January 5, 2018

Now The Fear Is They Can’t Sell

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “The crazy-hot real estate market that Boulder County has experienced the past four-plus years began to cool in 2017, but you might not know it. Homes are still selling for record highs. Well-priced properties still bring multiple offers. And homeowners this year got hit with property tax assessments that — combined with values of commercial properties — grew 35.7 percent from 2013, the largest increase in at least 20 years, according to the Boulder County Assessor’s Office. ‘The market has definitely slowed some — thankfully, I would say,’ said D.B. Wilson, of Re/Max of Boulder, who provided the data. ‘It takes awhile for everyone to realize the market has turned.’”

“After several years of double-digit percentage price growth in D-FW, the rate of home appreciation is expected to be lower in 2018. ‘We are looking at around 5 percent for D-FW,’ said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. ‘The long term average is around 4 percent. We don’t want home values to go up 8, 9, 10 or 11 percent year after year. Some of the steam might have been let out.’”

“High-priced properties have a ceiling here in the valley that might be lower than other areas in Vermont. Broker John Redd, of Ski Home Realty in Dover had a listing for a house that was built for more than $6 million that didn’t sell. The slopeside mansion at Mount Snow eventually sold at auction for $1.9 million this summer. ‘That tells me the top end of our market is about $2 million,’ said Redd. ‘There is a ton of inventory. More and more property keeps coming on the market. The biggest challenge is sorting though what is value and what’s properly priced.’”

“As the pool of deep-pocketed foreign investors continued to recede over the past year, developers, brokers and sellers in South Florida’s luxury condo sector have been forced to adjust their pricing, wait longer for units to move and scour the globe for new buyers. ‘At the end of November 2017, we have five years worth of condo inventory over $1 million in the market,’ said Ron Shuffield, CEO of EWM Realty International. ‘This is the highest total in one month since the recession in 2008.’”

“It’s the opposite of B.C.’s reliably boastful real estate market. Prompted by the annual release of property assessments, thousands of homeowners across the province will spend the coming months highlighting flawed construction, poor views, noisy neighbours and over-hyped market conditions in bids to convince authorities their homes aren’t worth as much as one might think. One Langley man argued unsuccessfully that market ‘frenzy’ drove him to pay $31,000 more than the list price for his single family home; He was fighting an assessment of $905,000, which was $5,000 more than he paid.”

“‘The appellant submits that as a result of the inflated market and fear of missing out on the purchase, he overpaid for the property,’ the decision reads. ‘The appellant submits that this constituted ‘duress’ and results in the price paid not being reflective of market value.’”

“Norway’s house prices extended losses in December, adding to concerns an economic recovery will be thrown off track. Housing prices nationwide fell 2.1 percent over the year through December, driven by a 6.2 percent decline in Oslo. After a period of rapid growth in house prices and mortgage debt, the market has reversed course in recent months. The property market started to cool following a tightening of lending standards at the start of 2017. The central bank has so far appeared sanguine on the housing market, with Governor Oystein Olsen saying last month that he foresees a ’soft landing.’ The bank on Dec. 14 even signaled it could raise interest rates sooner than anticipated, indicating a first rate hike by the end of 2018.”

“‘Unbelievable reduction,’ says the broker’s email. An investor who agreed to purchase an apartment at the ritzy One Blackfriars project on the banks of the River Thames is offering the two-bedroom home on the 20th floor for 1.8 million pounds ($2.44 million), more than 22 percent less than they agreed to pay for it in 2013. The seller, who’s from Asia, wants to offload the property before it’s completed, according to Christian Barr, who’s brokering the sale.”

“The stockpile of unsold London homes under construction rose to a record in the third quarter as developers ramped up supply. Price falls in London’s best central districts are rippling out. Values in Fulham are now 14.4 percent below their 2014 peak, according to broker Savills Plc.”

“For the first time since February 2011, Auckland is now a buyer’s market as new listings drop and the housing stock increases, according to realestate.co.nz data. ‘The average asking price is still increasing despite high levels of stock. Auckland saw new property valuations last year which may be leading vendors to expect more than the market wants to pay,’ spokeswoman Vanessa Taylor said.’With Auckland leading the charge into a buyer’s market due to increasing stock levels, it will be interesting to watch if Wellington and Canterbury follow suit.’”

“Falling prices are expected to push an avalanche of homes onto the market in the first half of the year turning Sydney from an extreme seller’s market to a buyer’s one, housing experts claim. SQM Research figures show the year has already started with a 21.3 per cent jump in listings compared with last year. Among those tipped to sell are upsizers and downsizers who had delayed listing in recent years fearing price rises would make it difficult to buy their next home.”

“Much of that fear has now gone, with Sydney’s median home price having fallen 2.1 per cent in the past three months to hit $895,000, according to CoreLogic. SQM Research director Louis Christopher said softening prices have shifted homeowners’ mindsets. ‘Before, homeowners wanted to buy their next home before selling their current one so they wouldn’t be locked out the market,’ he said. ‘Now the fear is that if they buy first and can’t sell at the price they want they’ll be short-changed.’”