, when states and communities gave local towns the right to create historic areas and to establish rules on what could be done to structures inside the district, or to buildings deemed historic on their own. Those rules vary widely but generally govern changes to the exterior of a home viewable from a public way.”


Click here to read the full story at Realtor.com.

Click here to read the full story at WSJ.com.

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Yardi Says Rent Growth Flattened in September

BY  ON OCTOBER 14, 2019

According to the latest Yardi Matrix, U.S. multifamily rents flattened in September, coming in at $1,471 with year-over-year growth coming in at 3.2%.  Yardi says multifamily rent growth performance is still “very respectable compared to long-term historical trends.”

Click here to read the full report at Yardimatrix.com.

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August's Hottest Markets are Some You've Never Heard of


As we close out another summer, Realtor.com has come in with their list of the hottest markets from August – and some of them are in places  you might not be able to find on a map.  They say the hottest real estate markets in America are smaller cities that might lack name recognition but make up for it in affordability and cheaper alternatives to larger & pricier cities.  Indeed…  

“Smaller markets with smaller price tags continue to heat up feverishly,” says Javier Vivas, realtor.com’s director of economic research. “Buyers have more success in markets that have plentiful supplies of homes below $200,000 in the Northeast and the Midwest. In the West and the Southwest, we’re seeing alternatives to the pricey, larger cities make the list.”

Their list:

Metro Rank (August 2019) Rank (August 2018)  
Fort Wayne, IN 1 13  
Pueblo, CO 2 2  
Midland, TX 3 1  
Rochester, NY 4 5  
Columbus, OH 5 9  
Buffalo, NY 6 48  
Lafayette, IN 7 23  
Kennewick, WA 8 75  
Spokane, WA 9 21  
Manchester, NH 10 29  
Janesville-Beloit, WI 11 2  
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA 12 10  
Akron, OH 13 35  
Dayton, OH 14 16  
Stockton-Lodi, CA 15 15  
Burlington, NC 16 53  
Canton-Massillon, OH 17 38  
Bakersville, CA 18 54  
Yuba City, CA 19 21  
Monroe, MI 20 20

Click here to read the full story at Realtor.com.

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2020 Census Could Expand Opportunity Zones


With the 2020 Census happening sooner rather than later, Bloomberg Tax is reporting that investors across the country who’ve been asking officials to expand areas designated as Opportunity Zones might get their chance when Census Tracts are redrawn.  They say that officials from the U.S. Treasury will have to decide how this action will affect these census tracts.  A Treasury spokesperson said that revision gains would “further the goals of the opportunity zone legislation.”  In addition, current projects may need to be grandfathered if their location gets moved outside of an Opportunity Zone tract.   Indeed…

“The Census Bureau is revising census tract boundaries, potentially giving state governments the ability to cover more of their states in opportunity zones, nearly two years after they requested a limited number of census tracts for the incentive in the wake of the tax law’s passage. Such expansions would provide investors with additional options for projects that take advantage of the popular tax breaks, which allow those with profits from stocks and other investments to defer and reduce their capital gains tax liabilities.”

Click here to read the full story on Bloombergtax.com.

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Top 10 Affordable Tech Metros


Here’s an affordability top-ten city list we haven’t seen before.  The folks over at Realtor.com crunched the numbers to find the top cities in America that tech workers can actually afford.  They looked at the 500 largest metropolitan areas and used at such metrics as the number of people employed in the tech sector, number of tech companies, tech job listings, home prices (nothing over $400k) and several other criteria.  Indeed…

[these areas are]“…hidden gems that have it all: tons of good gigs, affordable homes, plus plenty of things outside those doors that will keep your inner geek’s brain cells firing—at work, home, and everywhere in between.”

Click here to read the full story at Realtor.com.

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California's Shambolic Housing Policies


If you’ve been following the Rent Control issue, you will undoubtedly be familiar with current epidemic of “do-something-ism” regarding the issue. Just recently, California’s governor signed landmark Rent Control legislation (even after voters rejected rent control at the polls last year) that limits (among other things) rent increases to 5% per year.  The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal recently posted a short essay called “A Conspiracy of Entitled Incumbents, California’s new rent control law will please homeowners while setting back housing construction and affordability” that quite succinctly sums it all up.  Indeed…

“…shambolic housing policies such as California’s latest version of rent control will only make everything harder. It will likely take a crisis—perhaps an exodus of businesses and residents—to force change.”

Click here to read the full article at the City Journal.

California enacts statewide rent control – HousingWire (10/8/19)

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Existing Home Sales Inched up 1.3% in August


The National Association of Realtors is reporting that existing home sales inched up in August, marking two consecutive months of growth.  The NAR largely attributed the rise to falling mortgage rates, among other factors, however tight inventory continues to squeeze home prices.  Total housing inventory at the end of August was 1.86 million.  Unsold inventory was at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace with homes remaining on the market for an average of 31 days.

“Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up home prices…Homebuilders need to ramp up new housing, as the failure to increase construction will put home prices in danger of increasing at a faster pace than income.”  Said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.

Click here to read the full release at the National Association of Realtors.

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Choosing the Proper Water Heater

BY  ON JANUARY 4, 2019

Water heaters…those potential time-bombs in that flip you just bought or an aging old trustworthy friend in your basement.  However, if you ever need to replace one, what kind do you replace it with?  And, depending the age, they can consume an inordinate amount of energy!  So which one is best for your property?  The folks at The Home Depot put together this handy graphic to help comprehend and discover the best solution for your situation…..Happy Friday!!!


Hat Tip to The Home Depot.

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Pending Home Sales Down Slightly

BY  ON JANUARY 2, 2019

The National Association of Realtors is reporting that overall pending home sales declined 0.7% in November.  The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings) declined to 101.4 in November.  However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 7.7%, making this the eleventh straight month of annual decreases.

“The latest decline in contract signings implies more short-term pullback in the housing sector and does not yet capture the impact of recent favorable conditions of mortgage rates,” Said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.

Click here to read the full report at the National Association of Realtors.

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Ten Hottest Housing Markets of 2019

BY  ON JANUARY 2, 2019

Where are the hottest housing markets going to be in 2019?  The folks over at Realtor.com have it covered for you.  Using data from the 100 largest markets they looked existing home sales & prices and the amount of new home construction. Then they analyzed each area’s local economy along with population trends, unemployment rates, median incomes, and several other factors.  Nationally, they predict that the number of overall home sales to decrease 2%, after years of steady climbs.  However they point out that these 10 cities have the potential to be overachievers in 2019.  Indeed…

“The diversity of these top markets suggests that real estate can thrive anywhere there is a strong local economy,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com. “While attracting younger individuals and families who are likely to be first-time buyers can be important, real estate can also thrive in sunny retirement communities.”

Their top 10 hottest cities are:

  1. Lakeland, FL
  2. Grand Rapids, MI
  3. El Paso, TX
  4. Chattanooga, TN
  5. Phoenix, AZ
  6. Bridgeport, CT
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Boise, ID
  9. Miami, FL
  10. Boston, MA

Click here to read the full story on Realtor.com.

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