Home sales rise, remodeling outlook and electric ultra luxury
By Camilla McLaughlin
Luxury on the rebound! This week lots of positives for real estate and luxury swirled in the Twittosphere. Existing home sales rose in January, marking the first time in seven months activity was higher than a year earlier. January’s 5.35 million transactions are 5.3 percent above the number of sales in January 2010. Luxury transactions in many regions are even higher. In San Francisco @McGuire_RE says sales of homes priced $2 million and above increased by 18 percent in 2010 over 2009. Luxury brokers in Orange country saw a 37-percent jump in sales volume over 2009 according to The Orange County Register. Thanks to our own Nick Antonicello @nacount, the retweet from @REchannel on Miami condo sales, which are up 134 percent year-over-year in January. http://tinyurl.com/ygv7mxk In fact, January was a good month for most sellers in Florida. http://tinyurl.com/4vfvfr9 USA Today got around to documenting a trend we saw beginning to grow last year, the return to luxury spending. http://usat.ly/hGRhxU We arrived at this link via a Tweet from @LuxuryPortfolio.
Although the number of sales continue to rise, home prices hit new lows in December according to Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller Index. The National Home Price Index fell 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with the fourth quarter 2009. Among metros, Washington, D.C., saw a 4.1-percent increase in prices during this period while Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa and Seattle experienced the largest decline. http://bit.ly/g11PiE The latest reports show price declines that began last year continue and open to door to speculation on how much prices will continue to fall this year.
Remodeling rises, too! Expect to see an upswing in home remodeling in the next decade, say Harvard researchers, http://ht.ly/426qs. @energyinspector tweeted a link to a great infographic on home improvement trends put together on a plumbing blog, elocalplumbers.com. http://ow.ly/3Zo4q
Birds better forecasters than humans? One story that popped up among the wash of predictions this week came from @jonathanmiller, who does some sharp figuring of his own on New York real estate. Miller’s tweet: “Studies show that forecasting is for the birds (and rats) http://nyti.ms/i7qhKH links to a story questioning humans’ ability to make predictions.”
What is luxury? For real estate, the question of what constitutes a luxury home is always under debate. Ask about luxury in general on Twitter and most answers revolve not around money, status, yachts and jets, but on the small luxuries — an afternoon nap, watching a movie on a Friday night — that count. Others saw love as a luxury while some said being alone is a luxury.
Electric ultra luxury. The first electric powered ultra luxury vehicle is expected to be unveiled March 1 with an electric version of the Rolls-Royce Phantom (teaser photo shown here). Royce-Royce owner, BMW, has already introduced an electric powered MINI. The Mail Online has a good story. http://bit.ly/e7bgDU And you can share your views on whether or not electric motoring can deliver a true Rolls Royce experience at www.electricluxury.com.