July 9, 2015

A New Era

KVUE reports from Texas. “You don’t have to drive far to get a feel for Austin’s hot housing market. But you may have to drive far to find something you can afford. ‘We tell our people you drive until you qualify,’ said Jonathan Stilley, who works with Private Label Realty and is an Austin Board of Realtor board member.”

“Four of the hottest housing markets in the country are right here in Texas. Austin is among them with nearly 160 people moving here every day. The Llaga family relocated from Massachusetts last year. They’re now house hunting. ‘It’s really expensive in Boston,’ said Chris Llaga. ‘I know this sounds awful, but relative to the rest of the country, it’s affordable.’”

Bloomberg on Washington. “Retired baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer sold his seven-bedroom Tudor mansion in Seattle, complete with a batting cage and saltwater pool, to a Chinese couple for $3.2 million in September. The new owners promptly rented it out to a group of Amazon employees. ‘We will be like San Francisco in five years,’ said Lili Shang, the Realogics/Sotheby’s International Realty agent who represented the buyers of Moyer’s house. ‘It’s a new era.’”

KDVR in Colorado. “Denver’s housing market saw another record-setting month with the average residential home selling for $377,550 in June, but realtors say the market may finally be easing up. The Denver Metro Association of Realtors says for the first time in a while home buyers are starting to go under contract without competing offers and price reductions are beginning to make their way to the market. Some good news though for buyers looking in the $400,000 to $1 million range as realtors say that market seems to be facing a cool down.”

“‘It feels as though it went from 24 hours, 48 hours on the market to two weeks on the market which is relatively still a short period of time but at the same time its more time than what other people have been used to,’ said Realtor Susan Chong.”

The Santa Cruz Sentinel in California. “For Santa Cruz County homeowners, it’s good news. For prospective buyers, not so much. In May, the median price — the midpoint of 183 sales — was $700,000, up from $675,000 a year ago, according to Gary Gangnes of Real Options Realty, who tracks the numbers. The median was $749,000 in March and $755,000 in April. The priciest house in Watsonville is 62 Avocet Circle, a 4,000-square foot home in the Pajaro Dunes development, where the asking price has been lowered to $3 million. The description on MLSListings.com proclaims: ‘Massive rental income opportunity.’”

From NewJersey.com. “And you think it hurt when you had to knock $10,000 off the price of your home. There are a handful of homes around New Jersey that despite architectural pedigree, high-end craftsmanship, over-the-top finishes, extravagant amenities and location, location, location, just can’t seem to sell at any price — involving a minimum of seven digits, that is. These homes have been on the market for at least two years (or on and off the market for as long as a decade); they cost at least $5 million; and their prices have been slashed by at least 25 percent.”

“Three of the homes on the list have cut their asking price in half. The most expensive house on the list — indeed, the most expensive house on the market in New Jersey — has dropped $19 million from its initial asking price. (Yes, you read that right.) The home in Alpine is now a mere $49 million. Take out your tiniest violin and take a look inside N.J.’s ten most hard-to-sell luxury homes.”

Vegas Inc. in Nevada. “Las Vegas’ resale housing market picked up the pace last month with rising sales and prices, although the number of ignored listings also kept climbing, a new report shows. There were 7,432 single-family homes on the market but without offers by the end of June, up 4 percent from both May and last June. Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors President Keith Lynam said it’s good for local homeowners ‘when prices are appreciating at a healthy pace like this and more homes are selling.’ And although there are ‘too many abandoned homes’ in the area, ‘we see signs that banks may finally be doing more to address this issue,’ he said.”

“Lenders have been ramping up foreclosures in Southern Nevada, seizing homes that in many cases likely have been in default — and possibly empty and in disrepair — for a long time. Creditors repossessed 677 homes in the Las Vegas area in May, the third consecutive month-to-month increase and the highest monthly tally in more than 2 1/2 years, according to RealtyTrac.”

Bits Bucket for July 9, 2015

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