October 15, 2015

A Major Shift From When Sellers Held All The Cards

The Stockton Record reports from California. “A variety of advocates for low-income housing, for minorities and for the south side made those arguments at a Stockton City Council meeting Tuesday night focusing on a proposal by builders and Mayor Anthony Silva to slash permit fees citywide in an attempt to stimulate the Stockton economy for the next three years. The Building Industry Association of the Greater Valley proposal calls for a roughly one-third reduction in the fees Stockton charges. Those fees surpass $50,000 on single-family homes, rendering the Stockton housing market uncompetitive against neighboring cities that charge lower fees, Beckman said. The BIA proposal calls for a $17,000 fee reduction for 1,000 new single-family homes in the next three years.”

“Most council members said they are eager for action of some sort to boost dormant homebuilding. ‘I think everyone here recognizes the need to reduce fees,’ Councilman Dan Wright said.”

The Miami Herald in Florida. “The last time a building boom ended in South Florida, the region’s entire economy crashed, too. Now, as luxury condo sales slow and the dollar grows stronger, analysts fear the wheels of the current cycle are once again grinding to a halt. But this time they’re predicting a soft landing, in part because developers didn’t have enough money to overbuild.”

“‘Many Latin American buyers who have already put down deposits are choking on the additional costs of the stronger dollar and the difficulty of moving money into the U.S.,’ said Philip Spiegelman, principal of the International Sales Group, a preconstruction marketing and sales firm.”

“The waterfront real estate market, which was the first to recover after the crash, hasn’t been immune to the overall slowdown. ‘Anyone who tells you they’re not feeling the slowdown is lying,’ said Gil Dezer, who’s developing the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach where units start at $6.5 million.”

The Wall Street Journal on New York. “After two years on the market and price cuts totaling nearly $20 million, the triplex penthouse of a wellness-focused Manhattan condominium is in contract. The Greenwich Village penthouse was first listed in 2013 for $50 million as an unfinished unit. The price was cut several times, most recently to $30.5 million, according to Shlomi Reuveni of Town New Development, which is marketing the 6-unit building along with Dolly Lenz Real Estate. Construction was completed last year and the penthouse is ready to move into, Mr. Reuveni said.”

The Houston Chronicle in Texas. “For Houston homeowners expecting to make a lightning-fast deal on the sale of their home may want to have a little more patience. With the current inventory figure, the Houston market is beginning to ‘become more neutral,’ said David Jarvis, senior VP for John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Houston. That’s a major shift from last year, when sellers held all the cards.”

“‘There’s definitely a change in the market versus a couple years ago,’ said David Young of Coldwell Banker United, Realtors. ‘Up until a few months ago, if you put a home on the market within the first week you had multiple offers and that has definitely changed.’ Young said he’s seen a considerable slowdown in the Energy Corridor. ‘Properties are on the market much longer than they were a year or two ago,’ he said.”

Arizona Public Media. “A six-story student housing structure is being built west of the University of Arizona where three other high rises opened in the last two years. Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik represents the area and said this should be the last such building in the vicinity although there are additional student housing proposals for downtown Tucson. Kozachik said he would like to see more renovations of existing properties near the University.”

“‘What’s happened is these towers have siphoned off some of the students from the neighborhoods, and the result is we have a bunch of vacant property,’ Kozachik said.”

Bits Bucket for October 15, 2015

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