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Inside Real Estate (Dec 6th, 2017)

The latest CoreLogic Home Price Index for October showed that prices were up seven percent year over year. Year over year, prices have risen by over six percent for the last four months. Of the top 100 markets, 37 of them are now deemed overvalued, 37 are at value and 26 are undervalued. Overvalued markets include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Miami, and Washington DC. The CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index showed that rental rates for entry-level renters of single-family homes increased by 4.2 percent year over year. – HOUSING WIRE

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Zenplace, a property management startup based in San Francisco, has created a new service that includes robot-guided showings. The process is designed to create faster showings decreasing the amount of time a property is on the market. The robot is operated by a licensed agent who guides the potential tenants through the property and points out key features. At the end of the tour, the tenants can complete the online application directly on the iPad on the robot. Owners enter the rental address online and fill in basic information and Zenplace handles the logistics, streamlining the rental process by moving it online. – BUILDER

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Woodbridge Group, a luxury real estate developer, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company offered lending and alternative financing and has reported that it owes approximately $750 million to nearly 9,000 creditors. The SEC has had the firm under investigation since 2016 and Woodbridge has confirmed it has received inquiries from state regulators regarding its securities sales. Robert Shapiro resigned as Woodbridge’s chief executive officer last week and Lawrence Perkins of SierraConstellation Partners has taken over as the chief restructuring officer. Woodbridge also owns the Owlwood Estate in Beverly Hills which has been listed at $180 million. – BLOOMBERG

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Renderings have been revealed for a major sports and entertainment project in Austin, Texas. A group called Austin Sports & Entertainment is working with Rodeo Austin on the neighborhood which will be called the East Austin District. It will replace the existing Travis County Expo Center with the city’s first pro-sports stadium, an open-air facility that seats 40,000. The renderings by Bjarke Ingels Group also show a 15,000-seat arena, convention halls, and workspaces all under a massive checkered roofscape that includes photovoltaic panels. The individual buildings are unified by wooden interiors. The project will be privately funded. – AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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A 13-acre section of a Caribbean island is being sold only in Bitcoin. The land on Union Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines island chain can be purchased for 600 Bitcoin (approximately $7.1 million). The idyllic retreat does not have a structure on it but does come with masterplan studies from architect Seth Stein that include a beach bar with overnight cabins and individual houses located on the hillside overlooking the Caribbean. The brokers have stated the Bitcoin option is for a limited time only. – THE TELEGRAPH

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Google has broken ground on its new London headquarters, a so-called landscraper that will be 1,082 feet long, longer than London's iconic Shard building is tall. The building designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Heatherwick Studios sprawls horizontally rather than vertically and is said to be part of a growing trend toward horizontal buildings. Google's new headquarters will cost over one billion dollars and will include a rooftop garden, basketball courts, a swimming pool and a rooftop running track. –  BUSINESS INSIDER 

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Microsoft has revealed plans for its 32-acre "campus of the future" in Silicon Valley. Last week, the tech firm announced a complete overhaul of its Redmond, Washington headquarters. The Mountain View, California site will also be redesigned with an eye toward including environmental features and smart building. The campus will include a four-acre living roof, glass buildings to make the most of natural light, as well as a conference center and a demonstration theater. The compound will be the first to use a complex rainwater management system and an onsite wastewater treatment plant to supply all non-potable water. The new Microsoft Silicon Valley campus will be ready at the end of 2019. – SEATTLE TIMES

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HOT PROPERTIES OF THE WEEK

Jay Leno has purchased four out of the five condominiums in the Seafair mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. The total price of the units was $13.5 million. The historic house was built in 1936 and sits on nine acres with 270-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean. The residence was built for Verner Zevola Reed Jr. who later went on to become the US Ambassador to Morocco in the 1980s. The home also hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama in 2014. It’s unknown if Leno will also snap up the remaining unit in the estate. It belongs to the owner of the Providence Bruins hockey team. – PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

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A new record may have been set for the biggest residential sale in Los Angeles. TMZ is reporting that Daryl Katz, a Canadian billionaire who owns the Edmonton Oilers, has purchased a beachfront home in Malibu for a total of $120 million. The property itself, owned by start real estate agent Kurt Rapport will be sold for $85 million but Katz is also purchasing the interior decor for $35 million. The residence was featured in the June 2014 issue of Architectural Digest for its striking interior design. When the deal goes through it will set a record in Malibu and Los Angeles County, beating the $100 million record set by the Playboy Mansion. Rapport has rented out the home for as much as $750,000 during the prime summer months. The six-acre estate has seven bedrooms, a screening room, gym, game room and a large swimming pool. Last year, Katz purchased a Bel-Air mansion for $9.1 million from Henry Morton, the son of hotelier Peter Morton. – TMZ

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Fresh on the heels of purchasing the former Smokey Robinson estate in Encino, reality TV star Kyle Richards and her husband, real estate agent Mauricio Umansky, have listed their Bel-Air home for sale or lease. Richards and Umansky bought the Robinson estate for $8.25 million in October. Their current seven-bedroom mansion is for sale for $6.995 million and can be rented for $50,000 per month. The couple bought the home in 2011 for $3.05 million. The home was renovated by Faye Resnick Design and has a pub, home theater, and a large master suite with separate dressing room. Outside there is a pool and a lighted sports court. The grounds also include a putting green. – LA TIMES

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