Faster is better and other trends

This week’s Top of the Tweets
By Camilla McLaughlin

Expect prices to continue to edge up, says Jed Kolko, @Trulia’s chief economist, since asking prices are up by as much as 5.9 percent year over year. Asking prices often reveal trends before other indicators because they lead sales prices by about two months.

Improving markets cover more geography. Further evidence that the recovery continues to spread across the country can be seen in the National Association of Home Builders/First American improving markets index, which tracks building permits and prices. In the most recent index, 70 percent the 361 metros tracked are listed as improving. When the index was started only 17 metros fell into this category. @NAHBhome

Year-end reports!  Boston condo sales increased by 28.9 percent in 2012 with a 5.6-percent increase in the median price to $501,250, the highest since 2007. @RichRosa Million dollar home sales in California reached a five-year high, according to DataQuick. In the Bay area, sales in some pricy enclaves, including Ross, Los Altos, Atherton and Hillsborough, were virtually all above $1 million in 2012. Other locations reporting an uptick in luxury sales include Dallas @LynnMLarson,

2013 Blasts off. Denver stats show a continuation of 2012 trends with million-dollar sales in January up 12 percent over 2012. The top price jumped 60 percent from $2.56 million to $4.1 million.  Other “booming” markets according to Trulia are San Francisco’s Bay Area, Seattle, Denver, San Jose and Salt Lake City.

Sorry, NYC, Philly and D.C. you didn’t make Trulia’s list, but Boston did, under the “humming” category. For more news on NYC, Philly and D.C., look for the next issue of Unique Homes, where we take an in-depth look at the market in the Northeast. This is the first installment of a yearlong series of features on regional markets around the country, which will also cover the Rocky Mountain states, as well as the west coast.

Taking town planners to task. In an Atlantic Cities article, Anthony Flint, a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass., takes town planners to task, pointing out the positives of upsizing existing homes.  “It is the essence of smart growth — build in places already built up,” he says, pointing out that homeowners today want to be isolated in far-flung neighborhoods. While right-sizing and small homes might be on trend, Flint also argues that when it comes to housing markets, “one size doesn’t fit all.”

Trend Watching  Who doesn’t dust off their crystal ball at the beginning of the year? Every January and February, trend watchers seem to emerge from wherever they hide the rest of the year with ubiquitous pronouncements of the latest and greatest. Realtor Magazine’s list, which came out in December, has generated lots of attention in the Twittershpere. In the luxury realm, we’ve been observing many of these trends such as outdoor living, handcrafted elements and neutrals with pops of color as early as 2011. Gaining strength in 2103, says @realtomag, will be smarter, less costly controls. Again, this is an extension of what’s happening in the marketplace, but this year it might hit critical mass as more manufacturers streamline electronics. Thanks to @StevenElmore, @lschu939 and others for the tip.

In the world of private jets, is faster worth the premium price? Traveling at almost the speed of sound, the Gulfstream G650 is most likely the fastest civilian aircraft, and, for some, well worth the astronomical $65 million price. Thanks to @LuxurySociety for calling attention to this CNN story.

Fast Fact  Men account for at least 55 percent of China’s luxury market, well above the global average of 40 percent. @LuxurySociety

Tweet of the Week  Housing is a local story with individual idiosyncrasies @HousingWire

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