September 29, 2014

The Sky Is Not The Limit

Bloomberg reports on New York. ‘Sales at One57, the ultra-luxury Manhattan condominium tower that set off a high-end residential construction boom, have slowed to a trickle amid competition from newer properties reaching the market. ‘This is not a normal pace,’ president of New York-based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc., said in an interview. ‘This building had many price increases when it was the only building out there, so maybe they overdid it. In other words, the sky is not the limit.’”

The Virginia Connection. “Many Potomac homes — particularly those selling for more than a million dollars — are remaining on the market for months without so much as an offer — or maybe even a buyer gracing their doors. Some sellers are scared, confused and concerned, wondering why their homes are not selling and trying to decipher what they need to do to make their home more attractive to buyers. Realtors Alison Ross Tompkins cites sellers who ‘came out of the gate earlier this year, and thought this was the year to sell. They put their homes on the market and were overly optimistic, thinking that prices had rebounded. They priced their home too high and as sellers flooded the market, the supply of housing went up – and as the supply increased, the prices went down.’”

The Orlando Sentinel in Florida. “Florida has long led the nation for attracting the greatest share of homebuyers from other regions of the world. Statewide, Canadian buyers commanded 32 percent of the international market. But looking ahead, Canadians’ interest in the Sunshine State may wane now that foreclosure bargains have started to disappear and prices have begun to stabilize. Matthew White, broker associate Sloane Realty LLC of Lake Mary, said he has represented a number of Canadian investors and sees some of them selling properties they purchased during the downturn.”

“‘Those buyers are looking for the kind of prices we had a year ago or two years ago. And those prices don’t exist anymore,’ he said.”

The Las Vegas Sun In Nevada. “Las Vegas homebuilders are stuck in the doldrums as buyers continue to shy away from hefty price tags, according to Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research. President Dennis Smith attributed the decline in permits to processing delays. At least some local builders have slashed prices recently, offered buyers more perks and boosted agents’ sales commissions, so they’d steer clients to construction sites. Brokers, meanwhile, have told Smith that plenty of people are looking at homes but not biting, indicating ‘a healthy dose of price resistance,’ he said.”

The St Louis Post Dispatch in Missouri. “St. Louis real estate agents were hoping for a summer revival in sales and prices, and for a while it appeared as though they might get it. They didn’t. Russ Nolting, CEO at Keller Williams Realty, noticed another phenomenon: Despite the lack of homes on the market, more listings are expiring with no sale, and homes are selling significantly below the original asking price. Nolting suspects those homes were priced too high to begin with. Agents aren’t trying hard enough to dissuade sellers who want to an unrealistic price, he said.”

“‘The desperation of agents to get the listing is causing them to side with the seller rather than side with the data,’ he said.”

The Fresno Bee in California. “A couple years of fast-rising home prices and sales in Fresno and other California cities is showing signs of slowing down and hitting a plateau in 2015, said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of Realtors. The overall issue is jobs, Appleton-Young said at a reception at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center with members of the Fresno Association of Realtors. ‘If you were to ask me what is the one key variable for kind of gauging the strength of the market going forward, I would say it’s jobs and job creation,’ she said.”

Bits Bucket for September 29, 2014

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