Prices, inventories and architecture to make you swoon

This week’s Top of the Tweets
By Camilla McLaughlin

“Inventories are down, prices are creeping up in many locations” – the story of real estate in less than 140 characters.
The number of homes for sale is back in this news, but this time the complaint is too little, rather than too much, inventory. Some experts say the shortage of homes for sale is starting to drive prices upward and is also slowing sales. The most recent pending sales data released by the National Association of Realtors shows signed contracts declined 2.6 percent in August but still 10.7 percent above 2011. @worldpropertych, @ReedConstrData and others tweeted the story. Home prices are up again, reaching their highest level in two years, according to the recent Case Shiller Index. Economists participating in a new Urban Land Institute survey of leading real estate analysts were more optimistic about residential real estate than any other sector of the market, forecasting a rise in prices of 3.2 percent this year, 3.9 percent in 2013 and 5 percent in 2014. However, they also pointed out that it will still be a number of years before prices totally recover. New home sales prices hit the highest level in more than five years, with a year-over-year increase of 17 percent in the median sales price. Home builder sentiment also hit a six-year high. On a month-to-month basis, sales dipped slightly as the inventory of new homes on the market remained near record lows. Reuters gives a good roundup of this story via @nbcnews

Luxury home sales in Denver surged almost 38 percent in August compared to August 2011, according to a Coldwell Banker report. Denver also had the most multi-million home sales, followed by Boulder with 15, Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills Village with nine each. @JohnRebchook has the story. Living Social’s CEO sells his U Street home and other reports on notables, including @DonnaBrazile changing homes in Washington, D.C., come from Washingtonian Magazine, @Washingtonian

London, Manhattan, Greenwich, the Hamptons are all sites of significant Sotheby’s sales in July.  Numerous tweets from @sothebysrealty, @BriggsFreeman, @LegacySIR and others highlighted this story.

Hip Pocket Sales! Lately Realtors have been telling me about homes that sell but are never listed on the MLS.  Some call these “hip pocket sales” and the trend in Dallas has been getting lots of attention in the Twittersphere, but as fellow NAREE member Steve Brown, @SteveBrownDMN, at the Dallas Morning News points out, the trend isn’t necessary new. Check out the article and what Jim Gaines at Texas A&M’s real estate center has to say about it.

Architecture to make you swoon. The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recognizes excellence in land use practices through their Global Awards for Excellence program, which this year is honoring projects across the globe. There is nothing dull about these projects, which energize any location lucky enough to have one. Check out some of this year’s winners and finalists.

Google takes you under the sea? The most recent addition to Google Maps takes viewers to six coral reels including the Great Barrier Reef near Australia, Apo Island in the Philippines and a couple of places in the Hawaiian islands.

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