September 11, 2014

Snapshot: A Limit To The Madness

The Boston Herald reports from Massachusetts. “Local real estate experts remain bullish about the Greater Boston market but stressed the need for workforce housing and warned of a potential luxury residential glut. ‘This certainly feels like a high-water mark for me,’ said John Hynes III, CEO of Boston Global Investors. ‘I’m talking about all sectors.’”

“While developing middle-market properties is challenging, ‘the appetite for assets are so extraordinary, and cap rates are so compressed, who would have thought you could sell properties in Allston for $560 a foot?’ said Bruce Percelay, chairman of the Mount Vernon Co., a Boston apartment developer and owner, referring to three projects his company is selling. But, Percelay said, ‘We do see concerns of overbuilding in the luxury market,’ noting a report of a new Boston luxury apartment building offering three months free rent as incentive — even before a new wave of luxury apartments come online.”

The Dallas Morning News in Texas. “Home sales have been down from a year ago in five of the eight months so far in 2014, the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems reports. David Brown, regional director for housing analyst Metrostudy, said he was surprised that August home sales were down in North Texas. ‘We believe the slight decline in activity is due mostly to the lack of available inventory,’ Brown said. ‘But it also has to do with prices increasing faster than incomes.’”

“Home prices in the Dallas-area have risen by more than 40 percent since the worst of the recession. Some North Texas home sellers may be overreaching. More than 30 percent of houses listed for sale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have had their prices lowered, according to Redfin.”

The Denver Post in Colorado. “The Denver area housing market in August softened as the summer selling season began to end, according to Metrolist. Prices dipped, the number of sold listings decreased and homes stayed on the market longer, Metrolist CEO Kirby Slunaker said. The median sold price in August was $277,000 compared with $283,000 in July. Slunaker said the softening in the Denver metro housing market is the rule rather than the exception as children head back to school. ‘The summer selling season was strong, and in many areas remains very active, with buyers quickly making offers on properties that are priced right,’ Slunaker said in a statement.”

Honolulu Magazine in Hawaii. “Oahu home sales lost some steam last month after a record run this year. Home prices and the number of sales dipped for the first time this year in August compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The median sales price of a single-family home fell 2.3 percent from $665,000 to $650,000. This is coming off a record-breaking June where prices soared to a median sales price of $700,000 for single-family homes.”

“‘August was an interesting month for the Oahu housing market,’ said Julie Meier, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors said in a statement. ‘Inventory of both single-family homes and condos is climbing, which will help the market meet demand,’ she said.”

The Las Vegas Sun in Nevada. “Las Vegas housing prices were flat last month as the market slows down from its meteoric recovery from the recession. ‘It was only a matter of time before we stopped seeing home prices rise by double-digit percentages,’ GLVAR President Heidi Kasama said in the report.”

“The slowdown comes as would-be buyers increasingly ignore listings. By the end of August, 7,788 single-family homes were listed without offers, up 38.8 percent from a year ago, the GLVAR reported. Overall, 2,567 single-family homes were sold last month through the GLVAR’s listing service, down 12.8 percent from a year earlier. Housing prices soared the past two years as investors bought cheap homes in bulk to turn into rentals. But faced with rising prices they helped create, investors have been scaling back on local purchases in recent months. And many locals, hoping to cash in on the recent upswing, have been overpricing their homes and refusing to budge.”

The Baltimore Sun in Maryland. “The median home price in the Baltimore metro area fell in August for the second month in a row as the number of the homes on the market continued to rise. The median sales price for the region dipped to $245,000, dropping 2.8 percent last month compared with the same period in 2013, according to the survey by a subsidiary of the MRIS multiple-listing service. August marked the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year increases in inventory, with 13,940 homes for sale, 24 percent more than a year ago.”

“Roughly 4,435 homes entered the market last month, a nearly 9 percent year-over-year increase and the 17th straight month of annual growth in new listings. In the Baltimore region, the number of foreclosures climbed to 393, up nearly 50 percent from a year ago, according to the RBI report. ‘There’s less competition among buyers because there’s more inventory,’ said Corey Hart, senior product manager for RBI. ‘That can have a leveling effect on prices.’”

The Eagle Tribune on New Hampsire. “Jim D’Amico of Century 21 North Shore’s Derry office said he has more properties to work with in the past few months and most are traditional home sales. Century 21 North Shore has 500 listings in its 17 locations. That is a 78 percent increase from last year. D’Amico warns sellers that pricing homes too high can have negative effects. ‘There is a limit to the madness. I think that some of the reasons why there are properties still on the market is that people are too aggressive with their prices,’ he said.”

Bits Bucket for September 11, 2014

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