Inside Real Estate - October 30th, 2019

Inside Real Estate (Oct 30th, 2019)

Why home sellers are stressed / Unusual REITs to invest in now / The home that GoPro built

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1. Phoenix, Charlotte, and Tampa reported the highest home-price growth in the nation in August, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index released on Tuesday. Overall, cities across the nation have slowed when it comes to sales, which is an indication of market stabilization rather than a concerning deceleration. One example of this is Las Vegas, which had been growing rapidly. It dropped from second to eighth in the nation after a hot market began causing affordability concerns. It’s now cooling, which is in line with several markets across the U.S. One factor that could become an issue in the future, according to Zillow, is a low inventory of starter homes on the market, which could drive prices up. - ZILLOW 

2. Roughly 95 percent of home sellers are stressed out by at least one part of the process, including the lack of control over timeframe and money, according to the Zillow Group 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report. More than half of sellers are reportedly anxious that their homes will not sell for the list price, or that a prospective buyer's offer will through. Also of concern is timing the home sale with the purchase of a new property. First-time home sellers proved to be much more nervous about the process than those who’ve sold properties before. -WASHINGTON POST

3. There are some strong “unusual” real estate investment trusts— REITs—to buy this year, according to U.S. News & World report. These include shopping center REIT Brixmor Property Group; the cannabis industry’s Innovative Industrial Properties; logistics real estate company Prologis; data storage facilities Iron Mountain; and multi-national infrastructure REIT American Tower Corp. Another one to consider is Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital, a sustainable-infrastructure REIT whose assets include solar power resources, energy efficiency holdings and wind turbines. U.S. News & World Report cautions that while non-traditional REITs can create additional income, it's important to ensure that investments are liquid, so you can get your money back when you want it. - US NEWS & WORLD REPORT

4. An organization sponsored by the California Association of Realtors is suing Huntington Beach, California, after the city rejected a 48-unit condominium project in early September. This residential project would have included at least five units allocated to affordable housing. Californians for Homeownership filed suit Monday, charging that the city’s renouncement of the complex violates state law since the building plans meet all city requirements. The condo tower was met with much neighborhood opposition, which is why it failed, according to the organization’s attorney, Matthew Gelfand. He said the city “caved to NIMBYism,” which is an acronym for the phrase "Not In My Back Yard.” Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gate refutes that claim, saying that the project was too “large of a project for too small of a space.” - OC REGISTER

5.  Late princess, and sister to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Lee Radziwill’s longtime New York City co-op sold for $4.25 million, less than its original list price of $5.7 million. Radziwill, who passed away in February of this year, reportedly lived in the three-bedroom home for more than 30 years. The Upper East Side unit occupies the entire 15th floor at 160 East 72nd Street and features a private elevator entrance. Several of Radziwill's belongings, including art and furnishings, were sold at auction earlier this month. Those sales reportedly netted $1.26 million and included some of the bedroom furniture from this property. - OBSERVER

6. A Business Insider author who sold his San Francisco property for $2.75 million two years ago says now's the time to buy real estate again. Sam Dogen cites these as reasons for investing in land now: prices across the U.S. have "softened," mortgage rates are down, the stock market is at an all-time high, rents are still ticking upward, a wave of tech IPO liquidity is “coming due” and millennials are at prime home-buying preparedness. Additionally, Dogen said that since “lending standards have been so incredibly tight” over the last 10 years, he believes the next recession will not be as severe as the last. - BUSINESS INSIDER

7. Another result of tighter home-loan regulations since the last housing bust, the Dallas Morning News reports, is that mortgage loans are currently “stronger than ever” in Texas. Mitchell Schnurman writes in this opinion piece that past-due mortgages are the lowest they've been in years, due in large part to stricter consumer protections, including tighter restrictions on predatory lenders. Also aiding in today’s healthier home market is a record low unemployment rate, which is making it easier for homebuyers to stay current on house payments. - DALLAS MORNING NEWS

8. The 2020 World Monuments Watch list — released by the World Monuments Fund — includes 25 international cultural sites that are in dire need of conservation efforts. Each will be eligible to use some of the $1.6 million funded by American Express, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. The biennial roster was selected from more than 250 nominations reviewed by WMF heritage professionals with input from UNESCO’s historian and includes: Notre-Dame de Paris in Paris; Ontario Place in Toronto; Rapa Nui National Park in Easter Island; Alexan Palace in Asyut, Egypt; Courtyard Houses of Axerquía in Córdoba, Spain; Mam Rashan Shrine in Mount Sinjar, Iraq; Canal Nacional in Mexico City; Traditional Burmese Teak Farmhouses in Myanmar. - ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST

9. Some city leaders in Austin are reportedly eyeing hotels to buy for homeless housing. Currently, the city is working to enforce restrictions on where homeless people can camp out while simultaneously seeking a suitable alternative for this community. According to records obtained by KXAN, the city is looking at hotel properties all over Austin, including at least one just blocks from the state Capitol. - KXAN

10. GoPro Founder Nick Woodman hopes to sell his Woodside, California, farmhouse-style home for $20 million. The residence was built in 2003 and boasts five bedrooms in 8,165 square feet of interior space. Situated on three acres of land, the property includes a guesthouse, swimming pool, gardens and a detached gym. Woodman reportedly purchased the estate for $12.5 million in 2011. While his asking price is steep compared to the 8-year-old sales price, it’s possible he could get a great return on investment since homes in the Silicon Valley enclave are known to hold their values well. - REALTOR

Written and curated by Darla Guillen Gilthorpe. Darla writes for the Houston Chronicle, where she was part of its 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist staff. She was previously an editor at Vox Media site Eater and has had bylines in Elle Decor, SFGate and various other outlets. Follow her on Twitter here.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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