April 26, 2018

An Acknowledgment That Time Is Of The Essence

A report from KY 3 in Missouri. “If you’re a seller, you can feel pretty good about the market right now. Tyler and Samantha Richardson own Richardson Real Estate, but they double-up as house flippers like the ones so popular on TV these days, gutting and renovating homes. As to the reason more people are looking to buy homes now? ‘Interest rates are hanging around 4.5%,’ Tyler said. ‘But the feds have announced they’re going to make a couple more hikes this year so they’re gonna keep pushing. Next year you could see ‘em at 6%. Not to be a cheesy sales guy but now’s the time to buy if you want to capitalize and have more buying power.’”

“So if you’re on the look for a new home, their advise is to be aggressive. If you snooze, you lose. ‘One client wrote a personal letter about how their family moved here and tried to get that sentimental edge,’ Tyler recalled. ‘We’ve had clients just knock on the door and ask if they were interested in selling their home. It takes a foot-on-the-pavement approach. You have to go find that right home.’”

The Kitsap Sun in Washington. “Michael Bowes and Bea Schuster, the brother-sister real estate agent team, are part of a growing group of real estate agents, mortgage lenders and house flippers that, in an airtight market, find properties off-the-radar. In this, the ultimate seller’s market, even the most distressed of properties raise an agent’s eyebrow. It’s a ‘pressure cooker’ housing market, said Christin Webb, a broker with John L. Scott.”

“A $160,000 home in West Bremerton, for example, required 15 truckloads to remove all the trash from the squatters that inhabited it. ‘We could tell this home had good bones,’ said Schuster, who took a chance on it. The home’s now filled with all new counter-tops, flooring, fixtures and appliances. It could be easily sectioned off into a duplex, making it more attractive given the demand for area housing. And it’s now back on the market at $329,950.”

“They work quickly. The market could change. There’s an acknowledgment that time is of the essence. ‘The market’s very hot,’ said Mark Goodwin, a contractor that often works on homes whose sales are handled by Schuster and Bowes. ‘Quick flips are very important. You make checklists and punch them out. You don’t want to be caught holding the ball.’”

From Bloomberg on Florida. “A Jean Nouvel-designed condo project in Miami Beach, Florida, just got the area’s biggest residential construction loan in almost a year, putting the luxury tower on a path to completion in a market that’s saturated with others. New York developer Michael Stern closed last week on $137 million in financing from Madison Realty Capital to build Monad Terrace, Stern said in an interview. It was the largest loan for housing construction in Miami-Dade County since June, according to Real Capital Analytics Inc.”

“Cranes are crowding the skyline in Miami Beach as builders add more condos in a city that’s already working through a glut of them. There are 2,963 condos currently listed for sale in Miami Beach, and they have spent an average of 199 days on the market, according to CraneSpotters.com. In the South Beach enclave, where Stern is building Monad Terrace, condo sales fell 11 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to 242, according to appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Buyers got discounts of 10.4 percent on average, the firms said.

“‘It’s a good bellwether for the market,’ Stern, who’s also building a condo tower on Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, said of the financing. ‘We expect it to have a huge impact on sales.’”

From WWD on New York. “Carmen Marc Valvo is struggling to sell his Hamptons hideaway. The high-end evening wear designer has had to lower the price of his Bridgehampton house by more than $1 million to $6.95 million after failing to find a buyer since it hit the market last June. Valvo appears to be the latest victim of the slowdown in the Hamptons’ luxe housing market. The glitzy summer hot spot’s high-end property market isn’t as strong as it once was on the back of political and economic uncertainty and Valvo is one of the many homeowners who are having to become more realistic on pricing in order to secure a sale.”

The Financial Times on Connecticut. “Local lawmakers need to find new sources of income to alleviate the state’s budget crisis created by years of overspending and an over reliance on tax dollars from the finance sector. Connecticut has raised income tax three times in the past decade, but now, struggling to meet its pension and healthcare obligations to state workers and facing a projected deficit of $240m for this financial year alone, it is under pressure to find a solution.”

“Marquee companies, most recently General Electric, have shifted their headquarters away from the state, denting tax revenue and hitting property prices. Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood Capital, left the state for Florida in 2016 while declaring Greenwich the worst housing market in the US. ‘You can’t give away a house in Greenwich,’ he said at the time.”

“According to data from Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal firm, and Douglas Elliman, a real estate brokerage, sales of single family homes in the town in the first quarter of 2018 were down 22.2 per cent from the previous year. One of the town’s zip codes, 06831, ranked the 65th-wealthiest district in the country in 2010, had slipped 300 places by last year with the median sales price dropping from $1.1m to $895,000 over the same period, according to PropertyShark. ‘I would short Greenwich real estate if I could,’ says one fund manager who lives in the town and asked not to be named.”

“Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire founder of Interactive Brokers, also left for Florida. His 80-acre estate in Greenwich, the largest in the town, sat on the market for more than two years. With an initial price tag of $65m, the home eventually sold for $21m.”