September 22, 2017

The Period Of Joyous, Abundant Business Is Over

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “That chill in the air? It’s called fall…as in falling number of houses sold. ‘With pricing on the rise you might think that’s a little bit of a concern but we’ve got int rates that are unheard of and it’s been that way for some time so we’ve actually seen a little bit of a drop in interest rates so for buyers now is the time for them to be thinking of making a purchase because we’re in a little bit of a lull,’ said Kath Hammerseng, the incoming President of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.”

“Okay…so it’s a buyers market. ‘On the other hand sellers are in a great place. Overall our marketplace has 2.5 months of inventory right now so it should be very much in favor of sellers and in some areas in some segments of the market it is that,’ Hammerseng said. Nevermind…still a seller’s market, right? ‘It is a little bit confusing. There’s a lot of data here. We’ve got some areas where people are receiving multiple offers for their property in certain price points we also have some areas where it’s very difficult,’ Hammerseng said.”

“It took eight years and a nearly $13.5 million in price cuts to sell an the home at 81 Briar Patch Road in East Hampton. The 12,000-square-foot, seven-bed, nine-bath home was listed in 2009 for $39.5 million, and the sale closed this year for $25.925 million. The 10,500-square-foot home at 356 Wickapogue Road in Southampton got a nearly 18 percent price cut this week after sitting on the market for two years. Originally listed at $19.5 million, the three-acre property is now for sale at $16 million.”

“Some luxurious apartment buildings in the part of Los Angeles known to locals as ‘DTLA’ might feel more ghost town than downtown right now. Renters simply aren’t shelling out (or can’t afford) to live in DTLA’s slew of new luxury high rises. All things considered, CoStar Group’s Steve Basham says investments in DTLA will be profitable if developers are willing to stick with it; don’t count on any quick rewards right now, but expect a good return in 10 to 20 years, he said.”

“A Toronto-area family who decided to walk away from a new house they agreed to buy says they are shocked to find out they still have to pay real estate commissions, even though the deal never went through. Marcello and Anita Mastroianni decided this past spring to sell their semi-detached home in Vaughan, Ont., north of Toronto to buy a larger house for their growing family. They say their agent told them their house would fetch at least $1 million once they listed it, so they made an offer to purchase another home nearby for $1.3 million.”

“But within weeks of signing the paperwork, the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area began to cool sharply and both homes dropped in value. The Mastroiannis decided to walk away and not close the home purchase. They knew they would lose their deposit, but they didn’t realize they would be on the hook for so much more. They received a notice from their real estate agent, Vince Tarasca, which stated he was going to pursue them for the commissions that he lost.”

“He said of the Mastroiannis: ‘…they refused to close, stringing sellers, agents, mortgage brokers and lawyers along the way… This is a case of a client taking advantage of the current situation of the housing market due to buyer’s remorse.’”

“Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan sounded the alarm in 2014: Industrial investment was in decline while a construction boom was luring entrepreneurs to build shopping malls and luxury housing projects with the promise of quick profits. He stressed the need to encourage investment in industry, warning, ‘Or else we are becoming an economy that builds very luxurious buildings, spending its money on stone and concrete, without producing.’”

“Tekin Acar, head of a leading cosmetics chain, told one media outlet that his company has canceled contracts with 10 new shopping malls. ‘People are going bankrupt one after another, and this is going to continue,’ he said. According to Abdullah Kigili, owner of a long-established clothing brand, the party is over for the shopping malls. ‘The period of joyous, abundant business is over,’ he said.”

“Anxious vendors are turning to social media as well as traditional listings websites in the hope of selling their homes as the housing market softens. Off-the-plan resale apartments and suburban houses are being listed with labels of ­’urgent’ and ‘huge discount,’ particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane where concerns have been raised over the volume of apartment supply. The listings come amid a regulatory clampdown on investor lending aimed at cooling housing prices while the Reserve Bank ­recently again singled out the Brisbane apartment market as cranes dot the skyline.”

“Brisbane listings on the website include a Bowen Hills apartment ‘lower than original contract price’ and ‘totally negotiable’ along with house and land packages. Even in the heated Sydney market, a ‘charming’ Bankstown two-bedroom ‘needs to be sold ASAP.’”

“In the hopes of avoiding hefty agent commissions while still ­attracting buyers, Melbourne-based accounting and finance graduate Wenhai Zhang has listed an apartment for off-the-plan resale on Gumtree. He is helping to find a buyer for his friend who moved from China to study in Australia and bought the home, then found it difficult to get finance after ­restrictions on lending to offshore buyers were introduced. Other Chinese buyers are in a similar position and trying to sell their apartments, he told The Weekend Australian.”

“‘I did contact some Chinese agents, so they have a lot of apartments off the plan on their hands,’ said the 23-year-old, who is also from China.”

“Act Party leader and Epsom MP David Seymour says he can’t afford to buy his house in Auckland. Seymour earns about $190,000 a year as an MP (plus benefits). When asked if he didn’t think his statement was offensive to New Zealanders who are truly struggling, he said it wasn’t offensive because ‘it’s actually true.’”

“‘I rent a house with a couple of flatmates that cost $2.2 million last time it sold.’ Seymour points out that $2.2 million is ‘10 times’ his income. ‘The money I get after tax would give me $1000 a year left over after I paid the mortgage. That’s not enough for the rates.’ The interviewer pointed out that maybe Seymour just had his heart set on a ‘really expensive house.’ ‘It makes the point, doesn’t it?’ Seymour replied. ‘If someone earning $190k is having trouble, then clearly the market is stuffed for everybody.’”