Thursday, August 26, 2010

6 real estate headlines: 8-26

A daily dose of headlines for real estate agents, mortgage lenders and consumers.

How Americans will rebuild wealth following the recession
If people can no longer count on rising home values and the stock market as a way to build nest eggs, how are the average Joes among us ever going to accumulate any wealth?
Consider buying a home rather than paying dorm rent
Washington Post
: Parents benefit from tax deductions for real property taxes, depreciation, costs of repairs and replacements and travel expenses to maintain the investment property.
Home sales plunged in July
The New York Times: The steep descent surprised nearly every analyst and put the volume of single-family home sales at the lowest level since 1995.
More negative news flow coming in
Calculated Risk: The economy will avoid a technical double-dip recession, but the odds are uncomfortably high - and it will probably feel like a recession to millions of Americans.
Demand for mortgage-backed securities pushes rates down
Washington Examiner: A further drop in rates probably would do little to increase home sales but could spur a flood of refinancing among those whove refinanced once under the new rules.
Why small businesses arent hiring
The American
: In the recoveries from the previous two recessions, small businesses led job creation. This time, however, small businesses arent hiring.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Work to resume on stalled residential project near Nationals Park

Construction sites around the Washington Nationals ballpark have been reduced to so many empty lots by the recession, but at least one developer has decided it is time to get started again, reports the Washington Post.

Forest City Washington, the local branch of a Cleveland development firm, said Thursday that, after nearly two years of trying, it is ready to restart construction on a $60 million, 170-unit apartment complex that it initially began work on in 2008 before stopping later that year when credit markets froze.

The luxury apartments will fill a former Navy industrial building a few blocks east of the ballpark, part of a planned 42-acre Forest City development called the Yards on the site of the former Southeast Federal Center. Ultimately, the apartments will be surrounded by office buildings, retail outlets and more than 2,000 other housing units. The city is near completion on a 5.5-acre public park there.

Full article...

End of the McMansion Era

Theyve been called McMansions, Starter Castles, Garage Mahals and Faux Chateaus but heres the latest thing you can call them � History.

Reports CNBC: In the past few years, there have been an increasing number of references made to the �McMansion glut� and the �McMansion backlash,� as more towns pass ordinances against garishly large homes, which are generally over 3,000 square feet and built very close together.

What sets a McMansion apart from a regular mansion, according to Wikipedia, are a few characteristics: Theyre tacky, they lack a definitive style and they have a �displeasingly jumbled appearance.�

Well, count 2010 as the year the last nail was hammered into the McCoffin: In its latest report on home-buying trends, real-estate site Trulia declares: �The McMansion Era Is Over.�

Full story...

6 real estate headlines: 8-24

A daily dose of headlines for real estate agents, mortgage lenders and consumers.

Dont fear a housing dip
Most agree heavy investment in the housing sector helped us into the mess were in, so for housing worriers to suggest an artificially enhanced property market is our cure is backward.
First-time buyers sink below pre-credit levels
Real Estate Economy Watch
: First-time homebuyers accounted for only 39.1 percent of the home purchase market last month, down from a peak of 48.2 percent as recently as March.
When is paying off your mortgage the right move?
CNBC: In most cases, a financial adviser will recommend not to pay off your mortgage ahead of time. But when it does make sense to break that rule, it could mean a new and better retirement.
Renting alternative will undermine housing for years
Business Insider: A survey found that 76% believe that renting is a better option than buying in the current real estate market, up from 71% in 2008.
Housings second leg down
Housing Wire: Right now, housing isnt particularly demand driven; its supply driven. Its a problem we have yet to address, and home prices eventually must reflect that.
In preparation for July home sales, a.k.a. Armageddon
: Renewed concerns about a double-dip recession and lackluster job growth have pushed confidence in the housing market lower.

CityVista developer in talks with Safeway on Petworth grocery-housing project

The developer behind of one of the Districts more successful recent condominium projects is nearing a deal with Safeway to bring a 210-unit housing and grocery store development to Georgia Avenue, in the Petworth neighborhood, reports the Washington Post.

Marc Dubick of Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises is wrapping up negotiations after partnering with the grocery chain to develop the 685-unit CityVista condo, apartment and retail complex in Mount Vernon Square. Despite its completion in 2008, just as the economy was falling apart, all of CityVistas 441 condos have sold or gone under contract and few of its apartments have not been leased.

While working on CityVista, Dubick co-founded a new development company, Duball LLC, and is looking to work with Safeway again, this time on a mixed-use project that would put 210 housing units atop a new 50,000-square-foot Safeway at 3830 Georgia Ave. NW. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based grocer currently has a 47-year-old store there.

Full article...

Monday, August 23, 2010

6 real estate headlines: 8-23

A daily dose of headlines for real estate agents, mortgage lenders and consumers.

Washington looks tantalizing to New York restaurateurs
Washington Post:
The downturn has made the D.C. market appear even more appealing, as generally anything inside the Beltway was still doing pretty well, while New York took a big hit.
Nearly 50 percent leave Obama mortgage aid plan
: Nearly half of the 1.3 million homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administrations flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out.
Housing slide in U.S. may drag economy into recession
BusinessWeek: Home sales collapsed after a federal tax credit for buyers expired in April. Since then, the manufacturing-led expansion, has been waning, with jobless claims rising.
Real estate fades as means to build wealth
The New York Times: With mortgage rates hovering near 40-year lows and selling prices still depressed, many potential borrowers are wondering whether rates have further to fall.
Biggest threat to the economy is Wall Street itself
Business Insider: After an enormous market rally there are now signs that the rally was largely due to government stimulus as opposed to sustained private sector health.
How a homeowner fetish hurt the American Dream
Washington Post
: Theres a ferocious debate as to whether recent losses stemmed from unrealistic housing affordability goals or lax lending in pursuit of higher profits.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

6 real estate headlines: 8-18

A daily dose of headlines for real estate agents, mortgage lenders and consumers.

Fenty launches SW Waterfront demolition
Washington Business Journal:
Hogates restaurant, at 800 Water St. SW, was bulldozed to make way, eventually, for a massive, $1 billion mixed-use development on the waterfront.
Re-examining closing costs
DC Urban Turf
: The Washington Business Journal reported this week that closing costs in D.C. and Maryland are well below the national average.
Banks ease lending standards for first time in four years
CNBC: The Fed found that the easing in loan standards was occurring primarily at the countrys largest domestic banks, while many smaller banks continued to struggle.
How low can mortgage rates go?
Smart Money: With mortgage rates hovering near 40-year lows and selling prices still depressed, many potential borrowers are wondering whether rates have further to fall.
Mortgage lenders must tell borrowers worst-case payment
Housing Wire: Under the new rule lenders must disclose a worst case example showing the maximum rate and payment possible over the life of the loan.
Geithner sees U.S. role in mortgage market
Wall Street Journal
: Geithner called the debate over how to remake the $10 trillion mortgage market one of the most consequential and complicated economic policy problems we face as a country.