March 21, 2016

Hopes That The Value Will Keep Going Up

A report from Loudoun Now in Virginia. “Talk to most any real estate agent about Loudoun County’s housing market, and you’ll get a resounding, possibly out of breath, response. There’s a lot to be excited about, particularly if you’re a seller. The median sales price rose to $415,000, $6,000 higher than last year and $116,000 higher than 2009. And while the numbers indicate a seller’s market, Shaila R. Millman, director of Dulles Association Realtors, said that doesn’t mean it’s not a good time to buy. ‘It’s a fantastic time to buy. The price points are really affordable for many people,’ she said. But market trends show they’re on the rise, she added. ‘Buy now because prices are going up.’”

The Mercury News in California. “A shortage of Bay Area homes for sale sparked bidding wars last month but kept sales low in what was the second-slowest February in eight years, according to CoreLogic. At this point there’s still a shortage in Berkeley and Oakland, said Barbara Reynolds with McGuire Real Estate. ‘Anything on the market is going for $200,000 to $300,000 over asking for houses priced at $900,000 to $1 million,’ McGuire said. ‘There are plenty of buyers,’ she said. ‘That’s the issue. There are 15 offers for every home.’”

“In San Mateo County, sales were up 3.9 percent over the year, but prices remained below $1 million for the second month in a row at $977,500. Median house prices also dipped below $1 million in San Francisco on a 25 percent drop in sales. It was the first year-over-year decline since February 2012.”

The Denver Channel in Colorado. “In the Denver Metro area, realtors and appraisers say bidding wars may be driving up the selling price, but appraisals are frequently coming in much lower. Unlike in the past, though, sellers are less inclined to take less. Warren Boizot, III, a longtime appraiser in the Denver Metro area, said that in the last two years, he has seen as many as 8 out of 10 homes in this area appraise for less than their sales price, and it reminds him a little of the 2008 housing bubble. ‘It just scares me, though, because sometimes I see people getting anxious and wanting to go a little faster than I am comfortable with,’ said Boizot.”

“Melissa Abels, had already started packing her bags to move after signing the contact on her dream home in Parker. But that’s when she got the bad news. The home appraised for $12,000 less than the agreed sale price. Abels said she and her Realtor, her mother Julie Abels, managed to reach a compromise with the seller of her home, but she will have to bring extra cash to the table. Now, she just hopes that the house value will keep going up, so that it will eventually be worth what she is paying.”

“‘We’re hoping we’ll get that back in investments later on after we own the house for a while,’ she said.”

The Real Deal on New York. “Developers, those most antsy of creatures, would be wise to start getting patient. Roughly 14,500 units are expected to hit the market between 2015 and 2017, according to a new analysis by Miller Samuel for The Real Deal. But by the end of 2017, just over 5,000 of those units are expected to have sold, and going by the current rate of sales, it would take more than five years to sell all that excess inventory. In 2015, roughly 5,500 new condos came online, with another 6,000 and 3,000 projected to hit the market in 2016 and 2017, respectively.”

“Douglas Elliman’s Frances Katzen said some developers are (wisely) repositioning projects based on the current market. ‘The old adage that once you go up [in price], you can’t go down? We’ve seen people do it and do very well. There’s been no shame in it,’ she said.”

“Extell Development, for example, has lowered its expectations at One Manhattan Square, dropping its total sellout price by more than $200 million to $1.87 billion, as TRD reported. Toll Brothers has also dropped prices at 1110 Park Avenue and 400 Park Avenue South, and World Wide Group and Rose Associates have done the same at 252 East 57th Street.”

From Chicago Now in Illinois. “As I mentioned last month RealtyTrac is not releasing their normal Foreclosure Market Report for February. However, they did just release their updated data which shows that Chicago foreclosure auctions surged last month and you can see how dramatic this is in the graph below. The yellow area represents the auction activity and it’s up 313% over last month and 261% over last year. The other area that showed a big increase was bank repossessions, shown in purple below, which jumped 77% over last year.”

“Sadly, the total pipeline of Chicago properties in the foreclosure process actually increased last month - up over 600 units from last month. Since I’ve been tracking this data I’ve only seen an increase 3 other times, and never an increase of this magnitude.”

The Miami Herald in Florida. “If Lil Wayne continues discounting his Miami Beach house, he might as well give it away. Home sale records show the diminutive rapper lowered the price of the mansion by another $2 million this month. It’ll now cost $14 million to live like a music star. The 15,000-square-foot house, with nine bedrooms and 120 feet of Biscayne Bay frontage, started the year with an $18 million price tag. What’s going on here? ‘The market is flat,’ said Ty Forkner, the listing agent. ‘Priced at under $1,000 a square foot, it’s a special deal.’”

“Records show Wayne bought it in 2011 for $11.6 million but spent several million redoing most of the inside.”

Bits Bucket for March 21, 2016

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