Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Continue to Inch Upwards

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 26, 2018 - 12:00am

Buyer affordability will be a challenge, with mortgage rates moving higher and robust house price gains across the country, warns Freddie Mac...

Categories: Real Estate

The Most Affordable Rental Housing Markets

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 26, 2018 - 12:00am

Investors in search of a renting bargain may be surprised at the large metro that topped HomeUnion’s latest list. 

Categories: Real Estate

Amazon Closes In: What HQ2 Means for Housing in the Top 20

RisMedia Consumer News - January 25, 2018 - 4:07pm

Amazon is a step closer to finalizing its HQ2 plans, having narrowed its sights on the top 20 contenders after receiving over 230 proposals from across North America. While the winning city could be any one of the short-list nominees, Amazon has made one thing clear: It is looking to build HQ2 away from the West Coast, which currently houses its principal headquarters in Seattle, Wash. Although Los Angeles is still in the realm of possibility after making Amazon’s top 20 list, most of the other locations are closer to the East Coast, with a few others scattered across the country.

Here are the cities Amazon is zoning in on:

  • Toronto, Canada
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Denver, Colo.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Boston, Mass.
  • New York City, N.Y.
  • Newark, N.J.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Montgomery County, Md.
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Northern Virginia, Va.
  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • Miami, Fla.

“Amazon will bring thousands of high-paying jobs to one of these cities and will boost overall local economic growth—all of those highly-skilled engineers will need doctors, real estate agents, barbers, babysitters and baristas, too,” said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow, in response to the top 20.

With new job opportunities, the chosen city can expect a surge in relocations or commuters from those seeking employment.

“We would pull from other big cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati and even outside of the state,” says Lee Ritchie, REALTOR® and team leader of the Ritchie Realty Group at RE/MAX Metro Plus in Columbus, Ohio. “We are already pulling in people from outside of the community.”

Daniel Evenchen, REALTOR® with the Mike McCann Team, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach REALTORS®, believes Philadelphia’s prime location nearby other massive metro areas is one of the biggest reasons Amazon has short-listed it.

“Of a location perspective, we’re very close to Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York, but, comparatively, we have a lot of room for growth,” says Evenchen.

If Amazon attracts more individuals willing to relocate rather than commute, the winning location will need to prepare for an influx of incoming buyers and renters. The top 20 cities are already making plans for the possibility of HQ2.

“It is affecting the decisions of buyers and sellers right now,” Evenchen says. “I have a lot of clients who are thinking of selling and brought up Amazon. They are kind of holding off on selling and are thinking of renting their homes instead so that the value of their home appreciates if Amazon comes through. Buyers are thinking this is a great time to buy, as well.”

However, adapting to a flood of new buyers will not be easy. Many of the top 20 cities are currently dealing with tight inventory, a problem that will only be exacerbated if Amazon moves in. The proof is in Seattle.

“…Accommodating growth on this scale will be a challenge for any city,” Terrazas said. “As Amazon grew from a startup bookstore into the nation’s dominant retailer, Seattle grew alongside it—which caused some growing pains. Seattle home values have almost doubled and rents have increased by half, straining affordability.”

Evenchen foresees a challenge in the new construction market. Since the rental market in Philadelphia is moving quickly, any incoming buyers who are looking for new housing may be met with few options.

“The Philadelphia real estate market is probably going to experience a very sharp increase,” says Evenchen. “Right now, the market is extremely soft. We are seeing tenants and renters really negotiating in a tough market. At this point, vacant land is extremely difficult to come by. It’s highly sought-after. [Amazon] would probably just reinforce what’s been going on.”

Ritchie believes Columbus will face similar challenges.

“Our struggle would be that we wouldn’t have enough inventory,” Ritchie says. “We need builders to construct more houses, and prices on existing homes would go up for sure. The Downtown Columbus market—the urban market—is very hot, and a lot of people want to work here. There will be plenty of rentals, but, at this juncture, we may have difficulty in this market.”

Regardless of challenges, these cities made Amazon’s top 20 list for a reason. Ritchie believes Columbus caught Amazon’s eye because of its ability to attract millennials, and its talented workforce, moderate housing costs and standard of living. Terrazas agrees.

“Columbus may be a surprise to some, but it has long featured a dynamic combination of size, affordability, access to higher education and room to grow,” said Terrazas, stating that the top 20 list is made up of well-established cities.

“Boston is home to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, and clearly fits Amazon’s requirement for ready access to top-tier tech talent,” Terrazas said. “Austin has been among the nation’s hottest markets for several years now, and is also home to Whole Foods, which Amazon recently acquired. Atlanta and Pittsburgh have the benefit of being incredibly affordable markets, with some of the lowest median home values and rents among the top 20 list. Amazon clearly has a tough job choosing between these 20 unique communities, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the coming months.”

As for Philadelphia, Evenchen believes the location’s potential is in its diversity.

“It’s very much a big little town,” Evenchen says. “It’s a city of neighborhoods. It’s extremely walkable and bike-able. Our public transportation is pretty robust and there has been a great deal of investment in parks and recreation. They just dedicated $90 million to connect the Delaware River to the hub, making it a little more accessible to the waterfront.”

Meanwhile, other cities, such as Los Angeles, are already dealing with more severe challenges.

“With very dense buildings, there are only a few places in Los Angeles where there are walkable areas,” says Natalya Shcherbatyuk, broker/owner of Flat Rate Real Estate. “At the same time, traveling around the city by car is a nightmare. The streets and freeways are overloaded all day, and not only during rush hour.”

However, with every challenge comes an opportunity. Shcherbatyuk believes one of the city’s biggest obstacles may turn out to be an advantage.

“Right now there is a construction boom in L.A.,” Shcherbatyuk says. “There is an acute shortage of housing for rent [at an affordable price] and the expensive apartments are empty, so maybe it will not be necessary to build a lot of new housing for high-salaried Amazon employees.”

Over 85 percent of the cities that submitted proposals didn’t make the cut, and many feel Amazon is losing out on their location’s advantages.

“Obviously, we are all disappointed Amazon did not name Detroit as one of the 20 cities they will be further evaluating for their new ‘HQ2,'” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, in response to the top 20. “We are not deterred in any way, shape or form. Detroit is the most exciting city in the country right now, and the momentum continues to build every single day.”

Cities that were not chosen should not discount the possibility of other major tech giants making their way over. With the new tax bill in place, various companies have announced they are putting their tax cuts to good use.

“We have no doubt our best days are ahead of us,” Gilbert said of Detroit. “There are numerous large and small deals you will continue to see develop into reality in the months and years ahead.”

Apple, for example, announced its plans to build a new major campus stateside; however, the New York Times reports that Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, will not be following in Amazon’s footsteps, and instead using a different strategy to find Apple’s ideal location, rather than relying on a public bidding process.

Regardless of how these companies decide on new ventures, the winning cities can expect a bustling local economy that creates new jobs and a busy real estate market.

“It would be good for everyone,” Ritchie says. “For jobs, for new inventory, and, of course, for sellers whose home values would increase.”

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

The post Amazon Closes In: What HQ2 Means for Housing in the Top 20 appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

MGM China delays opening of US$3.4 billion Cotai casino resort for fourth time

Real Estate CNBC - January 25, 2018 - 12:36pm
The company cited setbacks in the administrative approval process of obtaining licences. South China Morning Post reports.
Categories: Real Estate

December new home sales fall to 625,000 annual rate

Real Estate CNBC - January 25, 2018 - 10:03am
CNBC's Diana Olick reports the latest read on new home sales.
Categories: Real Estate

New home sales in December underwhelm, snapping back from 10-year high in November

Real Estate CNBC - January 25, 2018 - 10:00am
The economic measure hit a 10-year high in the prior month.
Categories: Real Estate

Protecting Privacy Is Good for Business

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am

National Cyber Security Alliance encourages all businesses to create a culture of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust.

Categories: Real Estate

3 Design Tips to Enhance a Home’s Good Vibes

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am

Elevate your property’s interior mood with these designer insights that could also help with home staging.

Categories: Real Estate

Lender Launches Buyer-Agent Match Program

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am

LoanDepot’s new program connects preapproved home shoppers with real estate pros in their local market. 

Categories: Real Estate

January’s 20 Hottest Markets

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am® releases its monthly rankings of top-performing metros. 

Categories: Real Estate

REALTORS® Eye Chance to Grow Global Brand

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am

Practitioners from several states and cities will attend the 2018 MIPIM conference, the world’s largest event focused on international real...

Categories: Real Estate

Lennar Corp. Funds Startup for Home Trade-Ins

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am

The homebuilding giant is part of a group backing OpenDoor, a new company hoping to help its customers quickly unload...

Categories: Real Estate

Delinquencies Soar in Hurricane-Ravaged Areas

NAR Daily News Magazine - January 25, 2018 - 12:00am

A significant uptick in seriously delinquent mortgages is brewing in areas that were struck by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017. 

Categories: Real Estate

Chinese state-owned giant is hoping to expand in the US — with culture

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 11:21pm
Xu Niansha, the chairman of state-owned behemoth China Poly Group, discussed his company's goals in the U.S.
Categories: Real Estate

Hong Kong property stocks are one way to get exposure

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 4:20pm
Nicole Wong of CLSA notes with property prices soaring in Hong Kong, making it worth taking a look at property stocks as an investment.
Categories: Real Estate

Puerto Ricans face foreclosure wave as moratoriums expire

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 1:33pm
A majority of Puerto Rican moratorium agreements on mortgage payments expire this month, creating a wave of panic among those unable to pay.
Categories: Real Estate

Here's how much your home remodel will pay you back

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 11:00am
Here is the latest look at how much homeowners can recoup in home value from their renovation projects.
Categories: Real Estate

Existing home sales down 3.6% in December

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 10:00am
CNBC's Diana Olick reports the latest read on existing home sales and total sales.
Categories: Real Estate

Existing home sales sink in December, market housing supply drops to record low

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 10:00am
Home sales were expected to settle after surging in November.
Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage applications are up 4.5%

Real Estate CNBC - January 24, 2018 - 8:03am
Mortgage applications rose 4.5 percent last week from the previous week, the Mortgage Bankers Association says.
Categories: Real Estate