Canadian luxury, move-up buyers, and a Cannes dazzler

This week’s Top of the Tweets
By Camilla McLaughlin

House price arias! In the last five years, the media has parsed and diced home price news every which way, but NPR recently give it a new twist, translating price data from the Case Schiller Index into music — actually, opera. Depending on where you live, the tune changes, noted economist Karl Case co-creator of the Case Schiller Price Index. Although the day-to-day and year-to-year gets the most attention, prices overall are still ahead of where they were a decade ago and have kept pace with inflation. Once again, @imadnaffa is the man in know.

Canadian luxury home sales continue to defy expectations,” tweets @DaleMcGauran, joining the chorus of tweets on luxury home sales in Canada from @oakvilledavid and others. A recent market report from RE/MAX shows sales of homes worth $2 million or more doubled in the first four months of 2011 in Vancouver. Other areas showing gains include Calgary and Ottawa. Foreign investors, according to RE/MAX, are fueling demand for luxury in Vancouver. Vancouver was one of the top “40 International Markets to Watch” featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Unique Homes.

Country music is only one reason why Nashville, Tenn., has seen some of the biggest jumps in the U.S. for luxury home sales. In the last year, luxury home sales are up more than 13 percent here, according to a report from @NC5,

Home as an experience — five California architects share their perspective. @PardeeHomes tweets the link to video interviews each featured on the Herman Miller site.

List lust! The passion for lists never wanes. “Cities with the highest credit scores” is the latest. Green Bay, Wis., with an average score of 786, tops the list, followed by Madison, Wis., at 785; Minneapolis at 784; San Francisco, 779; Boston, 778 and Lincoln, Neb., 776. Best and Worst states for business, according to CEOs participating in a survey by Chief Executive Magazine, include Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee — the best – and California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey, which are the worst. To see where your state ranks, check out the whole story. Thanks to @theaustonian for bringing this to our attention.

2014 — new target date? Economists and the man on the street are once again pushing expectations for a recovery in housing into the future. A new survey from online sites Trulia and Realty Trac shows 54 percent of adults don’t expect housing to recover sooner than 2014. A third say they know someone who has applied for a loan modification, stopped paying the mortgage, walked away from their home, or sold at a short sale. A tip of the Top of the Tweets hat to the Orange County Register’s @jonlan for the link to the story.

Significant signs that the mortgage market might be on the mend came from Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data showing the share of mortgages 90 days delinquent eased back in the first quarter. Loans in foreclosure in this period also fell to 4.52 percent from 4.64 percent. On the other hand, Lender Processing Services says the ratio of mortgages 30 or more days past-due among their database of nearly 40 million mortgage loans rose by 2.4 percent from April, following a 12-percent decline between February and March. @DSNews has a good take on both stories.

Move-up buyers testing the market. Existing-home sales slipped in April, although the market has managed six gains in the past nine months, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The most promising sign from the April stats released by NAR is the number of repeat or move-up buyers, which stood at 44 percent in April. The Wall Street Journal also picked up on this trend with a post from @dwotapka

By 2050, 75 percent of people will be living in urbanized setting, according to architect and academic Duke Reiter speaking at the Urban Land Institute’s Spring Summit last Friday.

More than movies wowed Cannes attendees last week as Maybach unwrapped a 62S studded with diamonds (pictured). Expect to see more gems when this model is officially introduced at the Dubai International Motor Show next fall. @_autoevolution_ has the story.

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