34 Percent Back to Normal?
By Camilla McLaughlin
Is it art? Art often comes up in the discussions with agents who work in the ultra high end, but in my experience the discussion usually revolves around the utility and usefulness of real estate vs. art. However, a recent article takes up real estate as art in itself. From the viewpoint of architecture, is it a valid comparison? Take a look at the New York Times story. http://t.co/TsngHlOP @NYT_Arts and many others tweeted this story.
Full speed ahead for real estate? A string of positive data in the last week translates into good indicators for housing. July home prices rose 3.8 percent year over year, making this the largest gain in six years, according to @CoreLogic’s most recent home price index. Expect to see more of the same with a 4.6-percent increase forecast for August. Pending sales computed by the National Association of Realtors rose 2.4 percent in July to the highest level since April 2010. The latest Fed Beige Book also reports improving real estate markets in all 12 districts. Still, unemployment and the impending fiscal cliff are potential negatives, all of which means we’re not quite out of harm’s way.
Putting it into perspective? Each month the online real estate site Trulia charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to normal and, according to their metrics, real estate is 34 percent back to normal. Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, projects the long-awaited new normal won’t occur until 2016. http://bit.ly/PIr3bX
Phoenix ranks as the hottest real estate market in the U.S., according Case-Schiller. http://t.co/4ucLUiyz Arizona has the highest appreciation, 16.6 percent, among all the states in @CoreLogic’s index. @AZrelocation and many others get a high-five for this story. Also in the top five for price appreciation is Minnesota, with Minneapolis having one of the largest home price gains in Case Schiller. @Edina_Realty tweets this story. http://bit.ly/Q0p5GQ
The biggest luxury real estate news, at least based on the number of Tweets, comes from Silicon Valley, which is leading the country in sales of homes at $1 million or more, outpacing usual top performers such as Beverly Hills or Miami. Saratoga, Calif., is No. 1, followed by Burlingame, Cupertino and Los Altos. Although most of the demand comes from homegrown buyers, there is also considerable demand from wealthy Chinese buyers. http://nbcnews.to/OXjteZ Orlando luxury sales doubled compared to a year ago, according to data from Coldwell Banker. @ceacom brings the link. http://t.co/51op7rGn Sarasota is also sharing the luxury boom according to @MichaelSaunders http://t.co/lqJVl0kS Sales of $1 million-plus properties in Boston are close reaching a four year high according to @BostonCitylite.
The market isn’t the only thing bottoming out. Home sizes could potentially be creeping up. The National Association of Home Builders first tracked this change in January, although in part this is a function of the shift in buying from first-time to move-up buyers. The most recent design trends survey from the American Institute of Architects reflects shows it isn’t a trend quite yet, but it is changing. Roughly 13 percent of architects responding to the survey say upper-end home sizes are increasing, while 30 percent say they are decreasing. However, in-home accessibility was the layout trend increasing the most in popularity, according to 64 percent of respondents. Flexible floor plans, sustainable landscaping are also on consumers’ wish lists. http://bit.ly/R8apXZ Thanks to @BlueOxAd for the link.
Luxury home construction in London is expected to jump 70 percent over the next decade in response to demand from buyers outside the U.K. More than 15,000 new homes and apartments are on the drawing boards. http://buswk.co/Tmw9yj London is one of the markets that will be featured in our next issue of Unique Homes, where we take a look at real estate in Europe. A tip of the Tweets hat to @TheAgencyRE for this heads up on this story.
A 100 percent chocolate café? Chocolate and cocoa is the defining element of the architecture of a café designed for Meiji, Japan’s largest chocolate company. @ArchRecord brings the story at http://archrecord.construction.com/projects/recordinteriors/2012/100-Percent-Chocolate-Cafe-Wonderwall.asp
Real do gooders! Many Realtors are committed to making their home markets better. Each year, Realtor Magazine honors 10 with the inspiring stories. The magazine’s 10 Good Neighbor finalists are announced. http://t.co/Oq40mZDC via @realtormag