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Inside Real Estate (Nov 22nd, 2017)

The National Association of Realtors® reported that existing home sales were up two percent from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October. Sales were down just under one percent for the year. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun blamed low inventory for the decline noting that the economy is on an even keel with continued job growth. Yun expressed confidence that sales in hurricane-impacted areas should be up to their normal levels within one year. Inventory was down over 10 percent from last year, marking 29 months in a row of declining rates. Prices continued to rise. The median price in October was up 5.5 percent to $247,000 in October, the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains. Zillow’s chief economist Svenja Gudell said that the housing market is “stuck in the same, predictable rut it has been in for the past two years or so: Demand is high, inventory is low and nothing short of a dramatic shock – which nobody expects – seems likely to knock it off that track.” – HOUSING WIRE

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WeWork led a $32 million Series B funding round for The Wing, a social group and co-working space for women. The Wing raised a Series A round for $8 million in April. The club has two New York City locations and will open a third in January. There are approximately 1,500 members so far. The Wing is planning expansion to Washington DC followed by spaces in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The startup is also a media brand and has launched a members-only portal and a magazine. – FORBES

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An investigation from Pro Publica shows that Facebook advertisers can place discriminatory rental housing ads. Pro Publica confirmed that in an update to its investigation from 2016, they were still able to buy housing ads that excluded a variety of groups including African Americans, mothers of teenagers, people interested in wheelchair accessibility, Jews, Spanish speakers, and others. The Fair Housing Act prohibits this type of discriminatory practice when advertising homes for sale or rent. Facebook stated that the company has flagged millions of ads in the credit, employment, and housing categories. – PRO PUBLICA

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Raleigh, North Carolina has failed to pass new regulations on short-term rentals in the city. The City Council did not get enough votes to pass an ordinance allowing short-term rentals by homeowners. In Raleigh, use of services such as Airbnb is technically illegal although the city has not been enforcing the rule. In 2016, Raleigh saw nearly 20,000 guest arrivals through the Airbnb platform. Earlier this year, a Raleigh resident task force recommended new rules for short-term rentals including a city permit procedure. Opponents of proposed changes cited fears over increased traffic and neighborhood changes. – TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL

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Atlanta’s Georgia Dome was imploded to make room for a new luxury hotel. The Georgia Dome hosted the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the NCAA Final Four as well as 25 seasons of Atlanta Falcons football. It was built for $214 million in 1992 and generated more than $7 billion in economic impact for the city and surrounding areas. It took 12 seconds to flatten the building’s 250,000 cubic yards of concrete. Groundbreaking for the 1,010-room hotel is scheduled for early 2019. The site also will include a new parking facility as well as a 13-acre park designed for game day tailgating at the adjacent Mercedes-Benz Stadium where the Falcons now play. – USA TODAY

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The largest building in St. Louis is up for sale. The 44-story office tower was known as One AT&T Center until AT&T left the building at the end of its lease. Built in 1986, it is the second tallest skyscraper in St. Louis but is the biggest in terms of square footage with 1.4 million square feet of space. The property ended up in receivership earlier this year. Some suggested that the vacant tower could be a potential headquarters for Amazon. No asking price has been published. – ST LOUIS TODAY

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HOT PROPERTIES OF THE WEEK


Zaha Hadid’s condo in the South Beach condo project in Miami Beach, Florida has been re-listed for $6.5 million, a reduction of 35 percent from the original asking price. The two-bedroom unit was listed for $10 million in the spring. The late architect’s residence is comprised of two different units, a two bedroom purchased in 2010 for $2.79 million and a studio she bought in 2015 for $1.38 million. The purchase price includes all furniture and art chosen by Hadid herself. – WALL STREET JOURNAL

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The most expensive home listed in Palm Beach, Florida recently hit the market for $69.9 million. Billionaire Jim Clark’s Il Palmetto estate, which was on the market for $115 million, is no longer publicly listed leaving a seven-bedroom estate on Palm Beach’s Billionaire’s Row in the top spot. The residence was completed in 2012 for Dr. Norman Traverse and his wife, Nassrine. It was listed in 2014 for $99 million. The mansion occupies an ocean-to-lake lot with waterfront on both the beach and the Intracoastal Waterway and has nearly 24,000 square feet of space. – PALM BEACH DAILY NEWS

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The estate that belonged to the late NFL player Aaron Hernandez has sold for $1 million. The property in North Attleboro, Massachusetts has been on and off the market for several years and was most recently listed at $1.3 million. The new owner is a young real estate investor who plans to restore the property which was sold in “as is” condition. The investor, Arif Khan, told reporters that he will invest $150,000 in repairs. Hernandez bought the home from a former Patriots player for $1.3 million in 2012. – BOSTON HERALD

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CLICK ROULETTE 

A NEW LOUVRE RISES IN THE DESERT

Architecture in motion

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