DOES DOWNSIZING ADD UP?

It's a common bit of retirement advice: Downsize your housing after the kids leave the nest to cut costs. Interestingly, though, many baby boomers have no intentions of downsizing. Nearly two-thirds of boomers surveyed in 2013 by The Demand Institute -- a nonprofit owned by Nielsen -- plan to "age in place" rather than move. Of those who do plan to move, nearly half said they plan to increase the size of their home or pay more for a comparably sized home. Many people assume that downsizing housing saves money. But does it really? It can, especially if you're able to cash in on the equity you've built up. But there are a lot of factors that can actually result in higher housing costs once you downsize. Click here to read more.             Continue reading

IN IT TO WIN IT: HOW TO WRITE A WINNING OFFER

You've found it: the house of your dreams. In fact, you went home last night and played a little game of Where Does the Sofa Go? But before you can say "home sweet home," there's an offer to be made -- and it has to be accepted before you can move that sofa into the living room. While these three tips don't guarantee your offer will be chosen, they will help you be competitive so you're one step closer to landing your dream home. 1. Carefully consider your approach. If you think your dream home's listing price is just a place to begin negotiations, think again. First, have a conversation with your real estate agent. Look for similar homes and recent sales in the area. Click here to read more.             Continue reading

SHOW ME THE MONEY: THE MOST EXPENSIVE SALES IN LOS ANGELES REAL ESTATE THIS PAST WEEK

The homes of an action film star, a movie producer and a celebrity hostess were among the most expensive residential real estate transactions in the greater Los Angeles area this past week. $11.2 million — Pacific Palisades A Traditional-style home in the 900 block of Corsica Drive changed hands for the second time this year for $11.2 million. The 9,104-square-foot home, complete with library, screening room and an elevator, previously sold in March for $10.995 million. Click here to read more.             Continue reading

BUYERS REJOICE! REDFIN’S NEW HOUSING INDEX DEMAND SUGGESTS HOME PRICE GROWTH WILL SLOW IN AUGUST

Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage, today announced that U.S. homebuyer demand, an early indicator of housing-market performance, was up 13 percent year over year in June. This is according to the Redfin Housing Demand Index, which debuted today at a level of 113, with a baseline of 100 starting in January 2013. Although June demand is up compared to last year, it’s a smaller increase than in previous months. In 2015, the Demand Index followed a similar seasonal pattern to previous years, increasing from January to April, then beginning to decline. However, this year’s 6.7 percent decline from May to June is steeper than the 3.9 percent decrease for the same period in 2014. The Demand Index is based on millions of visits to Redfin.com home listing pages, and thousands of Redfin customers requesting home tours and writing offers in 15 major metro areas.  Click here to read more.           Continue reading

CHINESE INVESTMENT IN OFFSHORE REAL ESTATE CONTINUES TO RISE

While China's stock market has been experiencing record drops and whipsaw volatility in 2015, China driven outbound capital flows to commercial real estate in last four years experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 72% to reach over $10 billion for the year 2014. This is according to CBRE's recently published report, The Expanding Role of Chinese Capital in Global Real Estate Markets. This is the first time annual flows have exceeded the $10 billion mark. China also accounted for over a quarter of total outbound commercial real estate investment from Asia during 2013 and 2014.What began with China's sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and tier-one insurers purchasing high-profile trophy assets abroad has now spread to acquisitions by mid-tier insurers and corporate investors. Meanwhile, Chinese real estate developers have also been quite active, expanding into overseas markets in a bid to meet increasing demand from mainland HNWIs for residential assets in key destinations. Click here to read more.           Continue reading

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THE AMERICAN DREAM?

The homeownership rate continued to decline in the second quarter of 2015, hitting a 48-year low. The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate declined to 63.5%, down from 64.7% in the second quarter of 2014, according to estimates published by the Commerce Department on Tuesday. (The homeownership rate, not seasonally adjusted, hit 63.4%.) That is the country’s lowest homeownership rate since 1967. In part, the decline in homeownership reflects a positive trend: The number of rental households is growing. That likely reflects the fact that younger people are leaving their parents’ homes and striking out as renters on their own. Total households in the United States grew to 117 million in the second quarter of 2015, up from 115 million in the second quarter of 2014. The number of owner households decreased by 400,000, while the number of renter households increased by 2 million. While that is a good sign for the rental market, overall economists said that a lack of home buyers is likely a bad sign that incomes aren’t keeping pace with rising home prices, keeping young buyers out of the housing market. Click here to read more.           Continue reading

TRENDS IN HOME BUYING: THE LOVE AFFAIR WITH LIVE-WORK-PLAY

A couple of articles this week with data about trends in real estate had a lot to say about the multiple inputs that influence real estate prices and the health of a very important component of our economy. Over at RealtyToday.com, an article titled The Shifting Trend in the residential Real Estate Industry isn't really breaking any earth shattering news. We've been watching some trends in home buying developing in the aftermath of the crash: There is a change in attitude about home ownership. It's logical that the massive damage done to many homeowners and the economy during the crash and foreclosure epidemic has put a damper on the "American Dream." People, particularly the young, are just not as enthusiastic about the investment side of home ownership. They've seen some friends and family members lose their homes to foreclosure, and others still in a home underwater on their mortgage. There are buyers returning to the market, just not in droves. Click here to read more.           Continue reading

BEYOND BEVERLY HILLS: THE MOST EXPENSIVE SALES IN LOS ANGELES REAL ESTATE THIS PAST WEEK

Newly built homes in Manhattan Beach and Arcadia as well as a Case Study House in Pacific Palisades were among the priciest residential real estate sales in the greater Los Angeles area this past week. $9.475 million -- Manhattan Beach A custom-built home in the 200 block of 20th Street in Manhattan Beach sold for $9.475 million, the second-largest sum paid for a single-family home in the South Bay community this year. Designed by local architect Louie Tomaro, the four-bedroom, 4,747-square-foot home came on the market in May for $8,999,900. Click here to read more.         Continue reading

The Rules of the Game: How to Win in Real Estate Transactions

That is because buying a house has changed drastically over the past few years based on the various pressure points of the economy. Does that mean you should sit on the sidelines of the housing market and be a chronic renter or lifelong basement dweller? Nope, it simply means you have to be savvy about the new normal in real estate. Do Ask, Do TellDon't be afraid to ask homeowners in the community you have fantasies about that do not have "for sale" yard signs to sell to you. Many homeowners dashed their hopes of moving during "The Great Recession" due to such drastic property depreciation and have not been brought up to speed that their property values may have rebounded. You can rekindle their hope to sell by simply checking with your local, trusted REALTOR(r) on homes in your affordability range that were previously up for sell but had expired or were withdrawn from the market without a peep. Click here to read more.         Continue reading

Buyers Start Your Engines: The Real Estate Market is Operating on All Cylinders

Thanks to robust demand and an ample supply of homes for sale, the U.S. residential real estate market is operating on all cylinders. In fact, Realtor.com calls it the "best buying season since 2006." "Although demand has been strong all year, in June we're finally beginning to see an uptick in supply as sellers become more confident about home prices," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Realtor.com. Realtor.com also reports that first-time buyers are lining up to buy new homes. 65% of older Millennials (ages 25-34) say they expect to buy a home within three months - up 12% from the start of 2015. The "hottest" markets include San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, and Boston, the company states. Additionally, the median list price increased to $233,000, up 7% year-over-year and up 2% on a month-to-month basis.  Click here to read more.         Continue reading